Brek Shea, Indicted! The Day Soccer Made It In America….

This is the first piece for TSG by Miriti Murungi’s Nutmeg Radio; oops, Nutmeg Radio’s Miriti Murungi. Murungi also hosts a rather, make that The Confidential podcast, here. In his spare time, he tutors budding archery proteges in his sleep.

Clean cut no more. MLS & Brek Shea, 2018?, '19?

I turned on the TV early this morning as I was getting ready to go to work.

The TV oddly revved up on MSNBC, not necessarily a sign of my political leanings, but more a suggestion that I may have been watching Lockup: Somewhere at some ungodly hour last night, learning how to make a rather delectable lobster bisque in a prison toilet.

I mean, really, who are we kidding; it’s a culinary skill that may be required at some point if we want to be a top level soccer nation.

I’ve always said it will take a level of ingenuity unknown to the average man for soccer to truly make it in America.

I’ve always said it will take a level of ingenuity unknown to the average man for soccer to truly make it in America.

I don’t stutter. That was two times for effect and reinforcement.

Back to reality, then the news came: BREAKING … Brek Shea to be indicted for …

“What? I don’t know where the iron is. Probably in the refrigerator where it always is.”

The missus doesn’t handle mornings well. Good thing I purposely muttered that to avoid detection. Instead I replied, “It’s in the oven.” Much better. Obviously, the iron isn’t in the oven. Comedic genius, I am.

Ugh. I missed it. Indicted for what? I switched to CNN, hoping Sanjay Gupta or Anderson Cooper might be willing to provide an explanation on their new morning show, America Today: Brought To You By China.

Perhaps even a word from John Harkes, the new CNN correspondent for World Soccer Affairs, Cricket & Snooker and award-winning author of “How The #37 Player Changed the Game of Football American, I Think.” (There are very subtle differences, I think, from Harkes last work on the #36 player.)

But all it said was, “BREAKING NEWS,” prominently scrolling across the bottom of my five-year-old, almost laughable, hologram TV.

That’s doesn’t help.

I still hadn’t turned on the TV’s detail feature by enabling the laser eye recognition security software and sending CNN a sample of my hair through the free version of the new Twitter app. Guess I should pay for that new Twitter/CNN app one of these days if I really want to know what they think I should know about what they’ve pre-selected as material important for me to know.

All CNN is showing are clips from the incident at the Lalaspalooza nightclub, where Shea shot himself in the foot last year, not only prematurely ending his season, but also ruining a brand new pair of designer Chinese loafers.

It’s an incident we’ve now seen over and over again as “the game” has spiraled out of control here in the 49 states. Poor California.

When did soccer become such a circus?

First the Eric Avila episode, then Landon Donovan and his Maury Povich-style “Who’s the Daddy” thingy with Juninho’s mother that allegedly led to Donovan’s move to Miami–with its eerie parallels to new commissioner Steve Nash’s own Leandro Barbosa episode.

The writing was on the wall early with Stammler. We just missed the signs.

And finally former MLS humanitarian of the year Seth Stammler with his vile, monkey fighting ring last summer–it seems the calamnities never end. Oh where have you gone Mr. Robinson….Eugene that is.

Channel change. Over to Fox News. We’ve seen the footage for decades now. Roger Clemens seated in front a Senate Committee for Something, denying something with a straight face and concerned eyebrows.

This–This!–is that, except Brek Shea is sitting in the Clemens seat (also known as the McGuire seat). That. That’s what we’re looking at.

No longer is it just soccer; this is soccertainment, ladies and gentlemen, made possible by the mission statement of MLS.

A relatively new phenomenon in the soccer world, an industry woven around and through the sport fueling hundreds of micro-industries like a host-parasite relationship. News magazines, tabloids, television shows, clothing lines, and countless other quasi-industries, all incestuously tied together for the express purpose of raising the profile of the game, except the game is no longer soccer – it is entertainment. It’s what we’ve been crying for since independence, right? Well, now it’s here.

Accompanying this new reality are all of the familiar sicknesses served with popularity.

But rest assured, medicine is available, although sadly it comes with the familiar side effects: dry eyes, shortness of breath, explosive diarrhea, swollen ego, celebrity marriage, celebrity divorce, heart palpitations, reality shows featuring people tangentially related to athletes, heart palpitations (again), warranted attention from some sort of Kardashian, and, of course, corresponding nonsense.

But it’s all worth it, right?

And there sits Brek, hands folded, head down, showing the world the pensive, temporary, remorseful posture made popular by [insert athlete rhyming with Fatman Holmes]. It isn’t a posture that suggests true sorrow, but rather that he’s sorry for being caught. On one hand, it’s a tragic day for the country’s up-and-coming, now second most popular sport.

On the other hand, your heart has to well up with pride.

We made it.

We f*cking made it!

Finally, gun play, adultery, police and congressional investigations, and all the other fun stuff that used to make us jealous when casting a glance at other leagues are now available to the casual soccer fan in the United States. We’ve arrived, dammit.

I look on the table.

Once again, the signs were there all along...

The cover of US Magazine is looking back at me. Brek and Kim: Is This Time For Real? It isn’t mine. I swear. But my wife–who doesn’t even like the soccer and counts the retiree Stu Holden’s underwear commercial for Hanes with a born-again Charlie Sheen as probably the closest thing to a soccer memory–loves the drama surrounding it. This is winning?

She wants to give our son “a Brek”….haircut. I’ve told her that’s like a giving a black person a mullet. Anything is possible, but an afro-mullet is still a horrible idea, especially if you aren’t famous.

All of a sudden, the league is too big to fail. It seems like it just happened overnight. There’s no longer a need to convert, no longer a need to save the ignorant. Stubhub, Arlen Spector and strip-mining Colombian nurseries will save us. Wait, those nurseries went dry years ago–to Scotland!

I suppose that’s how you become the old guy who can’t stop talking about the way the game used to be, back in the good old days when players had two jobs and played for the love, when real fans used to congregate at legendary soccer stadiums like RFK (Real F*cking Kool…actually it stands for Richard F. Kennedy but whatever) where falling rubble was romantic, at least in retrospect, like raindrops.

Wait, on second thought, you know when things were real? 1950. That’s when …

This utopia is everything and nothing like what we thought it would be.

And the cycle continues …

4 responses to this post.

  1. Brilliant!!!


  2. Great read!


  3. Posted by wallace on 2011/12/09 at 11:16 AM

    Excellent… Post-apocolyptic Soccer world, makes be feel lucky that were only ranked 30 something by fifa.


  4. I just know that this time it’s going to work out – Kim is totally committed.

    And that Stu Holden pic still terrifies me.


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