Champions of Europe

I was cheering for Chelsea yesterday, because in football as in the navy, you must choose between the lesser of two weevils.

I try to avoid assigning moral values to football teams, but if Chelsea is the epitome of all that is wrong with English football, than what is Manchester United? Foreign owner financing the operation while plunging the club into debt? Check. Millions of plastic fans? Check. The financial flex to completely dominate English and now European football? Check.

So why does United become the choice of the neutral? Because they “play the game the right way” and  they have “history.”

I’ve already expressed my views on “playing the game the right way.” I think it’s sentimental bullshit. As for history, maybe it’s just me being an American, but I’m all for social climbing.  History is great and United should be justly proud of it. But to listen to some,  Chelsea should be ashamed of their ambitions.

The game was tight, bad tempered and well played. United won on penalties. My position in the corner of a packed bar precludes any further analysis.

One last thing, message boards provide a skewed view, but is there any other national team captain so disliked by his fellow countrymen? Maybe Landon Donovan when he puts on the armband.


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