the tanner ba'

Oh, Landon, you didn’t…


A while back, maybe even as far back as “the goal” in the 2010 World Cup I resolved to never again refer to Landon Donovan as, “Landycakes” and I have remained true to this vow.  I was even understanding of his brief “hiatus” from the game given all that he had given to it at both the domestic and international level.  Sure, I’ve been happy to point out that he has been surpassed- at a sprint- by Clint Dempsey as the “best American player ever” and that, quite frankly, except for his short loan spells at Everton he has been a bust at any club level above that of Major League Soccer.

Generally, however, I’ve given him his due and left it at that.  But Landon, sometimes it’s just better to take your medicine and move on.  Here is a comment Donovan had following his Galaxy’s 5-0 pummeling at the hands (feet?) of the New England Revolution on Sunday, when asked about playing on the artificial turf at Gillette Stadium:

“the last ball sometimes gets away, it’s a little bobbly, the shots aren’t as clean, so that’s always a challenge”

Let me be clear, I HATE artificial turf.  No outdoor match should ever be played on it.  BUT, as the saying goes, both teams had to play on it and somehow the Revolution were able to handle those little “bobbles” and knock five goals past you.  I know, Landon, I know, the Revolution play at least half of all their matches on turf and the Galaxy probably don’t.  But guess what? Based on pedigree and accomplishments you were- by far- the most accomplished player to take part in the match and you, perhaps more than anyone else, should have been able to rise above it and produce more than your single shot on goal.

The bigger issue here, however, is that these are the kinds of comments that gave you the coddled and, dare I say, “soft” reputation that you’ve done so well to distance yourself from in the past few years.  So, as much as I hate to have to do it, I’m putting you on notice:  any more of this nonsense and the Landycakes moniker will be back in use at The Tanner Ba’, and incessantly so.


5 comments on “Oh, Landon, you didn’t…

  1. Kevin
    June 4, 2013

    Wow!! I have never ever seen that picture. I am pretty sure that anyone who agreed to be photographed wearing that without small children in photograph helping to dress you, has agreed to be called Landycakes forever…..

    • weefuse
      June 4, 2013

      The worst part is that it is not the worst picture I found of him (at least in my opinion), I could have gone with:


      • Sculptor?!?
        June 4, 2013

        Oh jesus christos. Why do I trust you again? Pass the eye bleach please.

  2. Martinovich
    June 4, 2013

    I would agree, if he had used it as an excuse, however, he was asked straight up about the turf itself. I think he gave a decent answer. He explained what he thought the problem with turf was, not that it caused them to lose. What would you have him say as an answer to that question?

    “Landon, can you tell us what you think of playing on the artificial turf here in New England?”

    “Well, those Revo’s they sure outplayed us. I know that I particularly stunk up the joint tonight myself.”

    While honest, it doesn’t answer the question at all. If you think about it, a Revo player might play more games on turf in one season than Landy may have in his whole career. We know he doesn’t handle change all that well, so playing on turf probably freaks him out. Probably a lot like the first time I played on an all dirt field for soccer.

    You want to call him Landycakes, that’s all fine and dandy as it’s your blog, but to use that answer from that particular question as your impetus? That just looks like you were fishing for a reason to do so.

  3. weefuse
    June 4, 2013

    All he had to do was explain what he saw as the problems with playing on turf and/or with the turf at Gillette specifically and close with, “but both teams had to play under the same conditions so we have to take responsibility for not getting the job done.” I think that addresses the question and is honest.

    Just for the sake of clarity, here is the text I read in its entirety:

    Landon Donovan said the artificial turf played a role — “the last ball sometimes gets away, it’s a little bobbly, the shorts aren’t as clean, so that’s always a challenge” — and acknowledged the Galaxy “lacked a little bit of sharpness.”
    “It wasn’t a 5-0 game,” he said, “but we had a poor response.” Oh, well. It’s not the end of the world.

    “Sometimes, it’s a little more helpful to lose bad than it is to lose close,” Donovan said. “We played an OK 55, 60 minutes — I thought we were the better team. We can still be OK with that part, but we have to learn that if we get down a goal, get down a couple of goals, we can’t just let things go like that.
    “It’s unacceptable. … The game is over and we’ll move on, but it never looks good to lose that way.”

    Did I focus on the first part of it? I absolutely did. I took the clause, “Landon Donovan said the artificial turf played a role,” as meaning, at the very least, a role in the club’s poor play on the day, or more likely, a role in their losing the match. Am I off base with that assumption?

    I also focused on that part of his comments because I thought that- excepting the part about their play being “unacceptable”- were nonsense. L.A. was not the “better team” for the first hour of the match, and even if they had been, to give up four second half goals should lead one to question what, exactly, Donovan thinks makes the “better team?” His coach didn’t think they were the better team, his goalkeeper didn’t think so either (the first half of the article was about Cudicini’s public apology for his/the club’s play), did Landon really see it that differently?

    As to whether I was “cherry-picking” because I’m gunning for Landon Donovan? I leave that up to you to decide, but I don’t think I’ve demonstrated a tendency to “go after” players (or clubs, or leagues, etc.) since I started this blog or at Avoiding the Drop before it.

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