Junito: Emancipaton, Trepidation, Anticipation

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The last time we held an election at Futfanatico, it was an unmitigated disaster. The premise was simple enough – a “blog of the year” award for all soccer blogs with “futfanatico” in the URL. However, a wisecracking tweeter and a Central American dictator-for-campaign manager conspired to blow things to smithereens. And, of course, I did not win.

Still, Junito’s national team selection has one distinct advantage – I am not a candidate, as I am a human being, not a nation state. Thus, I reasoned, no evil can come of this. I was wrong. The expected and the unexpected merged into a vortex so profound, so deep and convoluted, that if you wiped your pink finger on the surface’s rim, you’d be elbow-deep in abyss in the blink of an eye.

Allow me to explain.

As you may recall, Junito is a brilliant goalscorer, handsome playboy, and future champion. Thus, his success at the World Cup is a surety. However, his national team is a question mark. Junito lays claim to three different nationalities: Mexico, the US, and Nicaragua. Rather than place the burden of this huge decision on a still developing three year old, like any responsible father I polled a group of strangers on the internet so that they would decide for us. You were one of those strangers. And you voted.

I then painstakingly counted each and every ballot, even the handwritten ballots that were mailed from as far away as Guam. I also tried to get a read from Junito on his personal preferences. The other day, he alleged that he took a taxi to Mexico, obtained a magical stone, and then gifted said magical stone to his mother. Only upon further investigation did I realize that no such taxi ride took place, and Junito’s claims to the stone remain unproven. He has alleged that the stone turns into a huge giant that is larger than any dinosaur, but thus far no eye witnesses have corroborated said transformations.

Still, I read between the lines and interpreted his creative musings as an affection for his Aztec roots. BUT, he still prefers gallo pinto, the traditional Nicaragua dish, to any combination of hot cheese-hot tortilla-ground beef-jalapenos. He also dislikes hamburgers and french fries, so the US is out of the question. Although, to be honest, he does enjoy the caja feliz toys.

Could Junito play for three different national teams like Real Madrid all-time great Alfredo Di Stefano? Unlikely. I anticipate him getting capped before his older sister’s quinceanera, which means no U15 or U17 shenanigans. Nope. Junito will burst onto the scene like Michael Owen, but with the lasting power of Paolo Maldini.

While Mexico loves players that skirt the nationality lines, I have one big problem with Junito following in my chicano footsteps: the word “raza.” Nobody has every satisfactorily defined this term for me. I hear it all the time as in “hoy hay un juego en la tarde, pura raza“, and I think – if I said the term “pure race” in English and had a shaved head, I would probably be talking about a minutemen meeting or something. Shudder.

More importantly, the contours of the raza have not been sufficiently elucidated. Is my Nicaraguan wife a member of la raza? Or is la raza just a synonym for Mexican? Repeated emails to the Real Academia have not been answered.

Still, I cast but one vote in this election and let the majority speak. And speak they did. Drum roll please….The winner of the Junito’s-future-national team-election is…..

Pitchinvasion.Again. Yes. You read it correctly. Pitchinvasion? Pitchinvasion. Again. Check out the results:

I know what you’re thinking because I had the same thought – isn’t Pitchinvasion a website, not a nation state? But our analysis can’t be so shallow – in the 21st century, as technology blurs the lines between nation-states and non-state actors, isn’t it entirely possible that Tom Dunmore will rule a big chunk of the universe? After all, he has a soccer blogger trophy case to make Ryan Giggs blush.

Plus, Pitchinvasion has a scarf. And the line between a scarf and a flag is a very fine one, one that is begging to be crossed.

So, there you have it, I try to run a fair & square election in the hopes my readers can guide my toddler son’s future professional career, but Tom Dunmore’s excellent Pitchinvasion gobbles up the votes like a meth using cookie monster. At least unlike the UK, there was a clear majority. And don’t worry, no legal wrangling on my part. I know how twisted anything resembling an election or award can become when it involves the soccer blogosphere.

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