The MLS is BACK, Babyyy

Take it from somebody who has tried getting into Premier League soccer over the past couple of weeks: top-level soccer kind of womps. Players flop like James Harden getting hit by a paintball. NBC refuses to pump in audio of Everton fans calling refs wankers. And the players are too dang handsome (or they are Wayne Rooney).  

But MLS? The North American soccer league with League One–caliber talent, (probably) less racist fans, and way cooler jerseys? Nah dude, the MLS is dope as hell. 

The best thing in sports I saw this week occurred in the second half of a game between the Bridgeview Fire and the Seattle Sounders. Behold:
Look at that shit. I certainly have—100 times at least (it was hard to learn how to make a gif). I’ve been starved for sports content for weeks, barely getting by on KBO bat flips and NBA bubble gossip. This though? This is manna from the content heaven. 

It is on from the second that ball hangs in the air and you realize that something very nasty is about to happen. Even the announcer muttered an “oh no” when he saw the collision coming. Then the small dude gets absolutely, insanely, completely and utterly TRUCKED by Fire striker Robert Berić. 
I hadn’t realized I’ve been missing this feeling since Rudy Gobert ended sports—that feeling you get where your body reacts almost before your brain, where your organs draw up a little into your stomach and you can’t help but shout “oh shit” at your screen as something very physical happens. I didn’t turn on my TV yesterday morning to see a small guy get shoulder-pancaked into filthy Floridian dirt by a Slovenian, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t the best part of the 90 minutes I spent watching mediocre soccer.

And all this comes before Lord Berić Putyouonyourassagain pulls some next-level video game shit to finish the play: 
Sick, right? So yeah, the MLS can be cool as heck. Maybe it’s fun in the way that shit-going-horribly-awry-in-AA-minor-league-baseball can be fun. But at a certain point, what’s the difference when I get to yell “motherFUCKER” at my TV because I was thrilled out of my seat by something so physically imposing yet graceful that it can only be done by a professional athlete?

I don’t know that we deserve sports coming back in America yet. The return of sports should be a reward for doing things well, which we most certainly have not. And I don’t know if we’ll even make it to the NBA, MLB, and NHL’s return date without it being a physical (if not a moral) impossibility to play sports. 

But I do know that watching live sports during the middle of the day made me happy. Listening to a veritable United Nations of on-field chatter in Spanish, German, and English made me happy. And these gifs made me especially happy. I hope they made you happy too. 

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