I'm not entirely sure what the scheduling for this thing is--all the promos and ads and etceteras had it airing on Sunday evenings in the US, but each of the last two weekends it's been on mid-day in Mountain Time. Given that we're now a third of the way through the series, with Ian Ayre motorcycle riding glory promised next week, I suppose I'll just keep my eyes open for anything that seems so wildly offensive that it must be an unqualified mistake-making managing director wearing leather and failing to add any sort of depth at positions that have been problematic for at least four seasons.
- Jonjo Shelvey is an entirely likeable footballer who seems to have a very promising career, and that is an opinion that Brendan Rodgers seems to share. Jonjo Shelvey is also a tackler in the Scholesian mold, in that nothing he does in a challenge can be defended by someone whose eyes are connected to their brain, and that is also an opinion that Brendan Rodgers seems to share. With Shelvey sent off at the weekend against United--disputed or whatever, it's been coming--hearing Rodgers talk to Shelvey about pressuring while staying on his feet isn't pleasant. It's sort of like Back to the Future in that I was watching Brendan Rodgers give him advice in the past that I knew would be helpful in the future, but the future had already become the past and the advice still needed to be taken both in the future and the past. Also, my brain hurts.
- Watching Raheem Sterling get stuffed by Rodgers is fun enough, especially considering how profusely Rodgers has praised the young winger in the time since their confrontation occurred. What's most fun is watching everyone else's reaction; Sterling shirking blame and pretending that he doesn't know what's going on is predictable, but seeing the frantic glances in the general direction that Rodgers is pointing makes it clear that, new or not, the manager has some pull.
- Steven Gerrard's handicap is respectable, although the close-up of his putt made me think that he might be suffering from vertigo, which would explain the Hodgsons he's suffered in the early season. Fun fact about Ian Dunbavin is that he was with Gerrard when it was deemed unacceptable that the DJ wouldn't play more Phil Collins, and he admitted affray after throwing a couple of punches. He was ashamed then, and after his worm-burning hook here, he's likely ashamed now.
- The plane malfunction was fun, but only because it seemed like they were trying to replicate the music from Curb Your Enthusiasm and team liaison Ray Haughan apparently likes cussing. I'd have accepted a Larry David voiceover with an awkward confrontation with the flight attendant who skipped over him for the peanuts or something, but the de-boarding/re-boarding is all we got.
- The Lucas scenes continue to make me want to cry, and that's not going to change. HOPE! PROGRESS! REDEMPTION! beinginjuredagainsobsobsob
- I've never taken off my shirt to do pushups at a golf course, but I've also never been golfing with Jay Spearing and Jonjo Shelvey. Jon Flanagan seems unsuited to be mixing it up with those two, and poor Jordan Milsom gets the brunt of their shifty, bald, tattooed ridicule.
- I was open to The Mighty Red until I saw it dancing, and now it's just no absolutely not ever stop it.
- Watching the Boston scenes was fun since I was there, but it was also slightly awkward because I wanted to see myself, but I also didn't want to see myself at any point. I spent most of my four days in Boston on little sleep and too much alcohol, and as the footage started rolling from the Roma friendly I was concerned I'd see myself stumbling down Yawkey Way singing The Fields of Anfield Road and then puking on the plastic Shankly Gates. Good times.
- The batting practice was ugly. Football players are fit and athletic, and baseball players are often viewed as bad-body specialists who don't have to be in good shape to get their job done. I blame David Wells and El Guapo and early 90's first basemen for that, but after watching Glen Johnson and Andy Carroll take a few swings, there's not a very convincing argument for football players having any sort of transferable athletic skill-set.
- Jose Enrique saying that his family is the most important thing is his life just doesn't ring true, especially when he has the Harry Potter hands leading him to FIFA glory and silverware. Form is temporary, class is permanent. On Playstation.
- John Henry leads with, "do you know who I am?" Poor Krisztian Adorjan. Daniel Craig, on the other hand, seemed less awkward in meeting the squad, even if his flesh-colored facial hair made things weird.
- Joe Cole fought through two defenders at the same time and then hit the post on a half-volley from thirty yards. His Liverpool career has never been better, and finally there's a camera speed that can make him look like he's moving fast.
- The ending of this week's episode felt rushed, but considering the performance in Baltimore against Spurs--a match played in unbearable heat and the new away kits--it's not too surprising. The contract extension for Luis Suarez and Joe Allen's arrival are on-tap for next week, which means that the season's not too far off.
- Also, Ian Ayre will be riding his motorcycle next time. That's two warnings. You won't get any more.