Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Outsider's angle

Of course I didn't see the Blanco/DC Open Cup incident. I was here in California, and the match wasn't televised. I also wasn't enterprising enough to look for an Internet stream, if there was one. So when Brad Feldman brought the topic up, I had only contextual points to make.

1. Blanco arrived in the league with a reputation of not only skill, but a tempestuous personality.
2. Blanco has been well-behaved when Chicago is winning.
3. Chicago isn't winning, and there have been reports of Blanco losing his temper with his own teammates.

Points 1,2, and 3 added up to me being less than surprised that Blanco might have blown up on the field. Still, I pointed out, players on both sides had been red-carded, so the ref at least had cast equal blame. Basically, I didn't think a bigger deal should be made out of something just because a star player was involved. I mean, is anyone going on about Chris Wingert's red card? Besides Jason Kreis, that is.

When Brad mentioned that Blanco had reportedly headbutted a DC United employee, I had to laugh.
In my mind, I was picturing an Alex Zotinca-quality head butt.
Or the gold standard, of course, Zidane's. (though Zotinca's might have been more painful, since it was to the face, Zidane's had more force).
Obviously, if Blanco had done a headbutt anything like that, there wouldn't be any question as to whether or not such a thing had taken place. It would be very clear, so I figured it was somewhat less than a genuine headbutt.
I also pointed out to Brad that it wasn't unheard of for team employees to get passionate about matches and trigger incidents. For example, in an earlier Super Clasico, Chivas USA's massage therapist, Humberto Macias, lost it over an offsides call, arguing so vigorously that the fourth official conferred with the ref and had him removed from the sideline.
Now I'm not saying any employee deserves to be treated badly by any player, but it's possible that the DC staffer was less than completely professional in his actions before the alleged headbutt.
At that point, both Brad and I laughed at ourselves a little, because we were both speculating over stuff rather randomly. We agreed that more info would probably be revealed before long.
DC reportedly has a video that they've sent to MLS and the USSF, which is the actual entity in charge of the Open Cup. So the official version will come out soon. In the past, MLS has released little video clips to illustrate incidents where the league has added on to suspensions or taken other disciplinary action.


D said...

Andrea: This seems life a fair take. This is a situation where I am content to let MLS muse on the video, and take whatever action, or inaction, they feel is appropriate. Ditto with USSF.

newxgate said...

There are also rumors that Blanco had an altercation with the uniformed cops that escorted him off the field, which may have turned physical. Which, if true,would be a deal more serious than the encounter with the DC staffer.

Anonymous said...

from what i have read and some of these commments from people actually at the game that he blew up pretty bad and that the staffer and cop were just doing their job.

A.C. said...

I haven't read all the comments about the game, but it's hard for me to understand why a DC employee would even need to be involved with Blanco in any way. Official communication could be conveyed to game officials or to Fire staff. It's not really necessary for staff of another team to ever speak or otherwise engage opposing players. Perhaps I missed out on the context where it was necessary, in which case, please explain it here.

Jim said...

This was not at RFK, it was at a community field (albeit one with room for 4000 supporters). Apparently it was not obvious where one goes after they've been ejected. No locker room, etc, so Blanco remained in the bench area, until the DCU staffer went up to him to escort him to a shelter close by.

This is what I have heard and it seems plausible. What happened after that, I have no idea, but the blogosphere is more than willing to create it's own versions of the truth if need be...


A.C. said...

See, there's no need for a DC staffer to escort Blanco anywhere. If there was a specific place where Blanco should have gone, Fire staff should have been told where it was and then told to take Blanco there. If they didn't comply, officials should have been informed. But I've never heard of any game, Open Cup or otherwise, where staff of the other team escorts opponents when they've been ejected.

Jim said...

Could be, Andrea, except it is highly unlikely that any Fire staff would have any clue where to go.

I'm neither defending it or even saying it's the truth, just trying to put some context based on the local DC blogs here.

All of which could be wrong of course...(Goff was / is out of town)

Cheers, keep up the great blog!

East River said...

Unless the red card occurred in the 1st half the Fire staff would have had to known were they could take Blanco. What I mean to say is that where ever the Fire met for halftime should have been the area that Fire staff would escort Blanco. Even so AC is right regardless of the facts or situation DC staffers should have been talking to Fire staff about where to take Blanco not them talking to him directly.

L.B. said...

I don;t think MLS should take any action. Whatever happened didn't happen during an MLS league game, so why would they discipline Blanco for that?

Bravo said...

There was no altercation with any police officers.

from Red Card blog:

By the way, last night I spoke to Lt. Karen Petrarca, a spokeswoman with the Maryland-National Capital Park Police. She spoke to one of the officers that was on hand for Tuesday's Fire-D.C. United U.S. Open match and was told there was no incident involving Blanco and the police. Hopefully that will put to rest a lot of the stories floating around. ...

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