It appears that Eric Wynalda—former US national team star, annoucer, hotheaded loudmouth—has been suspended for this weekend’s MLS season debut by his employer, the ABC/ESPN monolith. Why? Because he downed a few beers with a blogger and unloaded some of his endless storehouse of strongly held opinions. While he mostly ranted about the state of football in the US and MLS in particular, Waldo swerved out of his way to suggest that soccer-bashing sports bloviator Jim Rome could, at any time and place, provide him with oral sexual gratifcation.
Wynalda has apparently apologized to Rome for the remarks, which is too bad. Frankly, it’s about goddamn time someone from the footballsphere told Rome to blow him/her. If ABC was smart, it would invite Wynalda to go live and repeat the suggestion in even more graphic terms. In fact, both DC United and the ColoArsenal Rapids should take the field tomorrow wearing special, limited edition “ROME CAN BLOW ME” jerseys, replicas of which could then be sold for $1000 apiece to an eager public.
Slapping down Waldo betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of how American media works—instead of censoring the half-baked, vindictive madness that spews from the mouths of your content providers, the winning move is to accentuate it and encourage them to even more unfortunate faux pas. Major League Soccer should DEMAND that ABC put Wynalda back on the air, and tell ’em to put a few brews down him for good measure. Then we might see a frenzy that would put Beckhamania in the shade.