Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Tuesday 10: John Harkes Ruins History


By "The Other 87 Minutes" / Senior Unemployed English Major Correspondents
If you're like us (that is, currently residing in America, somewhat interested in soccer, and on Twitter way more than is healthy) then chances are you've experienced within the last week the absolute wonder that is John Harkes.
With two weeks to go until the MLS Cup final, we figure, why should we limit ourselves to hearing the gospel of Harkes as it pertains to soccer? What would Harkes say about art, about politics, about culture? What about history? How would John Harkes, the Commentator, encapsulate and elucidate some of history's greatest moments for the modern viewer?
Woodstock, 1969
"The crowd is electric, Ian. A lot of energy, a lot of love going
around. Watch out, I’m gonna bust a move. Shimmy. Shimmy. Cocoa. Pops."
...Probably something like that. Here are ten more nuggets in what we're calling "Harkes on History."
"It's an honor just to be here, Ian."
The building of the Great Pyramid. 2560 BC(left)
The Israelites have done a great job here, but you have to give a lot of credit to Pharaoh. Coming into this, he got a lot of flak, a lot of criticism, people saying he couldn’t do it, that his guys weren’t strong enough, physical enough. But I think Pharaoh has been great for this nation and you can’t say enough about him.
David and Goliath, 1020 BC
I’m not worried about it, Ian. Goliath is too strong to stay down forever. Look at what he did to the Hebrews last week. He’s not going to let a little rock end his season. Besides, do you see this kid? He’s not even wearing armor! Where’s his sword, his shield? Once the big man gets back up, he’s going to show us all the form that made him a champion.
Building of the Great Wall of China, 206 BC
This is exactly what the Chinese need right now, Ian. It’s big, it’s strong, it’s tough…the opposition are going to have a hard time getting past it. This is a great, great move from Huang. He’s silencing his doubters here.
The birth of Christ, 2 BC
It’s a great scene in Bethlehem here tonight, Ian. You’ve got to love Joseph’s choice of manger animals. The donkeys and lambs are both great choices in the backdrop. Cute, cuddly…Jesus is going to love being born. Big props to Joseph and Mary.
"This is the Magna Carta of documents, Ian."
Atilla the Hun invades Italy, 452
I don’t like it, Ian. You’ve come this far, it’s down to the wire, the gig is almost up, the chips are nearly cashed…you’ve got to press on and sack Rome at this point. There’s no excuse not to.
The signing of the Magna Carta, 1215(right)
You’ve got to hand it to the noblemen, Ian. I don’t think anyone saw the King of England ever signing a document like this, and they’ve made him do it. It’s really inspiring. This will go down as one of the greatest movements in recorded history.
Washington crosses the Delaware, 1776
Wow, wow, is Washington crossing the Delaware? Ian, the British are not going to expect this. I totally agree with the move here. If you’re a general, you’ve got to make smart decisions or you’re not going to win. At this point, I don’t see the US not winning this one.
"Ian, I believe only Denver can claim to have a higher altitude."
Sir Edmund Hillary climbs Everest, 1953(left)
What you have in Edmund Hillary is a climber with a lot of heart. He’s giving his all out there…I don’t know where this expedition would be without him. Edmund Hillary is a hero. Surely, no man has ever been higher than him, right Ian? People are going to talk about Norgay, but this was all Edmund Hillary, all the way. He deserves 100 percent of the credit.
Apollo 11 moon landing, 1969
The conspiracy theorists are angry now and I think they’ve got a case here. Armstrong really came in crackly, and the photos are mighty fake looking. I don’t know what I’d do in this position, Ian, but I’m inclined to take a second look. If I’m a conspiracy theorist, I’m going “Where were the cameras?”
Watergate, 1974
Tactics like this are just part of the game at this level. I can understand why the home voters are upset, but I think it’s a smart play by Nixon.

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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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6 comments:

elliott said...

You forgot the Telemundo alternative to the David vs. Goliath bout - Y UN PEDRAAAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DE DAVID!

luigi said...

You also forgot his "I Have A Dream" speech commentary: "Well Ian, I think one of the things that stands out to me is how much he have turned around the movement. As a speaker he's really helped sort them out, the organization, the discipline they have, he makes people better around him. And actually I've seen Gandhi do that at India many years ago"

Dan said...

I hate that I read all that in Harkes's voice.

Free Beer Movement said...

@Luigi -

ahhahahah! Awesome. I think we need to do more of these.

Anonymous said...

I can see why he thought nobody saw the King of France signing the Magna Carta....because he didn't, the King of England did

Free Beer Movement said...

Anon. Thanks. We'll correct that. Nerd. :)

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