In honor of Sunday’s Grammy Awards, we’ve assembled a side of music legends, packed into an Ajax-style 3-4-3. Our selections may skew older, but that's just because that's when the real music was made (and our – or at least my – musical knowledge actually ends the year I was born).
GK – Ringo Starr – Ringo made a career out of being in the right place at the right time, by being a pretty good available drummer just as three musical geniuses happened to need one. He gets by with a little help from his friends here too.
LCB – Isaac Hayes – No matter the song or sport, he’s still one bad mother shutyomouth.
Don't believe what you might read on the injury report. He feels good.
SW– James Brown – The hardest working man in show business brings that tremendous effort to the pitch, and always keeps things cool in the back.
RCB – Johnny Cash – The rock of our defense. He may not be fast, but he makes up for it in sheer badassery.
CDM – Keith Moon – Our Tasmanian devil of a defensive midfielder is all violence and movement, making life a nightmare for every opposing midfielder, not just the playmaker.
LCM – Joe Strummer – This genre-bending punk rocker rules the center because he always knows whether he Should to Stay in his position or Go rampaging forward. That means he can both put the Clampdown on the opponent and make sure our Magnificent front Seven don’t Train in Vain.
RCM – Johnny Ramone – What our midfield lacks in technical virtuosity, they offset in raw energy. Johnny Ramone is the metronome that keeps the whole thing going, with his movement in tight spaces and rapid-fire passing driving the ball forward.
CAM – Freddie Mercury – Incredible range and a fantastic feel for his craft. Plus, he and our center forward bring out the best in each other.
LW – Chuck Berry – Not flashy, at least not by today’s standards, but still fast, creative and devastatingly effective, as long as he’s not holding out for more money.
Leaving defenders in a cloud
of purple haze since 1964
CF – David Bowie – His versatility makes him the perfect frontman for this ensemble. He can play the speedy poacher, the line-leading target man, or the deep-lying playmaker with equal ability, disappearing into each role as if it was the one he’s always played.
RW – Jimi Hendrix – Hendrix fits the role of jinking right winger because he’s the music world’s Garrincha (Most people would probably say that Garrincha was soccer’s Hendrix, but we’re soccer writers here, and we get to structure the analogy the way we want.). Almost no one would argue that Garrincha was the greatest player the world has ever seen, but the consensus seems to be that he was the absolute best at that one particular aspect of the game he focused most on: dribbling. Same goes with Hendrix and the guitar.
What is this new site we're exposing you too? We'll let them explain:
The Other 87 seeks to provide something that’s not instant analysis or eve of matchday previews. Think of us as the good bits of your favorite soccer coverage: the profiles that examine what makes a certain player tick, the historical background that sheds some light on how the sport has evolved to the present day, the silly features that are more than just tacking names on a list, but considering and explaining why each one deserves to be there.
O87 wants to be a home for soccer writing that makes you think, but that also treats the game as just that, a game. The greatest game, the one we obsess over and fixate on, to the point where we can’t read that gas costs 3.43 a gallon without thinking of Ajax’s 1995 Champions League winning team. But a game nonetheless.
“When you play a match, it is statistically proven that players actually have the ball three minutes on average. The best players – the Zidanes, Ronaldinhos, Gerrards – will have the ball maybe four minutes. Lesser players – defenders – probably two minutes. So, the most important thing is: what do you do those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball…. That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.” –Johann Cruyff
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