El Cuatro-uno-uno en Ochocinco

So Chad Ochocinco has “made” the Sporting Kansas City roster. All hail his translatable athletic skills and love of the world’s game. And while we’re at it, let’s mock a sport that a guy can walk into from another, right into the highest level.

Of course, that’s only what you’d believe if you just read the headlines. Delve further and you’d realize he made the Sporting Kansas City reserve team. “Yeah,” I can hear you saying, so unaware of the inner-workings of a soccer team, “but that still counts as making the team.” Not exactly, and to prove it, I’d like to offer up some analogies.

Let’s say Antonio Gates goes back to his basketballing roots during the lockout and tries out for the Spurs, probably because of the “Antonio” symmetry. He doesn’t make it, but begs them to give him something so he can stay in shape. The Spurs brass says “Well, you can always go play for our NBDL team, the Austin Toros. Of course, you’ll ride the bench, never play, and we don’t intend to pay you. But you can practice with them.” There’s your Ochocinco corollary.

Or let’s say Ricky Williams decides restart his baseball career. Oh, you forgot about that? Well he used to be quite the baseball prospect. And let’s say he went to the team that originally drafted him, the Phillies, for a spring training tryout. He still looks the part, but yeah, those skills have eroded quite a bit. But he needs something to do during the lockout (and something more competitive than shiatsu massage), so he begs for a spot. So they stick him in Lakewood with their A-ball affiliate the BlueClaws, tell him he can take batting practice now and then but that’s it, and they don’t intend to pay him one cent. Headline reads “Ricky Williams makes Phillies.” There’s your Ochocinco corollary.

Or say Canadian draft prospect Danny Watkins decides he’s big and strong enough now to give hockey another go. He walks into a practice for his almost-hometown Vancouver Canucks and they oblige, fearful of his footballing-accelerated size. He proceeds to look like an oaf on skates, but scared of the backlash, they stash him with their ECHL affiliate the Victoria Salmon Kings, let him toughen guys up during practice, and don’t pay him anything. There’s your Ochocinco corollary.

So no, Ochocinco didn’t make the Sporting Kansas City roster. They’re throwing him a bone for publicity’s sake, and it’s worked, since here we are talking about him. Just know what it is, a farce.

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One Comment

  1. White Cheddar
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I agree that it’s a farce, but I worry that the MLS is kind of farcical, even if it’s improving.

    Why do we have a Real? Why do we have a Dynamo? Sporting? I’m surprised we don’t have an Arsenal. Just by adding words to our teams that are normally associated with worldwide soccer teams doesn’t make ours cooler.

    Did the President of the Latter Day Saints endorse the Salt Lake team so they could say Real Salt Lake?

    I also worry that the MLS is expanding too quickly. Right now it should be a 16 team system, with relegation and promotion with the NASL as the second division. I know we love playoffs in the US, but they could say top 4 in the playoffs. Or, like in college athletics, have a regular season and postseason champ.

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