War Pigs: Friday Funblast
We’ll see if I have the patience to keep doing this, but every Friday I’m going to try and give some quick takes on the stories that were or should have been on your radar.
⚫ This morning, FC Cincinnati announced a new partnership with TSG Hoffenheim of the Bundesliga, undoubtedly pleasing the dozens and dozens of dipshits who still believe Cincinnati is a “German City” despite the fact that 1.) you can’t get a decent German meal in this town, 2.) none of the local breweries follow German Purity Laws for beer, and 3.) the closest connection most people have to an actual German-speaker in their family is “that one great uncle whose service in WW2 we don’t really talk about.”
What does this partnership mean for FCC? Who knows. The best guess would be that we occasionally get a few of their castoffs and extra signings on loan deals, and in return they’ll get a first crack at buying anyone who might actually succeed on this team. The good news is that FC Cincinnati fans will now be able to support another team that has absolutely no fucking shot of winning a league championship -- which somehow feels absolutely right.
For those unaware (and who haven’t spent the morning on Wikipedia, like I did), TSG Hoffenheim was an unremarkable local club until local-boy-turned-multi-billionaire, the incredibly tuetonically-named Dietmar Hopp, bought the club and started pumping money into it. In addition to having a name that sounds like the title of an unreleased Ramstein album, Dietmar is also one of the 100 wealthiest people on the planet having founded one of those “I think someone I know who has a real job uses it” software companies: SAP. He’s also absolutely fucking *reviled* in the German Soccer Culture, which, ironically for a country that had a little bit of an “ethics hiccup” between 1939 and 1945, places a large emphasis on “doing things the right way” (think: every NPSL hardo you see on twitter wearing skull gear).
For those who don’t follow the Bundesliga (and why would you – the outcome is more per-detertimed than your average John Cena match), the league has a “50+1” Rule to ensure that fans/supporters retain majority ownership of clubs in the top division. This, theoretically, ensures that rich American Chain Restaurateurs and people dripping in Saudi blood money can’t come in and buy your league up. However, in a heel move worthy of Ted DiBiasi, Dietmar was allowed to shtup that rule and obtain control over 90% ownership in TSG – making them the only club in the Bundesliga to be owned by one mega-rich dude. Life is fun when you’re one of the ten wealthiest dudes in your country, I guess.
All of this has made Dietmar & TSG Hoffenheim, collectively, Public Enemy #1 of German Soccer (replacing Didier Drogba and “People who prefer AT&T or Verizon to T-Mobile”). Last season, a game between TSG and Bayern “The Harlem Globetrotters of German Soccer” Munich featured a suspension in play because Bayern fans unfurled a banner with Hopp in sniper cross-hairs with the “You Son of a Whore” written underneath. The match was finished, after a delay, with the players passing lazily back and forth to one another for the final 15 minutes, which drew a swift response of “Simpsons already did it” from the world football community. Similar anti-Dietmar banners have been unfurled elsewhere, including by Borussia Dortmund supporters. And, stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Hoffenheim fans are criticized for being plastics, only supporting their team because their rich owner has bought his way into the top division.
Personally, I can’t wait for the first international friendly when we’re treated to shots of Dietmar and CL3 laughing in an owner’s box and swapping stories about being super rich and pissing off soccer hipsters. I don't know the man, but Dietmar strikes me as a dude that would absolutely love hearing a good "evicting an old woman from her apartment" story.
⚫ FC Cincinnati played to another midweek scoreless draw against Philadelphia this week. As I noted on twitter, the game was at least more watchable than your average effort from FC Cincinnati over the past few seasons. And, although I’ve preached patience with him before, the “Imma do everything BUT fucking score” act from Loca is starting to wear a little thin. It’s awesome that the effort is there, but it has reached the point where we almost need a Bingo card of “outcomes other than a goal” we can use to play along at home with his touches in the final third. You combine that Yuya Kubo continuing to be dispossessed faster than a Satanist at a Jesuit retreat, and it leaves one wondering how in the fuck this team is ever going to score enough to win. Can you imagine, right now, watching an FC Cincinnati game where they win 4-2 or 5-3? Nope? Neither can I. At this point, every Nashville goal feels like a kick in the dick because even they’ve figured out how to put the ball in the net.
⚫ MLS has released the next set of games on their 2020 Schedule and you know what – who fucking cares at this point. I understand there’s a temptation to, as some have taken to doing on twitter, throw your hands up and say “It’s a Pandemic!” in the manner of all those shitty Ron Paul memes. But as a counterpoint: Fuck that. Every other sport was able to set their schedule well in advance. Baseball is, against all odds, about to finish their 60 game schedule. The NFL is playing the same schedule they released back in the spring. There’s absolutely no legitimate reason why MLS wasn’t able to release all of their home / away dates weeks ago when this entire thing restarted as opposed to this bullshit “Check back in a few days to see who you’re gonna play next.”
And, let’s talk about the games. In addition to getting the 50th round of “Hell is Real” (which has been booked more times in a single year than even Vince McMahon would be comfortable with), we’re also getting two games against Minnesota, additional away trips to Miami and Atlanta, another game with Philly, and games against DC, Toronto and SKC for good measure. If you’re wondering “Hey, isn’t there a team 5 goddamn hours away in Tennessee that we could play?” than congratulations, you’ve actually given this more fucking thought than anyone in MLS. The bottom line to all of this is that it’s tough to take this season seriously as anything other than an exhibition when they’re literally just making it up as they go along (which shouldn’t be shocking for a league that has more new different types of fake money than a fucking cryptocurrency trader). Everything about this season feels needlessly haphazard and devoid of any real plan – which you would think would be playing to some real organizational strengths at FC Cincinnati.
Unfortunately, the actual outcome is just a season that it is really hard to get fired up about one way or the other; and the certain knowledge that it is going to be *really* fucking annoying when Columbus ultimately wins it all and tries to add a star to their crest because of this bullshit.
That’s all for this week. Take our energy, Loca – and we’ll see you motherfuckers in the Thunderdome.