Thursday, February 21, 2008

Playing the victim

Actually, the more I think about it, it's an act of pure genius on Chivas' part to cast Jesus Padilla as the victim and Luis and I as agents of the U.S. Federation.

Number one, it garners sympathy for Jesus, but also absolves the club of responsibility -putting his having a Mexican birth certificate all on him and his parents.

Number two, how better to rally fans around Padilla and support him staying with Chivas than to charge a conspiracy to steal Jesus away from El Tri? Never mind that Sammy Ochoa's career in Mexico has continued just fine despite him playing for the U.S. U20 national team, while being born in the U.S. didn't stop Edgar Castillo from choosing to represent Mexico.

It's far more effective to throw out a red herring and hope the fans and media bite on that, think, "Poor Jesus, being hounded by American media, who want to kidnap him into playing for the U.S. national team."


David Keyes said...

To me, the most interesting part of this story is that the fact that Jesus Padilla was born in the US makes him "not Mexican." I'm fascinated that, at least in this case, being born in Mexico seems to be a requirement to be considered Mexican. That flies in the face of the way many people I know define their nationality. Chivas' policy of only having Mexican players is definitely unique and so perhaps it's not surprising that their definition of nationality is also unique.

Jim said...

It is so pathetic. Does Chivas think we are idiots? It just makes them look more ridiculous.

Eugene said...

Sammy Ochoa's career is doing fine? That is news to me. I thought the guy was stuck in the Mexican second division without any hope of getting a sniff at playing for Tecos in the first division.

Furthermore, I was under the impression that this club was happy to let him sit out his contract and refused to let him go or transfer him.

Doesn't sound like Ochoa's having much success to me. Andrea, do you have any new info on Ochoa and what is happening with him?

L.B. said...

Sammy is stuck with Tecos' second division club. He's on the books with the Guadalajara-based team but he's not really in the mix for a spot on the first team.

He peaked in 2005, that's for certain. Perhaps a spell in MLS could change it because it doesn't look like it will happen for him down in UAG.

Eugene said...

Thanks for the update Luis. Wasn't Ochoa supposedly a transfer target for Sigi Schmid at the Crew this off season? Sigi was the coach who selected Ochoa for the U-20s '05 tournament.

I read somewhere that Sigi was interested in him but I guess Schmid either lost interest or Tecos refused to let Ochoa go.

Frankly, I think Sammy has got something like half a year left on his contract (not certain though). I was also under the impression that some of his poor treatment at Tecos was a result of the fallout related to him playing for the US U-20s. I really hope Ochoa gets a second chance on his career.

L.B. said...

Well, Tecos nearly forced Sammy to sign a deal with them before the Under-20 WYC in 2005. It got to the point that they had to let him go because they were forced to by FIFA because clubs have to let their players leave within a certain time frame before an international tourney like the U-20s. Supposedly his deal had run out at that time, but Sammy being the 20-year-old that he was, gave Tecos the chance to re-sign him once the tourney was over.

He did, and got into some first-division games and even scored a goal, at Pumas. But he's since regressed.

I'm not sure if he's gotten the chance to play himself onto the first team or if he's been held back because of his time with the U-20s. I've tried to track him down since '05 with no luck.

But because he's a Riverside kid (Poly grad) he's someone who is on my radar to get to at some point. Hopefully soon.

jason said...

Chivas should simply point out that California and other states were part of Mexico and that Spanish-speakers from El Norte are welcome.

I know this would be a revision but it doesn't seem to be a wild one.

A.C. said...

Ha! That was what I was just telling Luis on the phone would be their next move. Hooray! I can play for Chivas, too, then. Sign me up.

rosyf said...

This story is so funny on Chivas part, because according to law you are Mexican if: a)You were born in Mexico OR b)Have at least one Mexican parent (regardless of the place of birth) OR c) You were born in a Mexican embassy or transport. That makes Padilla a legal Mexican, everything else is just marketing as Luis says

man-from-michigan said...

Sorry Andrea but you were born in Michigan not Michoacan. And Michigan was not part of Mexico back in the 1800s. You are not eligible. LOL


A said...

Well, Michigan was part of French territory, that for a time I believe was ceded to the Spanish in one of those innumerable wars those countries fought.
So for time, it was a part of Spanish territory in the new world or New Spain as Mexico came to be known.
But yeah, now we're really stretching it.

Although Chivas policy isn't wholly unique, Atletic Bilbao has a similar policy regarding the Basque (I believe they've fielded French Basque player before *gasp*).

Mexican law has always conferred nationality by both jus soli and jus sanguinis (right of land, right of blood.)
But it was only until 1996 where the law was changed in Mexico where it allowed dual citizenship.
There was also a lot of talk of the difference between Mexican Nationality and Mexican Citizenship. Nationality being tied in very directly with ones culture and heritage. Before it was assumed that Mexican Nationality was lost if one gained another one, such as American nationality.So in fact, there was a danger that once could cease to be "Mexican".
But with so many Mexicans now living abroad, there was a change in thinking. I think the last brouhaha, over a player being born in the US was before this change in law (Although actually Chivas fielded an American born player in the 40s, apparently no one thought to ask until he retired. Theres been others as well).
In fact, I think theres a change in thinking in Mexico because theres hardly a family left that doesn't have relatives in the US.
So I mean, on the one hand one could see this a nothing but chest beating by a nationalist team. But on the other, it's a window into the Mexican psyche and sense of self. Which is not static, perhaps Chivas definition of Mexican will evolve and fall in line with Mexican legislation.
But on the other hand, Chivas staunchest fans tend to be conservative, protectionist, and extremely proud and patriotic (i.e. My grandfather). Basically, Mexican Republicans and good luck arguing with Republicans with logic.
Mexico has cultivated a national myth of the mestizaje (sp?), that modern Mexicans are a result of native and european interbreeding. But that it happened a long time ago and that all the melting in Mexico's pot ended a long time ago.
Of course it leaves huge gaps, such as how one of the largest African populations in the new world was absorbed into the general population, the remaining presence of indigenous people (paging Sub Marcos j/k), the Asian influence in Mexican culture (China Poblana, who was actually Indian.).
It's only the prism of someone brought up in the American view, that I can see the same thing happened in Mexico. But I just don't don't think Mexicans are ready to embrace such a view.
But don't you just love how through soccer you can learn, discuss and debate such varied topics? It's attracted the greatest intellects of the 20th century for a reason.

A.C. said...

Man from Mich! You're good with details - even the ones posted elsewhere. I was wondering if anyone would catch me on that.

Beax Speax said...

If we used Jason's definition, Landon Donovan would be able to play for Chivas!