Friday, April 25, 2008

Missing the point

Shaka Hislop thinks the Dynamo aren't showing enough team spirit because they didn't fight Landon Donovan when he yelled at Pat Ianni.

Shaka gives no context for Donovan's behavior at all, mentioning neither the earlier hit or the fact that Donovan scored while Ianni was clutching him - an arguable PK call if Donovan had failed to score.
Funny that Shaka also doesn't say anything about how Houston's team spirit has been in games versus his old team, FC Dallas. Houston owns a 5-1-3 record against Dallas.
Instead, he mentions how players are less motivated by small crowds. I am underwhelmed by this insight.

14 comments:

Daniel said...

Shaka Hislop offers no insight on anything regarding mls in his gaurdian blog. I dont think he paid any attention to the league when he was with dallas. Anybody who has followed mls regularly for more than 6 months has a greater understanding of it than shaka. I cant believe people are commending him for his writing in the comment section under his blogs, he is much better on TV. ESPN doesnt need him though.

Phillip said...

Donovan is lucky no one cleaned his clock.

Referees are afraid to punish the Galaxy.

Landon should've been given a red in Colorado and a yellow against Houston. Horrible no-calls.

Rudy said...

I agree that Shaka's commentating is crappy.

But it seems like you have some sort of personal vendetta against him, AC..... :)

A.C. said...

Actually, I have no idea how Shaka commentates - I haven't caught him on TV yet. I'm disappointed in his writing for his Guardian blog, I'll admit.

Anonymous said...

well thank goodness it's just A.C.'s opinion...

Beax Speax said...

The comments in the Guardian (on Hislop's article) make big soccer look like a PhD gathering.

FC Uptown said...

You think Shaka doesn't know the Dynamo pretty well? Why would you think an FCD losing record against the Dynamo would mean FCD players don't understand what Houston is really about? Quite the opposite is the case. The Dallas guys know all about that team to the south and the feelings are not warm and fuzzy at all. There have been many skirmishes between the teams - the rest of the country only tuned in when Ricardo Clark attempted to punt Pescaditos face into section 116. Shaka knows firsthand that Houston sticks together and has no problem fighting back (seen Craig Weibel's highlight reel anyone?). And Houston is truly in a funk this year and playing without a lot of emotion. It surely struck Shaka as odd that little LD rolled up on Ianni in such an embarrassing way and received no reciprical response. Shaka expected more out of the champs. Shaka is not unfamiliar with Donovan acting-out either. Last year when the Galaxy played Dallas in Dallas (Shaka was there), LD mimed a throat slit gesture following a late goal. Dallas players soon became enraged and later had to be seperated from Galaxy players at the end of the game. Shaka makes an interesting point and gives a bit of a glimpse into the "players code" of defending and protecting each other. The Dynamo he knew wouldn't let crap like that go unpunished.

Shaka is an interesting commentator on tv - the guy has played everywhere and shares his experience and impressive connections. The ESPN Champions Leage roundtable is a nice mix with Shaka, Onionbag, Rae, Jumucz (that guy is really outstanding IMO), Seamus, and sometimes that French dude who played for Chelsea. Great stuff, an eclectic group, and I hope they keep all those guys.

Anonymous said...

To the contrary, and with all due respect to AC, I thought Shaka Hislop's article was quite interesting.

As far as I could remember, no journalist commented on this aspect of the Ianni--Donovan saga. It was a rather unique view, coming as it did from a player.

I also don't understand why AC thinks the comment about playing with a few thousand fans in an NFL stadium is lame.

I went back and read some more of Hislop's articles for the Guardian, and felt they are quite ok - not too much of "me, me, me", and walks a delicate line between critical of the MLS and praising it.

As for the incidents themselves, beyond bad refereeing, they weren't worth writing about. A caution to a Houston defender for Persistent Infrigement against Donovan and a caution to Donovan for unsporting behavior (game disrepute) would've admirably done the job.

A.C. said...

See, FC Uptown, if Shaka had put those incidents and examples you mention, I'd have been more impressed, because those are informative illustrations, whether or not agree with the argument being made. But he doesn't include them, and he doesn't offer anything other than than the idea that Donovan randomly yelled at Ianni and Ianni's Houston teammates stood by like weak lambs, which indicates lack of teamwork.
Plus, if anyone really thinks that players aren't affected by small crowds, they're deluded. It's a lame observation because it's such an obvious one.
If you've read the other Hislop columns, and you had no issues with his writing that Chris Albright would be an effective defender this season for the Galaxy (when he plays for the Revs) or that Landon Donovan is around the same age as Becks or Abel Xavier (LD just turned 26), then you apparently don't care that Guardian readers are being misinformed about MLS.

FC Uptown said...

Well you are right AC, if Shaka Hislop is writing up flat-out wrong information, then yes, that is poor. I have to think his editor has some effect on how much or little detail he gets into subjects. "Shaka write about the small crowds...take out any details about the Ianni incident...our readers are not going to care about the whole backstory..."

Who's Sorry Now said...

Count me among those who are less than impressed with Shaka's writing. The mistakes he makes on the simplest things about MLS that anybody with half a brain would be aware of are inexcusable.

And it's also quite amusing to hear you "girls" crying about Donovan with his big, bad throat slashing and taunting of Ianni (who soooooo had it coming to him). You often act all tough and macho from the safety of your computer and accuse LD of being "soft" (to put it in delicate terms) and yet when he fights back, you cry and whine like little girls. So who's "soft" now?

**Oh, and Phillip - Doovan's clock had already been cleaned. That's what started it.

Phillip said...

Landon has gotten away with some ridiculous shit so far this year. I would hope the referees would actually crack down on it.

Who's Sorry Now said...

Maybe when the refs crack down on the ridiculous cheap shots on the Galaxy players, then they'll crack down on Donovan's ridiculous shit, which consists of going after Cierren O'Brien for a horrible cheap shot on Ruiz and getting in Ianni's face after his cheap shot and continued mugging of LD. Donovan's mad and he's not going to take it anymore.

Anonymous said...

Insight and facts are not the same thing.

OK, so Shaka may not be the sharpest tool in the tray, but his strength is in his heart with his spiritual awareness - something of which there is not enough in this league.