Friday, September 11

On Deals

Hey, Argentina, I thought we had an agreement. I was going to move to a country where they care about soccer, and you were going to play in the 2010 World Cup - and play well. This is not only embarrassing, I'm feeling totally ripped off. For those uninitiated, Argentina has never missed a world cup, but after losing to Brazil and Paraguay in succession this week, they have currently positioned themselves out of the tournament. There are two games remaining, but Argentina does not control its own destiny. They have to win them both and hope that Ecuador loses one.

They boast one of the two best players on the planet and a coach who was one of the greatest of all time. But this is not a team. Every player seems reluctant to give up the ball. Maybe they're all so good they think they can win games themselves. but this isn't working. It's easy for people to blame Diego Maradona, and it's clear that he's not helping the team win. But these problems existed before he arrived.
A man at the end of his tenure...?
As I said, I feel cheated. There's still an outside chance that FIFA will make some kind of exception or that Argentina can make its way in via the open slot. But at this point, nobody in this country has any confidence that such a thing will happen. They're beyond crestfallen. They're disgusted.
...this guy thinks so.
Michigan's another story. We had our own agreement. There would be ups and downs in equal measure, but the team would always be at least pretty good and I would definitely have a game to watch in January. Last year, well, we all know what happened. Then again, I'm the one who moved away. For me to whine any more about 2008 is like complaining that the girl you dumped is dating some cheesy schmo. But if we're talking about disgusted fans, it's hard not to think about what happened last year.

But then this happened:

And then this:

And suddenly... we got us a football team again. I'm tempted to check my expectations, thinking about the miracle against Wisconsin last year. It's so hard to tell early in the season what is real and what is not. That result turned out to be decidedly not real. Those who said Michigan was lucky to win were correct. And Wisconsin soon proved to be a team somewhere between mediocre and lousy.

But last week, the excitement returned. As a Michigan fan, you expect such moments. You've been promised them over the years. You get to thinking you deserve them, and maybe you do. Relief quickly turned to joy and anticipation for the next game.

Part of the deal is that Michigan never rolls over against Notre Dame. I don't think the Irish have ever blown us out, at least not in the last fifteen years. The Notre Dame fans I talk to think that they're going to cruise through this game, but that's par for the course in South Bend. Overconfidence goes with the territory. That said, they looked pretty impressive against Nevada.

I've lost all hope for Argentina. Our deal is broken. But then again, if Michigan wins tomorrow, it's clear that the fan contract is wholly renewed. There's still time for Argentina to get their act together, though I'm not ready to enter any pact with Maradona still in charge. Either way, he's likely gone. I just hope that Michigan sends Charlie Weis to join him in early retirement. VAMOS AZUL!


Anonymous said...

Y esta noche Michigan ya esta vivito y coleando. Vayamos azul!!! El viejo.

Anonymous said...

Y esta noche Michigan ya esta vivito y coleando. Vayamos azul!!! El viejo.

Belu said...

Unfortunately, I have to correct you: there were some years in which Argentina missed a World Cup, just a few though... Brazil is the only country that never missed one :-(

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