Bad news: everything is terrible. Literally everything. I’m sorry to have to break the news to you like this, but it’s better that you hear it from a trusted source. See for yourself; let’s dive into the dumpster.
Steven Gerrard had never heard of America before he moved to America
“Going on the road, playing on turf, playing at altitude, playing in humidity, those are the hurdles that I’ve had to face over the last three months that I wasn’t aware of.” That’s a quote from Steven Gerrard, describing his inaugural half-season as an MLS player. Gerrard was speaking to the official website of the LA Galaxy, the team that pays him millions of dollars to fill its quota of washed up Englishmen. Somehow, Gerrard managed to sign a contract to play sports in the United States of America without bothering to acquire even a passing knowledge of the realities of American sports or geography. Galaxy supporters are probably rightly annoyed that their star player was taken aback by the existence of mountains, and this latest faux pas only furthers the theory that Gerrard never took this move seriously. Just wait until he finds out that the Lakers aren’t even good anymore either.
José Mourinho is having a shitty week (again)
Oh dear. José Mourinho is having quite the annus horribilis, a fact that is not unrelated to him spending most of it acting like a horrible anus. Mourinho has tried to, and has succeeded in, making enemies in every direction: the FA, referees, the media, other managers, and his own players and staff. The result of his scorched earth campaign has been a seemingly endless cycle of rows and controversies, the latest of which—a daft half-time argument with a referee during a loss to West Ham—has led to a $60,000 fine and one-match stadium ban. If certain reports are to be believed, that would mean that Mourinho wouldn’t even be present for his final game in charge of Chelsea. It would be a sad ending for a (once?) great manager, but also a fitting finale for a tenure that has descended fully into farce.
To make matters worse for the Not So Special One, Mourinho is now facing an individual legal claim from Dr. Eva Carneiro. Carneiro, who was made a scapegoat by Mourinho in a bizarre episode that embarrassed Chelsea (and would have embarrassed Mourinho as well, if he had any shame), is suing the soon-to-be-former Blues manager for his role in her dismissal, in addition to the action she is taking against the club. If Mourinho’s only silver lining from his inevitable Chelsea sacking is the massive severance to which he would be entitled, then the prospect of Carneiro and her lawyers taking a chunk of that can be our silver lining.
Four referees kidnapped over a missed penalty call
Wait…what? Confession, readers: When alerted to this story, I actually spent some time doing research (browsing all the way through to the second page of Google search results, the virtual end of the internet) to make sure it was not a hoax. As it turns out, this actually happened. In the year of our lord 2015. And not just in some semi-professional league in a tiny backwater dictatorship, but in a major-ish top-flight European league. Buckle your seatbelts, because this story is about to get totally fucking mental.
Towards the end of Trabzonspor’s 2-2 draw with Gaziantepspor in the Turkish Super League, referee Çağatay Şahan failed to award a penalty to Trabzonspor, enraging the home crowd. Following the match, Trabzonspor president Ibrahim Hacıosmanoğlu LOCKED THE ENTIRE OFFICIATING TEAM IN THE STADIUM AND KEPT THEM THERE FOR SEVERAL HOURS. Hacıosmanoğlu only released the referees at 4 AM the following day after a personal intervention by Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (pictured above). The Turkish Football Federation is now investigating the incident, and presumably so are the Turkish police, on account of the whole “kidnapping four people” aspect.
Hacıosmanoğlu remains not just defiant, but also completely bananas. After coming under criticism following the incident, he said: “If we’re going to die, we’ll die like men; we won’t live like women. No one has the power to make us live like women.” There’s an entire Women’s Studies lecture worth of material to unpack from the gross misogyny in that baffling quote, but what it has to do with him committing a serious crime over one decision in a meaningless soccer game is unclear.
Does Jack Wilshere still exist?
This is a serious question. Does he? Does anyone—any person at all—care?
More on this next week.