Friday, July 20, 2012

The Brekpocalypse

Even more shocking than Brek Shea's slumping form is the dogpile from reporters on the erstwhile drifting wing/forward/whatever player. Look at this craziness in a span of like three days.

Brek Shea "starting to lose it," says Fox Sports.
"All is not well with the 22-year-old," says ESPN.
"Things could only be worse if someone kidnapped Shea's dog," says NBC Sports.
The heat maps even skewer Shea.
Exchange between Shea and Hyndman a "mystery."

Well then. I, like many of you, watched in puzzlement as Shea stomped off the field Wednesday and spat a few choice words back at his coach for yanking him before the 65th minute. Why this even surprised anyone is a small mystery. Shea has forever been a petulant soccer player and time spent in the fire only raises those scars for public viewing. This is the way he will always be: equal parts gifted and maddening, both beautiful and ugly, full and empty. He will vacillate between hot and cold for the rest of his career, and I can only think that age (and not accrued wisdom) will be the thing to flatten the bell curve even slightly. He may only be 22 but he's been in the league long enough to know better. That he hasn't "gotten it" yet is telling. He's only 22, you say? The difference between Europeans and Americans is that Americans defensively say, "He's only 22." Europeans shoot back with, "He's already 22."

In a sense, it's whatever. Shea and Hyndman will kiss and make up, FCD will go on with its miserable season and Shea will probably perk up in one form or another. He'll hit a hot spurt, score a bucket of goals in a short period of time, earn another call up to Camp Cupcake, generate some positive publicity, flash some of those trademark skills and then fade into the blackness again. And we'll be back in this neighborhood wondering what it's all about and why he is more style than substance. I've seen too much of Shea's antics and too many of his disappearing acts even in the midst of his hot spells to believe otherwise. And thus it shall ever be.

- Will Parchman


Luetchy said...

Will Parchman said...

Read that. A well put-together piece, and it mines some of the baseline troubles between Shea and Hyndman that obviously go beyond just Wednesday. Thought this was instructive:

"The league told FC Dallas, 'You have to either play him, sell him or trade him," Shea says. "If I had never said anything, I would've never played." (Hyndmann deflects questions about the incident, saying simply that Shea was a good player.)

Jacob Klinger said...

It's always different when you get the sense a writer is doing his job from the outside of the soccer-sphere. Not necessarily better or worse, probably both in some way, but different. This is a perfect example.

J.D. Springer said...

It almost reminds me of the way Deuce was in his last go-round with the Revs when his first transfer plans fell through and he rightfully blamed MLS. He did a lot of acting out that year and also had some injuries. Part of me hopes Brek just needs to move on to Europe to grow up, but as you say, it's starting to look like this is the way Brek will always be.

Will Parchman said...

People can look to Europe as the Great Teacher for Impudent Youths, and it's likely he would indeed do a bit of growing up over there, but I see problems in Brek that Deuce never had. It's the difference between being a fiery player and an impertinent one. Shea has walked this line unsuccessfully since he came into the league and as he's aged it's arguably gotten worse. I'm not sure what to make of that.