when i was 15 i may or may not have gotten into some trouble. over the ringing in my ears left by the earlier scolding from my ma, my dad determined to tell me something his dad said to him, and i am sure my great-grandfather, napoleon, told him. he said: there are rules in this world and people have to follow them, regardless of how politically connected their old man might be. so, it should not surprise the readers of this blog when i tell you that i expected the major league soccer disciplinary committee to drop the ruling on old hank paulson’s kid. yet again, proving true teddy roosevelt’s saying
no man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it.
and with that: merritt has been asked to pay $25k for his little temper tantrum on the sidelines, saturday night. no ronald reagan pardon. no chappaquiddick suspended sentence for murdering the reputation of an impish referee. nope. merritt has been fined and merritt has to pay.
when the drama happened on saturday it was the dreams twatter was made for. the explosion of tweets congratulating merritt or calling him an idiot or asking him to resign or calling him a ridiculous fanboy or suspending belief that the owner did what 20k fans all wanted to do all collided on the twatterverse. as i read the twats i was left with a feeling that people may not really get it. however, one thing was certain–merritt knew exactly what he had done. following his invective and pejorative laced on-field tirade (i was not on the pitch, but that is what i assume happened–mainly because that is what would have happened had i the opportunity to discuss a few things with michael kennedy) merritt took to the twatterverse to perform a preemptive mea culpa, expressing how difficult a job officiating can be and that we should all respect that burden. reading those messages twatted to the broad masses, i could not help but compare them to the insincere apologies of a little boy after being forced by his parents to apologize to his sister for pulling hair. you know, the classic–i really did not mean to go onto the pitch and call that ref a f*****g c**t.
merritt may be a supporter of the timbers. he may be the number one fan of the timbers. but most importantly he is the owner of the timbers. and with that distinction comes a certain responsibility to act with some restraint. i completely applaud his efforts to bring awareness to the quality of officiating currently suffered by teams and fans of major league soccer. this weekend’s match was not the first incident of controversy involving officiating this season, but the controversy was exacerbated by the owner’s on field antics. unfortunately, by confronting michael kennedy and crew on the pitch merrritt has now made a spectacle of himself and not the underlying issues that caused his tantrum. rather than discussing the incompetence of michael kennedy and his two linesmen in context of the overall levels of major league soccer officiating and how that low level increasingly affects the validity of the league as a whole, we are talking merritt.
i get that he was upset. to hear the jw that night, everyone was upset and the viewing audience certainly took that opinion to bed with them. but when i am upset with people, through experience, i know that i cannot run up to them and clobber them in the grille. though i may want to, it has its repercussions. merritt’s rash response to the officials, though justified, could have the unintended result of losing the ear of the don on this issue. rather than going on the pitch, perhaps merritt could have pulled himself away from twatter and used his little iphone 5 to make an inquiry with the don. but that option is likely over. now, when hank’s kid goes snivelling to the don, asking what he can do to get a penalty called in favor of the timbers, the don will say “you can act like a man! is this what you have become? a major league finnochio that cries like a woman?!”
and that is what this comes down to. merritt thinks his team has been hard done by the officials who have failed to award the timbers a penalty all season. perhaps his sense of entitlement has affected his ability to understand the game–penalties are not a guarantee, nor are they a right. penalties should only be awarded only when they have been earned. taking a look at the season so far, i cannot recall a single instant when a call for a penalty was actually warranted. the only time i seem to recall even a close call was diego going to pitch in his last match before injury. even then, it was a lark. the reality is that the timbers fail to get into the box with any real scoring chance. and that comes from the failure of the front office to obtain a creative player who can make the passes necessary to set teammates loose into positions where being clobbered by some defensive goon may be a possibility. perhaps rather than moaning about the lack of penalty kicks he should start bemoaning the players he has consented to stock the side with.
i do appreciate having an owner who cares. when they are invested they do what it takes to win. usually. but merritt’s passion is like blind rage–he is often unable to see the real issues that surround his side. i am not going to enter a discussion of the idiot ginger he has fielding trials for every tom, dick, and harry footballer without a position in professional football, but i will say that the makeup of the team is as much of a cause for the dearth of calls as is the irrefutable fact major league officiating stinks. perhaps it would be better if he cared for his own instruments, because the tune is getting old.
have a great hump day!