At the indecent hour of 5:30 in the morning last Friday my Bride rolled me up to the big doors at the south side of the Providence hospital over on NE Glisan where, just about three hours later, some overqualified jamoke and his sidekicks hacked my left knee open, parted out the mess inside (too worn out to be worth a lick anymore), installed a bunch of aftermarket parts designed to keep the thing working for another fifteen years or so, slammed the hood, and rolled me out again before ten that morning.
After a night in the “short stay” section to make sure I wouldn’t just curl up and die on them these jokers then sent me home with the little blue keg thing (it’s some sort of oddball cold compress pump the actually works pretty well but in a fiddley, picky, pain in the ass sort of way), a bunch of odd looking temp tats on my knees…
…and a bottle full of hillbilly heroin to keep me from tearing down the drywall screaming in pain because someone just hacked my knee open with an axe.
I’m trying to keep the painkiller dosages to a minimum, but as you can imagine much of what happened this past weekend is kind of a blur. I watched the Washington match with the latptop on my chest and vaguely recall the Simone Charley finally got her goal and that she and the rest of the team forechecked and pressed what little life there was out of the spiritless Spirit to hold onto yet another 1-goal win.
(Did Washington’s sad act have anything to do with what we’re hearing about Richie Burke getting canned for some kind of #MeToo stuff? We’ll have to see…)
But what I just can’t physically do is what I need to do to write these match reports; sit in front of the screen for several hours and concentrate on the details of what’s happening on the pitch. Physically I need to keep the leg elevated, and mentally I have the attention span of a squirrel with ADD; the painkillers are working but they also make things a bit hazy.
So it’s going to be a couple more weeks before the regular “Thorns FC” runs here. I apologize – I’d hoped that I’d be able to bounce back as quickly as I did when I got new hips. But it turns out the warnings were correct; knees are more difficult.
So “Thorns FC” and I are on the short-term DL for a bit.
Here’s what I can do, though.
I can push aside the water bottles and cold compresses and other “you just had your knee hacked open with an axe” junk that currently infests my bed (my poor Bride is exiled to the couch until I can start sleeping through the night – did you know that one side-effect of oxycodone is sleeplessness? Seriously, you’d think that something that gorks you out would also put you to sleep rather than the opposite. But apparently life doesn’t work that way) and talk about some deeper, bigger-picture, deeper-dive sorts of topics.
Who comes after Parsons? Who should, and what should they be better at than he was? What if the “Horan-to-Europe” rumors are true? Who on this squad do you like more than you did in April? Anyone who’s stock has fallen? Who should form the core of the team moving through the inevitable-yet-loathsome expansion draft? Ruminations on the Moultrie lawsuit..?
My thought is to drop suggestions for next week’s piece in the comments.
And I appreciate all of your patience and support; it’s no fun having some jamoke hack your knee open with an axe, but when the knee is so banjaxed that the alternative is another decade of slowly increasing grinding discomfort and reduced mobility?
It’s kind of an easy decision.
So I’d love to hear you suggestions, and in return (because I’m aware of all Internet traditions), here’s a picture of an adorable cat…
…and an equally adorable Captain Sinclair with the reward she should have earned nine years ago.
Build that goddamn statue. C’mon, You know it’s time.
Update 8/11p.m.: Today was kind of rough for former beat writers of Slide Rule Pass. My compa C.I. DeMann, whose Six Degrees was born at Kevin Alexander’s Timbers site back in 2013, announced today that he’s hangin’ ’em up, at least for a while.
C.I. stepped in to take over most of the Timbers writing at about the same time I pushed my way in to cover the Thorns (it really was just that rude – Alexander had been taking looks at the NWSL club off and on but had neither the interest nor the energy to cover the club full-time – and I breezed in saying “I got this, mac…” and Kev willingly gave me a platform) and lasted four years past my getting canned over at Stumptown Footy that poached us from SRP back at the end of 2017.
Thorns FC: then was much the same as it is now (except that I gleefully stole Richard Hamje’s “Plus-Minus Rating” system back in 2016) and so was Six Degrees. C.I. wrote with a sort of barely concealed glee. He loved the club, he loved talking and writing about the club, and he wrote with a lovely sort of breezy intensity that was easy to mistake for offhandedness.
It wasn’t. I’ve seldom known anyone who thought more about what he wrote than C.I. did.
But it was the joy that shone from C.I.’s page like a good deed in a weary world. He loved what he did, and he loved the Timbers, and the fans, and Kevin, and the world for letting him do it.
I’ve never had that sort of inner fire, and never tried to produce it while enjoying C.I.’s sunlit uplands every time I read his page. And now that light has gone out.
Sorry it stopped being joyful, C.I. Hope you find it again, even if you never write another word.