Generally, I don’t subscribe to the well-held belief that Twitter is the ultimate cesspool of our society. It definitely visits there a lot, but it can be what you make it, most of the time. And every so often, it provides something so wholly bewildering that you really do have to question if it’s art or a vision into a plane/dimension where the rules are completely different.
I stared at this one longer than I did seeing Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” at MoMA. Maybe there was something hidden in it for everyone to find their own truth within.
And then I stopped and realized it’s another piece of incomprehensible drivel from a show that has specialized in it for years without anyone noticing. Which in itself is an accomplishment worthy of respect.
Just to review, Roger Bennett — who apparently loves to read his own written words as much as he loves to hear his spoken ones — is claiming a show that has been on less than a year-and-a-half has done more for the popularity of an entire sport than... anything that has happened in the entire sport. Not various World Cup runs from either the USWNT or the USMNT, not a generation or two or three of people who grew up playing it becoming adults watching it, not NBC making every game viewable for the first time, not the FIFA video game, none of it. A fictional show that’s been on 17 months...
I will tell you that I’ve never seen Ted Lasso, and it’s not out of some stand or choice. Just haven’t subscribed to Apple TV+ yet. I have a lot of friends who love it, and everyone one of them has said that the soccer aspect is secondary or tertiary to the show’s charm. And most of those friends are soccer fans to begin with.
But that’s getting far too analytical with something like this, especially when discussing one half of the Men In Blazers show which really hasn’t had a purpose since 2017. There was a time when it was the welcome mat for when soccer fandom was still something of a secret club, to make you feel that you were on the right path, or that there were places where you could feel included and part of something.
That’s no longer the case. Most everyone has a cursory knowledge of the game, and the sport’s fandom in this country doesn’t need its own cheerleader, which is all Men In Blazers has ever been. Soccer isn’t like following Phish anymore, where (I assume from the evidence I have) three-quarters of the charm is telling people you’re a fan. That’s all Men in Blazers ever really did. All it is now is a show that has comedic segments that aren’t all that funny, analytic segments that aren’t all that analytical, and then an interview where Bennett will spend at least three minutes asking each question, meaning a 10-minute interview is a minimum 90% of him talking.
All Men In Blazers has ever been is a celebration of themselves. It’s just a half-hour of two guys saying, “We’re awesome because we’re soccer fans and we live in the States and you have to think we’re awesome, too!” It’s two Brits patting all us ignorant Yanks on the head for being fans and sticking a gold star on our nose. The whole thing can fuck right off.
But at least Bennett gave me this tweet that I can think about for a long while and know that my fandom and the country’s has come so far and so far beyond him that all I can do is laugh. So thank you for that.
After a day like Sunday, I encourage all of you to watch everyone on ESPN, NFL Network, CBS, NBC, wherever trying to analyze the NFL like it makes any sense and will make any sense. It doesn’t. It’s too random, too many injuries, the teams too similar except for a select few.
The Saints destroyed the Packers in Week 1. Then they were mauled by Carolina Sunday. The Cardinals destroyed the Titans on the road in Week 1, and then needed a Vikings kicker to go Vikings Kicker to get past Kirk Cousins. Those same Titans beat the Seahawks in Seattle. The Bears looked like chum on the season’s first Sunday night... and well, still kinda looked like chum but beat the Bengals at home. The Steelers beat the Bills in Buffalo, and then got whacked at home by the Raiders who were coming off a short week.
It’s the NFL, and it’s just a bunch of stuff that happens.
Let’s end with the weekend’s best miss, because we’re just that kind of people.
I suggest you watch this clip with the sound on, because the PBP guy sounds like his dog just ate his only copy of his lease.