Howler’s resident defender helps us understand what the hell happened to FC Dallas’ Cristian Colman
A familiar, ordinary long ball is played out of pressure. Was it to advance the team’s position higher up the pitch or was it simply a knee-jerk reaction to feeling moderate pressure? We will never know. The point is: this particularly innocuous long ball creates one hell of a predicament for the San Jose Earthquakes and Cristian Colman. Let’s break it down…
The ball initially lands and bounces within 12 yards of the San Jose goal. Normally, this is a pretty routine clean up for the defenders but, as they soon realize, it’s not always a sure thing. There are six major players in this scenario: Florian Jungwirth (№23 for San Jose), David Bingham (goalkeeper for San Jose), Cristian Colman (№9 for FC Dallas), The referee (№1 for no one), the Pringles brand logo (eroding personal discipline since the 1960’s) and, finally, the goalpost (sound, reliable defender at the back).
Once the ball bounces inside the 18-yard box, Earthquakes center back Jungwirth glances at his goalkeeper as if to say, “All right Bruder, I’ll go left and you go right. Verstehen?” It hasn’t been confirmed that Jungwirth actually yelled this in Gernglish, although it would account for the egregious miscommunication. (Side note: Bingham seems like a guy who would pick four years of Spanish in high school, rather than German. Just a hunch.)
The slight hesitation leads to an, “oh shit” moment for both defender and goalkeeper. At this point, both San Jose players have already made up their minds that they are going to blame each other if this ball eventually ends up in the net. Because of this split-second moment of indecision, Cristian Colman is able to channel his inner J.J. Watt and swim-move past the blocker. Executing an awkwardly efficient tackle-touch, Colman sends the ball across the face of the empty goal.
At this point, Jungwirth openly acknowledges the futility of trying from here on out and decides to sit comfortably until the danger is averted, or until he has to get into an absurd, verbal gunfight with his teammate. The ball quickly rolls past Bingham’s left hand while Colman scurries by on the right. Bingham resorts to survival instincts and he immediately blacks out. He whirls around as fast as he can only to see the spherical piece of Adidas, roll convincingly out of his reach.
Now, Colman’s dopamine levels are shooting through the nonexistent roof of Avaya Stadium. He knows that he has a hopeless defender and a functionally unconscious keeper behind him and is only a few steps away from showing the haters that he’s worth every penny of his $2 million transfer fee. The ball rolls a little faster than expected on the damp, beautifully cut Avaya grass. Colman also knows he has to get to that bastard (a.k.a. the ball) before it crosses that chemically decorated white line.
This is the exact moment that Colman’s anticipatory ecstasy levels surpass the limits of human capacity. Colman blacks out.
Typically, this is the moment when a striker turns on the speed boosters, calmly slips the ball into the crisp, white net and proceeds to the corner of the field to perform a series of self-loving jovialities while his teammates all sprint over for a smorgasbord of hugs. Instead, Colman’s cerebral darkness has stripped his body of all proper functionality. Unable to gracefully continue his rhythmic stride, Colman starts to panic. His movement begins to look like that of a wide receiver chopping his feet to cut one way or the other. To his credit, and downfall, Colman narrows his gaze on the ball as if he was in a trance.
Enter Mr. Left Post. (I assume he’s a man simply because of the arrogant, unshakable manner in which he stood after the play). MLP has been watching this entire fiasco unravel and he knows that this may be his big chance. On the other side, Mr. Right Post has been motionless all game and only wants to talk about the good old days in Santa Clara. MLP knows he has to step up and be MVP.
The critical mistake of chopping his feet has made Colman momentarily question if his legs are moving independently of his mind. The FC Dallas striker is now desperately hoping that he has said enough Hail Marys during the week to help him out the rest of the way. (Tactical side note: The referee at this stage reveals his biases by showing all of the Earthquakes’ midfielders exactly how you track runners from midfield. Brilliant.)
Colman is now beginning to show signs of recovering from his interdimensional mental travels when WHAM! His right big toe crushes the stout post with blunt force. Meanwhile, his left hand gently reaches out for the pole like a distressed boat reaches out for a lighthouse in a dark storm. Except, there is no solace to be found here. To his own disgust, Colman pulls out a 3-iron when he could have just putted the thing. A nice, easy slide in this situation would work wonders over a full effort swing.
The ball clanks off the side of the post only to wave at the reeling backside of Cristian Colman as it rolls by. Bingham, having emerged from his internal panic room, immediately turns around to confront Jungwirth.
Bingham: “What the fuck does Bruder mean?”
Jungwirth: Bruder, it means “brother.”
Bingham: “Hey. Hey! That’s my bad dude. My pre-workout makes me amped.”
Jungwirth: Das ist ok.
*Bruderly fist bump*
In his defense, I believe Colman saw the cleverly placed Pringles logo in the corner of his eye and subconsciously swung at that. San Jose sponsorship team with the Assist of the Week.
Colman lays down knowing he’s been duped. He just endured a mixed drink made up of guilt, shame, disgust, and injustice and now feels sick to his stomach. But, like a resilient warrior, he gets back on his feet and pays his respects to God for not letting him get injured during the ordeal.
My humble opinion: Clear foul and one that I think the Disciplinary Committee will be reviewing this week.