May 31st, 2010 by SeveSanchez
The following is an actual conversation I had with my friend Fabio yesterday.
FABIO: If you had the choice, would you rather be a starter for the United States or a bench player for, let’s say England? (He knows I follow the Premiership ‘close like butter plays toast’).
ME: I guess it would depend on what position I play.
FABIO: Whatever you wanted…
ME: Okay. Well, only if I were an attacker, like a striker or winger, would I rather be a sub for England. Any other position and I’d rather start for the United States.
FABIO: Agreed. And that is officially called the Giuseppe Rossi Argument.
Of course. There it is. I’d never thought of it that way before. And yet it is so simple– merely a matter of priorities for any football nut. Check this hierarchy:
- Start for a World Cup frontrunner.
- Feature prominently for a World Cup frontrunner.
- Start for a World Cup welterweight.
- Feature prominently for a World Cup welterweight.
- Feature non-prominently for a World Cup frontrunner.
- Feature non-prominently for a World Cup welterweight.
Make sense? What gets lost in the debate over cultural identity vs national citizenship and mad interpretations of loyalty is this– anyone passionate about the game of football will always prefer to play the biggest role possible in achieving World Cup Glory. If there’s one thing we know about the World Cup, it’s that it ain’t for pretenders. Sure, the “best” team doesn’t always win it (ask Cruyff), but someone from the status quo is always hoisting the trophy formally known as Jules Rimet. Sorry, North Korea, but there are no Cinderella stories that last past midnight.
Therefore if an individual wants to win a World Cup, he must play for a heavyweight. And even if he doesn’t start, if he plays a position that will frequently see minutes, that is second best. You know as a backup striker/winger you will see action, and often it’s when an important goal is required. You have a legitimate chance to make a telling contribution to a World Cup winning team.
But if you’re playing an absolute backup position, a utility defender who was the 23rd man to make your roster, you aren’t seeing any of the field. Watching Shakira’s halftime performances will be the closest you’ll get to breaking a sweat. Even if your squad wins the whole thing, what exactly did you do to win a World Cup? No, at that point it would be preferable to play for an average or below average team. Even if a deep run is the best you can hope for, at least you actually played a vital role for your team.
Playing for a World Cup contender is first choice, playing in the World Cup is second choice, not playing at all in the World Cup is third. And that is why Giuseppe Rossi would rather scrap for sporadic minutes under Marcello Lippi than be Bob Bradley’s mainstay. The End.
Anyone playing ESPN’s World Cup Fantasy? I guess I am, although I’m much more looking forward to the WC Pick ‘Em, which is by far a better barometer for football knowledge. Somehow, after selecting my fantasy squad, I managed to have none of the players I really wanted. Here are the highlights of my team, Kim Jong illmatic:
-No Messi, no Ronaldo, no Rooney. They’re just too expensive, and all three’s teams have stuttered through warm ups. And yes, I still believe one of them will finish top scorer. No, I don’t really know how I left all of them off my squad, but I’m rolling the dice on breakouts.
-NO FERNANDO TORRES! He’s just coming back from injury, which means he won’t be at his best until the later rounds. This actually coincides perfectly with my EURO2008 theory– David Villa scores the majority of Spain’s goals, but Torres scores the important ones later on. Look for Torres to appear in Kim Jong illmatic… later on.
-Did I really almost break the bank on Angel Di Maria? I really like him to become a star in this tournament, but the Argentina frontline is too crowded for him be guaranteed minutes. I can’t waste that much salary on someone Maradona might misuse.
-Miroslav Klose. Gosh, he just scores a ton of goals in tournament play. And I think Mario Gomez is a poor man’s Andy Johnson, which is saying something foul and thickly accented. I’ll start Klose on reputation alone, even if he had a poor season. You’ve earned it, but don’t you burn me!
-If Uruguay score any goals in this World Cup, surely Diego Forlan would be the one to bag them, right?
-If the Holland EURO2008 theorem holds true, then it justifies having Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben both in my lineup. (Dirk Kuyt scoring would be so bittersweet, knowing that he still remembers where the goal is, but remembering too late for Liverpool). Holland will smash their group, then slowly dissipate if they face trickier opposition. I’ll remove these two from my team as the tournament continues, but I still maintain my bet that Holland is one of three teams who can win this World Cup. Foolish pride?
-Marek Hamsik. If the Slovakian team is about as good (or slightly worse) than Napoli, and Hamsik does everything for Napoli, then surely he will… (See Diego Forlan)
-Andres Guardado. I wanted to give Michael Bradley the nod, but I’ll take the Mexican against South Africa over Daddy’s Little Guy against England, for now. But I know in the future at least Bradley will be getting his minutes.
-Will Pepe play? Portugal haven’t quite looked like worldbeaters lately, they could use some of Pepe’s gut check runs. But he’s barely, barely just been declare red fit to play. The question is, how much? Bruno Alves, for me.
-Glen Johnson won’t score more than one, but if he does get that goal, it will be spectacular.
-The void of Oliver Kahn. Still felt by Germany, worsened of course by Robert Enke’s suicide. Yet you won’t find a team who are guaranteed to surrender fewer goals with a cheaper keeper. Rolling the dice with value here. You know the Germans will be around when it gets close to business time.
-Subs. Go as cheap as possible. Trust your big boys. Pick the subs whose names you at least know, maybe play for Wigan or teams like that. Hope you never have to count on them.
-No Brazil! I don’t trust anyone in that group, so I’m staying away from Brazilian players. I honestly think they aren’t making it out of their group. I reckon Portugal and Ivory Coast advance. The Portuguese seem to be the almost boys, and the Ivory Coast were unlucky to be in the 2006 Group of Death, so I think fate will smile on them this time around.
-At least I didn’t pick Michael Essien…
-Kim Jong illmatic fact of the day. Kim shot a 38 under par, complete with 11 holes-in-one, his first time golfing. Only his bodyguards witnessed it, and he retired from golf immediately after.
-Clearly I should’ve given this more thought. Look at all the players I missed, that I know will be great next month: Casillas, Pique, Xavi, Luis Fabiano, RVP, Drogba, Ribery, De Rossi, Schweinsteiger, Sergio Ramos, Lucio, Lahm, and so many more. But that’s the beauty of fantasy football– no Abramovich money. So I’m stubborn, and I’m sticking with my guys.
“I’m Seve Sanchez, and I don’t change.” -actual quote from Jose Mourinho. Names have been changed to protect the Special.Tags: Fantasy, Kim Jong illmatic, Rossi, Squad, WC2010