for the most part, we couldn't hear a word Greg Lalas was saying the entire call, as he had that CD "Freedom Rock" blaring too loudly in the background. However, every four to five minutes he did turn it down just long enough to yell out -- "HEY MAN, is that FREEDOM ROCK? Well TURN IT UP!!!")
MLSnet.com Editor: "OK gentlemen, let's get started with the call, I'd like to know what everyone is thinking about writing, so that in the long tradition of sports editors everywhere, I may get a head start on sucking the life and color out of the original pieces each of you send me."
Waldo: "Hey guys, it's Eric. Here's what I'm going with this week. There is an outrage in MLS, and it needs to stop now. There simply must be bonuses in perpetuity paid to ex-players based on total goals scored and total teams played for while in MLS. I need the cash, man -- staying as pretty as Stoner and Lorrie Fair is not cheap."
Hard C: "That's a wicked-good call, Eric. And obviously players should get twice as much for every goal they scored and every game they played in a Revs uniform ... I mean New England has basically made MLS what it is today. And just wait until they get my boy, Darren Anderton!"
Bradley: "Can I suggest something else, Eric? I think the bonuses-in-perpetuity should also go to siblings of players, coaches and GMs. In fact, I came up with 11 reasons why: No. 11 ..."
Lalas: "Funkadelic idea, my brotha, I'm down with that script. Yeahahahahah! Turn it up!!!"
Tino: "Yes! I think that's a great idea and I will do whatever I can to fight for Bradley's sibling idea - or my real name's not Constantino Diaz Arce!"
MLSnet.com Editor: "OK boys, what else?"
Bradley: "I heard Stern John punched a guy in a T&T national team game the other day. Can you believe it? I've got 11 reasons why I can't. No. 11 ..."
Tino: "Yikes, Stern must be on the 'WWDD?' anger management program -- you know -- 'What Would Dema Do?' Hmmm, making fun of Kovalenko's temper. That's kinda funny. I've never done that before, may have to try it in my column sometime."
Hard C: "Who cares about Stern John? The Crew are doing fine without him. Now Avery John, that is the guy we should be talking about. Think of how he and Dazza will link up at The Big Razor ..."
Waldo: "Listen guys, I gotta run. I did two ESPN2 games last weekend and I gotta go buy a power-scrubber to get all this makeup off."
Lalas: "Yes! Power Scrubber! Sweet name for a band!"
And it pretty much usually goes downhill from there. OK, maybe "The Columnists" on the MLSnet.com Radio Network isn't the greatest idea in the world ...
THE NEWS: I called up Jason Kreis in the airport just before the Burn's flight to Kansas City last weekend. He said he was jonesing big time to get back in the lineup. I suggested he pay an airport worker to run Eddie Johnson or Bobby Rhine over with those little carts. You know, one driver just "forgets" to do that loud beeping thing and boom! Kreis is starting again. We had a good laugh.
TCS SAYS: Then, early in the game Rhine goes down injured after getting whacked by a K.C. player. Who comes on? None other than Jason Kreis. Uh, Jason, you know I was kidding about that Gillooly-type strategy, right? Jason?
THE NEWS: FIFA (finally gets it right and) reverses its silly decision to dock The Cameroon six World Cup qualifying points as a punishment for wearing the one-piece uniforms at the African Nations Cup.
TCS SAYS: In response to the reversal, Blatter was quoted as saying "We have done something incredible." FIFA doing the right thing? Incredible is exactly the word I would use, as well.
GRAB A COLD BUD (OR AQUAFINA) AND PUT YER FEET UP:
WHAT I'LL BE WATCHING:
Saturday: CRYSTAL PALACE-WEST HAM UNITED (10 a.m. ET on PPV): There is no other game on this weekend you need to know about except the English First Division Playoff Final. There is nothing else going on this weekend that you need to do. This weekend is about one thing: destiny. It is about little Crystal Palace from South London -- one that backed into the playoffs thanks to a last-minute goal in another game on the final day of the season -- now playing for a spot in the Premier League next season. A chance to battle the Arsenals and Manchester Uniteds. A chance at the big Sky Sports money. A chance for me to see them play on Fox Sports World.
More likely, a chance to be relegated back down by Christmas.
Anyway, I was all set to book my ticket to Wales for the big game this weekend, but the Queen of the Palace made me plunk down $500 to ... wait for it ... get a picture framed. Apparently it was from our honeymoon or something like that. C'mon! I was on the honeymoon, I remember what it looked like! I had plans for that $500!
Oh well, cheerio, trip budget. Ah, married life. Glad I slave over the computer all day to bring home the bacon. Just hope she let's me swing the $20 for the PPV. Who knows, might have to spend it on something else excessive, like food for the Palace Pooch ... speaking of people who should get a job.
FOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY:
I know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy ... so every week TCS is gonna put a little action on the action, if you know what I'm talkin' about. Each week in this space we'll track how last week went and what's on the books, so to speak, for the upcoming week.
LAST WEEK: Buddy of mine and his missus are walking into a restaurant out here last weekend, and out walks Julia Child. Now we all know I can't predict who's gonna win a soccer game to save my life, but I'd feel pretty good about my chances that a good meal was forthcoming if Julia Child had just eaten there.
PS: I lost another buck-fifty last week.
CURRENT BANK: -650
THIS WEEK: Get rich quick scheme: take my picks and bet the opposite. Bet now. Bet a lot. 100 each on Metro over K.C. and L.A. over my Burn.
MLSNET.com COLUMNIST LOCKS OF THE WEEK: OK, you guys asked for it, so now you're getting it -- every week the MLSnet columnists are going to pick one lock of the week and we'll keep a running tally to see who actually knows what they are talking about. Late word is that The Commish was nice enough to offer a brand new Honda to the winner.
LAST WEEK: Hard C the only winner with the Quakes in the Cali Derby.
Hard C: Chicago over Colorado
Tino: Metro over Kansas City
Lalas: Columbus over San Jose
The Clean Sheet runs each Thursday on MLSnet.com. Views and opinions expressed in this column views and opinions are the author's, and not necessarily those of Major League Soccer or its clubs.