The Absolutely Essential Manchester Derby Recap…

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…Is so not happening at this site. I know you have loved your Pep on X player features, your Pep vs. Mou columns, and your contrarian “media overblows Y aspect of derby” takes. Still, I shall indulge you. Here is a brief summary of the Manchester derby: two teams from Manchester played soccer. They both fielded eleven players and kicked a ball for a combined ninety minutes plus change.

There. Now, onto important matters: Chicharito and Messi. And what they have in common.

After the Copa America, I grieved. No, not for the US loss that was well documented by GonzoBra. Also because Lionel Messi announced he was retiring from the Albiceleste. Now, I know what you’re thinking – better for the pulga to go out on top or at least near the top. And I admit he had a great run with Argentina – about ten years, three finals, and an Olympic Gold.

Still, I read the news and was sad. Melancholic. Borderline despondent. Sometimes a player says this stuff and they just want a vacation or are owed a bonus – but something about Messi really struck me as sincere this time. You could just read in his eyes that he had really thought long and had about it, and this was the end of the road.

I created a special iTunes playlist of “white male singer songwriters who ended their lives” and sat on a sofa, crying and humming along to Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, and that other dude. What’s his name? It’s not really important. Nothing is important. Messi is done. Dusted. Never to wear the Argentina shirt again. And we, humanity, must suffer. Life is sufferance with sporadic reprieves, after all.

UPDATE: Lionel Messi came out of retirement for Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers in September.

The second topic I decided to intimately blog about with all my heart and soul was the recent injury to Javier “Warrior God of Durability” Hernandez. Mexico recently had a World Cup qualifier against Honduras. Even though Mexico had already mathematically qualified for the next round, this was a game at home, at the Estadio Azteca, and you just know everybody was taking the game really seriously.

And then tragedy struck: Mexico’s star striker, Javier Hernandez, he-who-lights-aflame-German-Nets, got injured in some freak accident in his apartment. He was no longer available to fly to Mexico for this really important deadrubber game conveniently timed to take place near the early stages of the German league. The injury, of course, was so serious that no proper medical description could be released in a press release.

Thus, upon hearing of this news, I did what any true fan would do: I constructed a shine to Javier Hernandez in my bedroom closet. Candles. Posters on walls. I was worried that Javier may have suffered a super serious career-ending injury, but also knew that Javier, like all of us, was ultimately in God’s hands. Therefore, I prayed and prayed and then prayed a little bit harder. Just when I thought I was prayed out, I prayed again. I even prayed a non-denominational ditty for my Protestant amig@s.

UPDATE: Javier Hernandez miraculously recovered from his injury in time for his club commitments.

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