Baseball used to have all the good curses. For decades, Cubs and Red Sox fans wallowed in misery, shaking their fists at phantoms and decrying the lack of a championship. And that’s not even mentioning the legend of Shoeless Joe Jackson whom, if I recall correctly, was decapitated and rode around on a horse (but sans a shoe on his left foot).
Luckily, as baseball has gone metric system and stats, soccer still has a few tales of wonder and hexes. I speak, of course, of the “Faux Bun.”
Buns matter. And they are not just for sandwiches anymore. For years, US soccer fans criticized Jurgen Klinsmann for failing to keep his promise for the USMNT to win the World Cup, but I focused on the positive: in this last Copa America, he was the first ever US coach to do a “like for like” “bun for bun” substitution when he replaced Bedoya with Zusi.
Yet this did no herald a golden age for buns in soccer – rather, it was a last gasp of bundom. Instead, we fans have had to sit back and watch the world burn. Brexit. Trump. Snoods banned. Jersey sleeves slit near the end to make way for thumbs (buy gloves you bastards). We’ve watched the world burn, and I squarely lay the blame at two player: Roberto Firmino and Gareth Bale.
And here’s why.
Exhibit 1: Roberto Firmino’s condescending faux bun.
Here’s a better look from behind.
A single hair bow. Now, I’m not some hair stylist proselytizer who thinks every player must have a Johnny Unitas flat top ala Ander Herrera, but a single hair bow? Tsk tsk. Shame on you Firmino. And shame on you Klopp for permitting this.
Still, the universe sorts things out on its own. The bad karma from this faux bun resulted in a very scary, real life incident for Roberto: his house was burgled.
Thus, relying on the soundest of statistical principles, using the bedrock of knowledge that is analogous to expected goals and key pass metrics, we can see a perfect correlation between faux bundom and bad shit.
And there’s still more proof.
Exhibit Two: GARETH BALE.
It sickens me to the stomach to have to refer to this hair abomination as a bun, because I know how many GODDAMN patriots had to give their lives to protect the right of man (and woman) to bun hair!!!! Basically, Bale looks like his hair is “bunned” by visually-impaired stylist with arthritic hands during a 5.7 (or greater) earthquake.
I still recall my daughter’s first ever attempt to bun her own hair at the tender age of seven. And it was light years ahead of Bale.
But, again, cosmic Karma justice rolled around and wiped that smirk of Bale Bun’s face. He has been injured for a while now, and will forever be injured from November until January (just like last year) until he gets his hair situation in order.
The baseball curses have been dispelled in America, but, in Europe, the curse of the Faux Bun stalks the land with a vengeance…