Belfast Telegraph

Never mind Foggy in the jungle, here's what I missed

By Billy Weir

Picture the scene on Sunday night, I've just made an expedition into the wilds of my kitchen to liberate some Digestives and a lump of cheddar to settle down after the excitement of I'm A Celebrity to indulge in a small Bushtucker Trial of my own.

And while Carl Fogarty quaffed his champers, I raised my mug of tea in celebration to watch the MLS Cup final on Sky+ that had clashed with Foggy's epic win.

BT Sport brought us the match, although it was ESPN really, as we were welcomed to a stadium that evokes misty-eyed reactions in all true soccerball fans. Yes, it's the StubHub Center in Los Angeles.

Presenter Max Bretos, who we don't know, was joined by two Americans we all recognise, although not as they used to be.

Alexei Lalas, once of the ginger beard, and Kasey Keller, once of the flowing locks, are now both much less hairy, and we were promised hair-raising action by Lalas assuring us that the 'MLS is about history.' No harm to him, but LA Galaxy vs New England Revolution is hardly Wanderers against Royal Engineers.

"It's about being remembered. No-one remembers being conference champions, they remember the MLS Cup champions," said the man remembered for having a beard, a bit like Uncle Albert but with fewer medals.

"This is about the stars shining," added Keller, remembering that Galaxy were playing. "There's no brighter star at the moment in the MLS than Robbie Keane, recently awarded MVP." For those not in the know, that means Most Valuable Player, not Making Vast Piles (of cash), and the MLS isn't about that, for most it's about history and making his own was Landon Donovan.

"It's the final professional soccer game of the greatest male American soccer player ever to play the game," said Lalas, while Keller dampened the enthusiasm a tad by adding: "It would have been nice to see him perform longer at a top level in Europe."

How dare you, he played 30 games in Europe from 2000-2012 scoring two goals, he's clearly a legend. In America.

And fittingly a truly awful game ensued, the first-half, in Lalas' words, a 'stinker' but a goal apiece after the break meant that we had extra-time.

This required a second journey into the kitchen just to top up the Digestive levels, and when I came back in I found a blue screen with 'end of programme' on it looking back at me in silence.

Yes, the good old Sky+ had decided that the programme was scheduled to end at 10.30pm and by jingo that's what it was going to do.

We have put men on the moon, brainy people have made wondrous advances in medicine, technology and even created the Viennetta, surely it is not beyond them that when you press a button to record something, it records all of it?

Anyhow, it turns out MVP Keane popped up to score the winner, and ensure Galaxy were over the moon, but I may as well have been in the jungle with Foggy because MVP may as well have stood for Missed Vital Play. I feel a revolution coming on.

Belfast Telegraph

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