BOG Tea Leaves: Week Twenty Six

IMG_7735

Thrice the Iron Lion roared.
Thrice and once the Hedge Don snored.
Twitter cries, ’tis time, ’tis time.
Round about the league we go.

Round about the league we go.
If you don’t know now you know.
If you’re good or if you blow.
Days and weeks now naught and eight.
Sell the house and keep the car.
Do or die and ride the playoffs far.

Double, double toil and trouble.
Who lifts the cup from out this rubble?

WARNING: HAIKU EDITION

Sunday, September 7

Columbus Crew vs. Club Deportivo Chivas United States of America #CLBvCHV

A yellow sub dream.
Cream not risen to the top.
A thing to tell none.
1-0 Crew

New England Revolution vs. Chicago Fire #NEvCHI

King of the drawing.
Yearning for deliverance.
Severed and dying.
2-0 Revolution

Saturday, September 6

Toronto Football Club vs. Philadelphia Union #TORvPHI

Race for some playoffs.
Look to payoff investors.
Cracks in parity.
2-1 Union

Red Bull New York vs. Sporting Kansas City #NYvSKC

Legend’s ornery.
BWP a scoring dream.
But are they any good?
3-2 Red Bull

Houston Dynamo vs. Impact de Montreal #HOUvMTL

Snore fest and dumbest.
Matches made in hell’s boredom.
Tune in/out drop dead.
1-1 DRAW

Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club vs. District of Columbia United #VANvDC

Van parked in the North.
Capitol is burning bright.
Forget night again.
3-1 United

Real Salt Lake vs. Football Club Dallas #RSLvDAL

A lake of salt tears.
Never playing on Sunday.
Inherit the meek.
2-2 DRAW

Friday, September 5

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids #LAvCOL

Landy Cakes on fire.
Vacations are for closers.
Retirement OUT.
3-1 Galaxy

Wednesday, September 3

Philadelphia Union vs. Toronto Football Club #PHIvTOR

A snake or soft serve,
Both coiled ready to bite,
The decadent mouse.
2-1 Union

New England Revolution vs. Sporting Kansas City #NEvSKC

Revolution? Nein.
Sporting up and Sporting down.
Revelation, yes.
2-0 Revolution

Club Deportivo Chivas United States of America vs. Seattle Sounders Football Club #CHVvSEA

Too much is to hope.
The rank and vile of excess
Runs into the river.
1-1 DRAW

The Summer of This Content: Official Match Statement for Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. The Mighty PTFC

Villafaña gonna knock you down. (PHOTO:Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Villafaña gonna knock you down. (PHOTO:Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Back Office
Beneath Providence Park
Rose City, Cascadia

Official Match Statement VANvPOR  League Match

Dear Major League Soccer,

The dog days of summer are fleeting memories in the recesses of our heat muddled minds. For the last month I’ve sweated through matches, through work, through sleepless nights of tangled sheets and box fans blasting the warm air across our restless bodies, and creating wind tunnels in the empty cavern between our distancing bodies.

I step outside and time slows down, my freckles get larger, and from a distance of 20-25 feet the lobster glow of my sunburned skin appears a supple bronze to the untrained eye. I step inside and shadows are washed out, the corners thick with stale warmth. I want to take a cold shower but instead can barely manage a nap. Is inside hotter than outside? Is the shade of a tree with a whispering breeze cooler than the cold, dead cement floor of the basement with the hum of a water heater? Will the heat never end?

Will this season ever improve?

Do you even love me anymore? Did you ever?

In a delirium of grief I stumbled through life last week. Numb from the sting of a thrashing by our foes. A match where we left our pride on the pitch and scuffed home to lick our hearts. Hope can’t be lost if it never was found and our wins against lesser opponents were hardly the building blocks of what this club could hope to achieve this campaign but on the horizon of our dejected expectations was still the reality that playoffs were something in which still to believe.

Against Vancouver we had a chance to make a statement. It’s not that Vancouver is even good: they aren’t. The best-case-scenario was a win and a squeaky shuffle above the red line at Vancouver’s expense. A draw wasn’t the worst either. A loss would be a devastating blow to the faint glow of hope we each have hidden in the back corner of our underwear drawers.

The result wasn’t just an emphatic and important win, it was an utterly calculating and precise dismantling of an opponent from tactical execution to individual performance.

The result was the result of a season of discontent. The final bubbling climax of a rising potential. The unbridled explosion of glistening expectation. A shower of hope after a summer of dread.

The result was a testament. It was a sermon on the system. It was a lifting gospel delivered amongst heathens expounding the virtues of a system based on control and explosive individual creativity.

The result was Timbers and if you didn’t get the memo we are going to make your stupid and inequitable MLS Cup Playoffs and you can go fuck yourself.

It started with the lineup and Porter going with youth and action on the wings of the defense. Ridgewell helmed the back line with Kah appearing as he always has. A wild animal on challenging, loose with possession, average with passing, but bringing a fundamental fatherly aspect and familial camaraderie to a team that at times has looked like a group of orphans trying to clean chimneys with coat hangers. He’ll throw you down and massage your legs and then ruin your moment on TV after the final whistle. He’ll always be there for us even when he’s not there for the ball. Ridgy and Kah proved up to the task of cleaning the sheets with clearances and tackles.

Villafaña on the left and he’s earned back a starting role. He’s patient with his bursts down the line, communicative with his wingmates up top, and courageous on tackling even if he needs to get a little faster. And although I was nervous every minute that Powell was on the pitch, he was essential, not only for the goal, but in his constant activity spreading the Vancouver defense like a canvas on which Valeri and Nagbe could create art.

With Nagbe’s speed and Valeri’s grace chances were created through the night and rhythms were danced to in the second half. Still our Maestro is seen flicking notes onto tone-deaf ears with an errant pass or mistimed run, but the riffs where he thumps his will through masses of flesh and rolls into ambient space without a care in the world only to relinquish his brush to stroke the genius of others. Subtly he unlocks Nagbe and Nagbe and his sugary foot strafed the Vancouver squad with 51/52 passes obliterating them with pops and locks and pivots and spins and bursts of awesome that left ankles swollen and prides adrift. His ball to Wallace was a hot knife through butter and Wallace capped a hard-working night with the slot into the corner.

Chara and Johnson worked the pivot like never before and in the waning moments of the match were the fulcrum of a minute and a half of ball possession that even had the Vancouver crowd yelling, “Ole!” For the second straight match Porter’s second half subs proved tactically correct and Mikey shined in his natural RB position and delivered one of his cheeky ground chip crosses that look painful until Urutti slams in his laser nearly peeling the GK’s face from his skull.

You want stats? We won them all. You want reasons? We are the better team.

But our season? Well, it seems like it’s just getting started. Thanks to your playoff structure that is an entirely okay thing.

Love,

BOG

BOG Tea Leaves: Week Twenty Three

IMG_7735

Thrice the Iron Lion roared.
Thrice and once the Hedge Don snored.
Twitter cries, ’tis time, ’tis time.
Round about the league we go.

Round about the league we go.
The water is rising the world keeps turning.
The plane is crashing the building is burning.
Days and weeks now ten and two.
Still are you searching for answer and meaning.
There is no hiding from chance and believing.

Double, double toil and trouble.
Who lifts the cup from out this rubble?

Friday, August 15

Houstong Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union #HOUvPHI

Orange bruisers.
Two tone losers.
Pick a poison.
Dying choosers.
Find a way.
To pick and play.
Poach a goal.
And win the day.
1-0 Dynamo

Saturday, August 16

Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders Football Club #RSLvSEA

Ticky talky.
Walk the walky.
No one’s fault.
Your pitch is sloppy.
One fish gut fish.
First course of dish.
Tell me why.
Your pitch is shellfish.
1-1 DRAW

Impact de Montreal vs. Chicago Fire #MTLvCHI

Shit on fire.
Stomped with ire.
A flaming bag.
A flat back tire.
Montreal is meek.
The Fire reek.
A sinking boat.
It’s not their week.
2-1 Impact

Columbus Crew vs. Los Angeles Galaxy #CLBvLA

Honor Landy.
Make him randy.
Do not cuss.
And give him candy.
Robbie’s keen.
You know who I mean.
The sneaky bastard.
With a brain of beans.
3-0 Galaxy

Sporting Kansas City vs. Toronto Football Club #SKCvTOR

Cracked up mayor.
Hyped up player.
From the north.
Where the cod is fair.
In the maw.
Of Southern drawl.
A cauldron simmers.
But couldn’t boil.
3-2 Toronto

Club Deportivo Chivas United States of America vs. Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club #CHVvVAN

Deja vu.
A shitty view.
An empty stand.
No fans to boo.
A dying side.
Nowhere to hide.
Too bad for us.
Caps tan that hide.
2-0 Whitecaps

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Football Club Dallas #SJvDAL

A dash of spite.
Where nothing’s right.
And ghouls and ghosts.
Come out at night.
Crash and flame.
A tired game.
Of bully trolls.
Who have no shame.
0-0 DRAW

Sunday, August 17

District of Columbia United vs. Colorado Rapids #DCvCOL

In a ruin.
A dream pursuing.
To turn the ship.
Of the dread ensuing.
Eastern creepers.
Western sleepers.
United we stand.
Or poke out your own peepers.
3-1 United

Papa Do Preach: Official Match Statement for The Mighty PTFC vs. Club Deportivo Chivas USA

Ladies and gentlemen, the new owner of Chivas USA, Diego Valeri. (PHOTO: Meg Williams - Portland Timbers)

Ladies and gentlemen, the new owner of Chivas USA, Diego Valeri. (PHOTO: Meg Williams – Portland Timbers)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Back Office
Beneath Providence Park
Rose City, Cascadia

Official Match Statement PORvCHV  League Match

Dear Major League Soccer,

They say that if you love something you have to set it free and absence makes the heart grow stronger and if it’s meant to be then whatever happens happens.

They also say to not count your hens before they hatch lest you be judged for putting the wheel before the cart before the horse.

And let us never forget the age old adage of not seeing the forest to spite your face and throwing the bathwater out with the trees.

But you know what I always say: If you can’t say something nice, try sometimes to love the one you’re with.

I know that somewhere along the circuitous groove of human emotion something gets lost in the translation. And I know the years of our puppy love, the self destructive tendencies, and the delicate sabotage of the fabric of our relationship has taken it’s toll on our very nature. The soulless dinners across a table larger than some countries, as the free range beeswax candles flickered depressingly and a midsummer thunderstorm clapped in applause at our gloom from just outside the seemingly bad tempered bay window glass. And the more I expected you to open up the more I realized you were expecting steak and not fish. The more I expected you to care the more I realized you expected everything in return for your nothing.

The more things stayed the same, the more they changed.

Expectation is a terrible drug, almost as bad as whatever the newest synthetic bath salt is that will turn you into a crocodile, and its only remedy is adaption. It’s not thumbs we should be thankful for it’s the simple ability to manage our expectations. To adapt our perceptions to the current now. To put the memory of the past and the possibility of the future into a nicely wrapped and manageable unit of the present moment.

This is how I stay sane during the maddening silence of our meals. I make up rules in my mind as your stab carelessly at your peas. I award points for chewing style as you nibble on your kale. I’ve had three consecutive hat-tricks of beer in dinners where we have chicken and an orange vegetable. Your fork has been suspended multiple times for unsporting pasta transport and I’ve noticed you have a tendency to sub your spoon early and you use your knife on late dinner pork chops. And even I am quite astonished that my imaginary ref allows me to hurl, “Go fuck yourself! Go fuck yourself!” at you over and over in my mind. What a homer, am I right?

Currently I’m top of the two person table and undefeated at dinner. And you’re making up your own rules all day so you can still go fuck yourself.

There is an Argentine proverb that a learned man is twice born. There is now a Portland proverb the hell hath no fury like a Papa scorned. Apparently he now rises in dire times of Chivas from the ashes of a Phoenix and cleans the sheets and pushes O’Rourke to right back. He pairs nicely with a fine Ridgy and likes to strafe the center half line with incomplete passes in an honest attempt to dance the domingadas. He may never master the subtle nuance of one of the game’s most simplest of skills, but I’ll take 7 bad passes in our own half, 68% passing accuracy, the fact he wins nearly all his aerial challenges, and is sniffing around the goal on attacking corners like he has something to prove and I’ll put it in my pipe and take it to bank and lock it in an expectation safety box hoping that in a week’s time it will have adjusted to inflation and not to temptation.

We’ve had two clean sheets this year. Both against Chivas. One away. One at home. They both included Papa at CB and O’Rourke at RB. If I was an alchemist I’d replicate that formula on a Ricketts substrate and keep adding ingredients until it turned to green and gold. With Ridgewell as a catalyst our back line has become emboldened. The chemistry is bubbling. The back line is getting an identity. Although O’Rourke has been honorable, apt, courageous, and fuck if he’s not versatile, and although Mikey works hard for his money and is obviously trying to improve his service into the box, a defense needs to start with a wall. And although I’m jumping the pun here I think the Notorious Wall of Timbers has been born and Big Papa and Ridgy Smalls are the foundation of the Iron Lion’s keep.

You could end an undefeated season and be called invincible on the back of a season’s worth of clean sheets and you’d still lay in bed at night looking at your posters with the dread of unfulfillment. Defense can’t win you championships anymore than not scoring more than your opponent can. There must be balance. With Ying there must be Tang. What goes down was once up. You say potato and I say balance. Defend, play the ball through the midfield, let the pivot teeter-totter the action from defending to attacking, let balance come through the consistent motion of style. And then let our attacking players do whatever their diabolically creative minds can conjure.

I don’t even know if Valeri is real anymore. Like a myth he has suddenly risen in our collective consciousness. His soft words sing at us of the open grasslands outside Buenos Aires. His supple caress of the ball speaks of a volume of understanding and an incredible gift displayed as physical art. He’s our maestro but he also just wants to jam with the band. He riffs through defenders and changes the key. Before you know it he’s dropping off the ball for a teammate to solo that he hinted at two progressions ago. The strings he pulls are made of the filaments of imagination and if he scores many more of his delicious long range zingers, I may have to liquidate my expectations and adapt to being constantly amazed at the shit this alleged human man creates.

Whether it’s Chara blinding you with his pace and turning interceptions inside out with a single touch that flips the switch of momentum or if it’s Will wildly whirling into a challenge and then running the ball in circles until an outlet appears, one thing is clear: The pivot works better when it can trust the wall behind it. And can we agree that regardless of how many pouty moments of upset La Gata has, he works tirelessly off the ball to impose his identity on the flow of the match and he and Valeri were trying cheeky passes and obtuse triangles all night long that were both perplexing and enticing. Along with the resurrection of our One True Rod they spread wonder and joy and Adi held the ball up along with the world on his shoulders and on the third tap his poke found Rodney and Rodney found his touch.

This was a total team performance of individual accomplishments, each player the corner pieces of a circular puzzle that has no end. I expect us to build from this quality.

They say the definition of insanity is doing a different thing every time and expecting the same result.

I say you crazy.

Love,

BOG

BOG Tea Leaves: Week Twenty Two

remote_image_1328375191

Thrice the Iron Lion roared.
Thrice and once the Hedge Don snored.
Twitter cries, ’tis time, ’tis time.
Round about the league we go.

Round about the league we go.
The AllStar game is one and done.
The Allstars won and the week was fun.
Days and weeks now ten and three.
The sun is setting on hopes and dreams.
The end is nearing to justify the memes.

Double, double toil and trouble.
Who lifts the cup from out this rubble?

Sunday, August 10

Chicago Fire vs. Red Bull New York #CHIvNY

They couldn’t start a fire if they tried.
It’s become apparent Magic Michael lied.
He’s not as good as when he was got.
He’s not as good as a demon begot.
Bradley Wright to right the Shipp.
Harrison don’t let shit slip.
Henry does what and when he wants.
Cahill tries but only fronts.
3-1 Red Bull

Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club vs. Sporting Kansas City #VANvSKC

No more drawing matches on end.
Drawing lines in sand instead.
It’s make or break or brake and shake.
Or flop around like you’re a snake.
A call or two could flip this match.
A point for both is two points to snatch.
Disappoint can linger strong.
Especially when tactics go wrong.
2-1 Sporting

Seattle Sounders Football Club vs. Houston Dynamo #SEAvHOU

Bottom dwellers and soulless sellers.
Fortune cookies and Jumbotron tellers.
Give a wink and take a drink.
Flush your deuce in the kitchen sink.
Find a chink inside the Clink.
And show the world the missing link.
Scalp the top with antipop.
Drop the contenders like it’s hot.
2-1 Dynamo

Saturday, August 9

Philadelphia Union vs. Impact de Montreal #PHIvMTL

Top of the bottom and the bottom of the top.
Two good teams are teams these are not.
Wiffle waffle and lose your head.
Top the hat to the coach’s dread.
New heads turn the tide around.
Old heads run the ship aground.
The ball is round both teams are bad.
And in the end we’ll all be sad.
1-1 DRAW

Columbus Crew vs. Toronto Football Club #CLBvTOR

This is as big as an East match can get.
A struggling team vs. a squad of vets.
A squad of vets with too much to lose.
Toronto’s team hangs on threads of a bruise.
Lose one then lose all and more.
Be Crew yellow and the window snores.
You can’t have s’mores when you ain’t got none.
You can’t be that yellow and still have fun.
3-1 Toronto

Football Club Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids #DALvCOL

Dallas killed Jr and more.
Stole Pareja and became a bore.
Gorged on fatty heads of ego.
Enlarged and mile high crescendo.
Who’s the team you wish you hate.
Who’s the team to reach up too late.
Measure cups of fatty acids.
Measure heaps of offensive flaccids.
2-2 DRAW

Real Salt Lake vs. District of Columbia United #RSLvDC

Real salty or united mess.
A game of footy or a game of chess.
A diamond roughage and clingy coach.
A climatologists greatest joke.
Here we win or here we lose.
The Eastern masses here to choose.
A biggest swing from worst to best.
A sigh of relief from Olsen’s breast.
2-1 United

Friday, August 8

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes #LAvSJ

A Calif Classic in classic Carson.
San Jose rebranded by a visual arson.
LA reaching a form once forgotten.
Lenhart still acting like a child begotten.
Children they come and children they go.
Like Robbie Keane’s clumsy somersault roll.
And the ruffle of Landy Cakes’ belly fold.
Like Wondow’s slick back fluff kick gets old.
2-0 Galaxy

The Day They Shot a Hole in the Jesus Egg: Official Match Statement for Los Angeles Galaxy vs. The Mighty PTFC

From the opening group pic you could tell we were having trouble maintaining our shape. (PHOTO: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)

From the opening group pic you get tell we were having trouble maintaining our shape. (PHOTO: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Back Office
Beneath Providence Park
Rose City, Cascadia

Official Match Statement LAvPOR League Match

 

Dear Major League Soccer,

Press play. Flaming Lips lyrics in italics.

*I was born the day they shot JFK*

This moment was born the day they shot Escobar.

His dreams were shattered and scattered in the jagged moments of tragedy. Our dreams of being a footballing nation were taking a giant baby step towards legitimacy on the coattails of World Cup ’94 and the foundation for MLS was being built on the grave of the old NASL before Andres was even laid to rest a lifetime too soon.

*The way you look at me sucks me down the sidewalk*

The way you look at this league sucks us down the gangplank. Here our city is, on the cusp of hosting the league’s marquee exhibition match in the AllStar Game, awash in the spirit of football and transformed into a visceral translation of what it means to be Soccer City USA and we are playing away in LA on a Saturday morning. This was our first match in an August that gives a new and contagious definition to the term “congested.” We’ll play a match every four and a half days this month. Some clubs are playing six point matches. Some clubs are traveling the entire country to play one point matches versus demonstrably inferior opponents from another conference. Some clubs are playing meaningless exhibitions against disinterested European clubs as someone, somewhere, masturbates in a pile of someone else’s money.

*Somebody please tell this machine I’m not a machine*

Somebody please tell this league it’s not a league. A league would be a consortium of independent and autonomous entities working to improve the excellence of football on the domestic front while still being able to strive for success in the Trophy Cabinet. A league is of extraordinary gentlemen. A league is not a shadowy group of investors dressed as ordinary men. A league is not an ever-expanding market of franchises that can each be manipulated and interfered with whenever a rule is changed or made up or never even was a thing. A league is not a portfolio. A league is not MLS.

*My hands are in the air
And that’s where they always are
You’re fucked if you do, and you’re fucked if you don’t
Five stop mother superior rain*

I stopped carrying about the rules I knew you didn’t have, that you’d end up changing once before we see them and once when our backs are turned, before it was cool. Honestly, I had given up on you before we’d even given ourselves to you. Timbers are MLS now and we can never go back. We’re fucked if we do, we’d have been fucked if we didn’t, and you’ll go fuck yourself either way.

*I was born the day they shot John Lennon’s brain*

This season was born the day they got Porter’s brain. A sophomore slump of senior proportions that is the result of nearly nothing going our way. Most of MLS spent 2013 scrambling to learn how to play football in this new and exciting way that involves tactical acumen and delicately woven lineups with the proper balance of personality, ability, and creativity. The league got better and our defense got worse and the near invisible trickle of distrust began to wear away at our midfield’s ability to pivot from defense to attack and attack to defense. A rotating cast of scallywags and riffraff has given our back line the security and awkward personal space of a hostel but with none of the good drugs. Nagbe being fouled thousands of times in his sleep and hundreds of times on the pitch has worn him down and left a hole on the team sheet we had no idea was even there let alone was a gaping chasm where our offensive drive used to be. Then LA wiped their shitty field with us. And our midfield and wingbacks looked lazy and ineffectual and would have been sent to their rooms with no supper if discipline was a thing the coaching staff was into.

*And all my smiles are gettin’ in the hate generation’s way*

But even after what might be the worst match I’ve seen under Porter I can’t help but think we still can make a go at this playoff thing. And even after getting too whiskey drunk before noon to root for the lads, I still made it the river and swam in the water and forgot about football and pain and loss. And even after the remaining weekend’s fixtures were sorted by less than desirable results I still found myself caught up in the hype machine of introducing international club football to Portland and Portland to international club football and I couldn’t help but enjoy the fact that the sport I love played by the team I love is being showcased in the city I live and love.

*Tell ‘em I’m gonna go out
shoot somebody in the mouth first thing tomorrow*

I’ve been shooting my mouth off about Papa since before he was ostracized and came back into the lineup only to play the opening chords of his redemption song before we shot him in the foot. And now he lies fallow on the bench and his domingadas grows rusty and our back line seems not a day more stable than a first preseason game. I don’t the answer other than this is not it. How many options are there on this multiple choice riddle at CB? How many more hearts must break before a clean sheet hugs us to say it’s okay?

*My hands are in the air
And that’s where they always are
You’re fucked if you do, and you’re fucked if you don’t
Five stop mother superior rain*

As a supporter our options are simple. Jump and clap and sing. Root for the boys in green. Tetris for the closers. Go up to the city with friends now and shake the gates of hell. Just enjoy what you do. Love the game. Love the Timbers. And when three points aren’t the reward on the day and malicious and greedy league uses your town as an Expo for its product line, show up for Team, Town, and TA and try to enjoy the football coursing through the city.

*I was born the day they shot a hole in the Jesus egg*

I was born the year Thatcher shot some Argentinians down. Where the stubborn and unwavering fist of conservative imperialism was still weighing heavy on the classical regimes of Europe as the Cold War dampened. It was pointless, tragic, and unnecessary. It was a stubborn move by a generation out of touch. An unwillingness to let things be what they are and always have been, leading to an unwavering desire to make up the rules under the context of an invasion and occupation. This isn’t the Falklands and it isn’t a war but you better keep your grubby little marketing penis out of Portland’s artisanal Argentine mashed potatoes. You have to let us be what we are and always have been, not what you want us to be (a USMNT/FIFA marketing campaign.)

*Now the rain, it’s all so random
What does free will have to do with it at all?*

The results haven’t gone our way. We haven’t gone the right way. But I have a strange and mysterious suspicion that this is just the way. If adversity wasn’t the building blocks for all the world’s greatest changes than what is? From evolution on up the GMO food chain it is competition that strives for the next best upgrade. On paper, it’s simple, improve upon these metrics and indicators and the odds begin to compute in your favor. In the heart and mind it’s the challenge of maintaining hope and support against all the odds because, in the end, this season’s life is out of our hands and might only be remembered one day by the residuals of memory imprinted by the heart and mind. Support to support and not to win.

*And you can’t cry, but
It really don’t matter, y’end up cryin’ anyway*

If you truly love this beautiful game that grafts itself onto the path of life, you’ll end up crying every type of tear known in the scientific community. Tears of joy. Tears of anger. Tears of anguish. Tears of shame. Tears of raw unadulterated and inexplicable emotional regurgitation. Tears of contentment. Tears of sadness. And in your case: Tears of a clown.

*My hands are in the air
And that’s where they always are
You’re fucked if you do, and you’re fucked if you don’t*

Five stop mother superior,

BOG

NOA to Z: Player Ratings for Climbing Higher Up the Magic Table Mountain (MTLvPOR)

Jack with the slow blink. (PHOTO: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

Jack with the slow blink. (PHOTO: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

After each match, we’ll share thematic play(on-words)er ratings. Some words are words. Some words are magic. Some words shouldn’t be seen by anyone. Take it up with the OED if you can’t decide which word is what. 

We’re going high, high, high, high up magic mountain.

We’re going high, high, high, and we’re never coming down.

Especially not with the latest PTFC drugs of the future (and the present and the past … oh shit, am I still rolling?).

Belly up and pick your poison.

Impact de Montréal vs. The Mighty PTFC  3-2  win

GK Ricketts 2Ricketts2Paradise

One part ganj, two parts heart, and then one other part consisting of baby’s tears of joy that can only be extracted once the tots been forced to watch Donavan’s palm saves on repeat. Lasts long time.

D Harrington Mo’ diamonds

Lather into soapy mess and use horse hair to liberally apply it to skin. Once it dries, you’ll be sparkling on the right side or the left. Returns you to previously high run of play, if only in the mind.

D O’Rourke Irish Conch

Some conch is great, some conch is spoiled. But with Irish Conch, you can’t really tell until you’ve already swallowed it whole. Slows you down, has you on edge and a little stabby, and makes decision-making less than stellar.

D Ridgwell DiddyDumDiddyDoo

Do you diddy? Yes, yes you do. 

Especially on the Las Vegas dance floor when you don’t want your legs to stop moving. Or on the back line where you need to convince folk you signify stability.

Yes, yes you do.

D Jewsbury JuiceBerry 3000

Makes legs feel like they’ve run for 300 games and they could run for 3000 more. Joplinites enjoy their’s deep-fried.

M Chara Lion-cub blood

Rarest of the PTFC drugs available on the market. Rub on lips before smiling to turn standard smile into Joker-esque perma-smile. Side effects also include perma-semi.

M Valeri River water

Just a drop on the tongue keeps you rolling week after week. Attractiveness transforms you, in both looks and vocation. For higher intensity, freeze into ice cubes and drink with Argentine Fernet.

M Johnson Mental-X

The next generation of Adderall. Extreme concentration and focus. When you come down, you seem like a snotty high-school senior picking on third-grader. Be sure to apologize to loved ones beforehand.

F Nagbe D’lish

As sweet to lips as to the eye. Melts minds and freezes you to the ground as others run around you with tomfoolerish smirks. 

F Fernandez Cat scratch

Short bursts of moving vertically no matter what you were previously doing. High use in the food and beverage industry as well as the professional speed walking industry. Take with milk to enhance potency. 

F Urruti Probing

The drug of the future that changes the world’s definition of probe. Throw out aliens and throw in a mixture of cocaine, liquefied adrenaline, horseradish, and hair dye (who knew?!?). Side effects include expertise in archery.

F Adi (‘72) Stax

Instantaneous paranoia with round objects flying in the air toward you as if you had to respond to every single one. Can leave you shell-shocked and rather goal hungry.

M Wallace (‘79) Almighty Rod

And lo, the glory of the left foot shone round about them, and opposing defenders were sore afraid. Also known as “second-coming.” Changes lives with the same swift hand that costs you friends.

Watch out for cults.

M Zemanski (‘87) Zupplies!

Popular at middle-age birthday parties. Just when you didn’t think it would hit you—BAM—comes in and runs your insides to death for six minutes straight. Metamucil takes away the morning-after edge.