Monday, 23 March 2009

Apathy Abounds

Wednesday marks the start of another edition of the Nabisco Cup and I would write a big preview of our Group Stage and our prospects for this year. Unfortunately, I do not care. At all. Big yawnfest. These games mean less to me than the Satellite League. Seriously.

First off, the league dictates who can and cannot play due to their "first selection" rule. I'm not too bothered by it this year, because all the young guys who I'm curious to see if they are capable or not are seeing playing time. However, we have a very short turnaround from the home game on the 25th to the road trip down to Oita on the 29th. That's going to be a tired team ripe for stupid injuries playing against one of the more "physical" teams in the league. Ohhhh, did I mention that Oita has no game on the 25th?

Second, I'm not that interested in seeing Marinos or Niigata for the 400th time. And Jubilo plays against us twice in an eleven-day period. Two of the games are on a Wednesday so I'm guessing crowds of 4 to 6000 will show up late and leave unsatisfied.

Finally, I'm looking at who wins these things and I'm not so impressed: usually mid-table teams who beat bigger teams who are going through the motions. Hell, didn't Kashiwa win it once? And the big prize? A trip to LA to play the finest from two yet-to-be-named Asian countries and the LA Galaxy. I'll pass... unless we win and then I'll write a column about how the Nabisco Cup is AWESOME!

If we have to play the games [we do - Ed.], this is what I'd like to see, assuming fitness:


GK Takagi
DF Tsukamoto
DF Fukuda
DF Neretljak
DF Hato
MF Ishihara
MF Saito
MF Arai
MF Hashimoto
FW Watabe
FW Lavric


GK Takagi
DF Tsukamoto
DF Tomita
DF Kataoka
DF Tomita
MF Ichikawa
MF Kanazawa
MF Aoki
MF Uchida
FW Fujimoto
FW Lavric

Omiyans Abroad

I've tried following the exploits of Daigo Kobayashi, I really have. I give up. I don't know what an Odd Grenland is and Tromso sounds just awful... I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. I go by his blog from time to time and his happy soccer-playing cartoon caricature has been replaced by a dark brooding Daigo - one that loves Bauhaus and writes moody poetry and wears mascara. It's like an evil twin has taken over. Emo Daigo, so to speak.

Surprisingly I have been just enthralled with the journey of Takuro Nishimura. As Furtho has reported, our little bundle of energy and indecision and hacking fouls found his way to Portland via Harrisburg and Los Angeles. Now it's fun to read about his exploits with MLS trainers and USL teams. He evidently does this with a trusty sidekick by the name of Kent, who seems to be his international BFF.

What amazes me is that Portland seems to have Takuro-mania! Every review I've read of him has been glowing. It makes sense in a way; USL is a more physical league where you can get away with a dumb tackle easier than in J1. Portland itself seems to be interesting... they have a supporter group leader/mascot/lumberjack by the name of Timber Jim who saws off a piece of log when they score. Not emo at all.

Is it just me being bitter at the guy who I thought would help us out at the start of the season? Is it because I'm American and it takes place in America? Or is it just a more interesting story to see a guy who career-wise is on his last legs make good in the most unpredictable place possible? Maybe all three.

Orange! Happy!!! Football!



dokool 24 March 2009 at 20:50  

I generally feel the same way about the Nabisco Cup; however they did hold the Pan-Pacific Championship (a.k.a. the "Let's give the LA Galaxy something to feel good about Cup") in Honolulu the other year, so maybe we get lucky in 2010. I know I'd take a week off to support FCT if it meant soccer and beaches in Hawaii, wouldn't you?

SMB 24 March 2009 at 21:46  

Why the hell would I go to Honolulu to watch FC Tokyo?

God you are vain!

Furtho 24 March 2009 at 23:07  

FC Tokyo once staged a pre-season friendly in SMB's living room and he went out rather than watch the game, though, dokool.

SMB 24 March 2009 at 23:11  

I was trying to watch LAW AND ORDER. You know if you miss an episode, they NEVER show it again......EVER!

dokool 25 March 2009 at 08:50  


I'm sure his closet couldn't have been any bigger than NACK5 anyway =P

SMB 25 March 2009 at 10:55  

Yes,yes.....much better to play in a 2/3 empty cavern with seats a mile away from the pitch.

That way you can really feel it when 2 colors-city bred comes on.

dokool 25 March 2009 at 11:03  


They didn't play it last week! Soon that song may no longer be anything more than a distant memory...

SMB 25 March 2009 at 11:30  

What about DJ Stephen, the monotone master of ceremonies?

dokool 25 March 2009 at 11:36  

If I can ever get a foreigner supporter's group going our first campaign will be to get an announcer who doesn't suck. 10-meter wide banners hung over the chairs, you name it.

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