Yeah, I was the kid who just preferred the band-aid be ripped off quickly in one violent swoop. In that spirit, I give you my USMNT player ratings for last night's appreciated 0-0 draw in Mexico, easily the most disputed/ridiculed I've ever done. And just from a rough count off the top of my head, I have probably done at least a hundred.
Those who know me know that readers calling me an idiot or whatever doesn't bother me in the slightest. I actually would get worried if no one ever tried to go off like that, so really, it makes me smile. However, the ones who complain I lack respect for the players/coach (or worse) do force a few eyes-closed deep breath sighs.
Just between us, the only time players have ever spoken to me about my ratings, it was to give support when they felt a poor rating was deserved and fair. Having known some of the players for a long time now, it would be hard to imagine any of them thinking I held no respect for them. I'm confident they all know better, mainly because none has ever displayed a hint less than respect for me when I come 'round asking questions. These players are all quite amiable and highly professional.
I suppose it's possible one of my ratings could get under skin here or there, but we all know that kind of stuff only pushes US players to come back strong. That's the type of response we've all come to expect from the team when there is a slight, perceived or not. Trust me, I can always respect that.
- Greg Seltzer