Injury Time

Life does not cease to be funny when it is serious any more than it ceases to be serious when it is funny. – Oscar Wilde

I’m not a doctor, but I’d like to play one on TV. So I got an expensive blowout, threw on a lab coat and hopped the Metro to Hospitalitat Generalitat, where I began walking up and down the corridors at a smart clip. “My own expertise suggests Borderline Personality Disorder,” I informed an X-ray technician. “Could we be looking at … alopecia?” I whispered to a cardiologist.

“Who are you?” asked a beefy nurse as I stole a clipboard from her desk.

“Who am I?” I stammered. “Why … I am Doctor Doug Ross!”

“Ross doesn’t do rounds anymore,” she sneered. “He makes our Nespresso.”

“And admires our toilets,” added an orderly.

I ducked into a patient’s room and hid behind the door. Cesc Fabregas lay in the bed, his head bandaged like a clumsy mummy. Carles Puyol leaned over him, making the “V” sign with his fingers and taking pictures with his cell phone.

“I always wanted to be like you guys, you know?” Cesc was mumbling. “It’s so great, dudes … bein’ on the same team as you, and wearin’ the same kit as you, and even gettin’ an owie in my head like you …”

“Shhh,” said Piqué, patting him on the shoulder. “Try not to talk.” He used his free arm to edge Shakira behind him and out of Cesc’s line of blurry vision.

I spun into the hallway and landed like a Mascherano tackle onto the lap of … Pedro Rodríguez! We sped down the linoleum, Pedro’s arms flailing as he pushed the wheel-rims of his rickety chair at an Olympic pace.

“Busi, capuuuullllloooo …” he swore, as Sergio Busquets rammed his wheelchair into ours. Busi snorted and spun his stuck-out leg into David Villa, who went flying. Screws rolled along the floor and under parked gurneys. Villa and Busi shouted something about working mothers and scrambled for the hardware.

“Dude!” cried Sergio. “Got one!”

“Awesome!” replied Villa. “Get Puyi to take a pic for my Facebook page!”

Fearing for my safety, I leapt into a supply closet. There were Alexis Sánchez and Isaac Cuenca, rifling through lab tubes and plastic pots. “Are you sure about this, man?” Alexis said. “I mean, Alberto just got really busted for–“

Cuenca grabbed him by the collar and Alexis turned grey. “You can’t leave me out there alone, man! I need another winger! Look, here’s morphine … and codeine … and Copadelredrine … ”

“O.K., man,” Alexis rubbed his shoulder. “Just mix them all the hell up and shoot it into me already. Besides, you’re not alone. You’ve got Leo. Hey, where is Leo, anyway?”

“He’s at the Camp Nou,” Cuenca said, snapping the syringe. “Match day.”

“Right, right,” said Alexis, hissing as the needle went in.

I don’t believe in other people doing drugs, so I stared down at my clipboard and backed out until I reached the exam room. There were chairs, and I sat down. When I looked up, I saw Andrés Iniesta hop up on the table in a gown with bunnies on it. Pep Guardiola stood next to him, frowning.

“Is it serious again, Doc?” he asked.

“Well, let’s have a little look, shall we?” said the doctor. “That’s a good fellow.”

Andrés whispered something to Guardiola, who sighed. “Does he get a sticker afterwards?” he grumbled.

“Sure,” said the doctor. He took a small, rubber reflex hammer and tapped Andrés’ knee. Andrés sucked in his breath through gritted teeth as his stocking foot wiggled about. I buried my face in my hands, too panicked to watch.

“Geeeezus!” I heard Guardiola shriek. “Can you be a little more *&$#@ careful, for God’s sake?”

Just when I thought I couldn’t take another ounce of suffering, the door burst open and a nurse popped her bobbed head in. “Doctor, it’s time!” she called.

“Ah! Right then,” the doctor said, draping his stethoscope about his neck.

“Time for what?” demanded Guardiola.

“Strike,” said the doctor.


“Oh, yes,” the doctor nodded, heading towards the door. “Labor reforms, you know. New government and all that. Now I’m supposed to give up my puente? How am I going to get from El Carmen to Baqueira-Beret in three days?”

Guardiola was livid. He grabbed his bald head with both hands and leaned so far backwards I kicked a gurney over to catch his fall. “Well, what in the g. d. hell am I supposed to do? I’ve got an entire team in the ward with La Liga on the line and you pinko commie sons of are going on strike?”

“Oh, for goodness’ sake, Josep, we’ll be back in ten minutes,” the doctor rolled his eyes. “The general strike’s not ’til Monday.”

Guardiola sighed. Andrés leaned on Pep’s shoulder. I got up and offered Andrés a sticker.

Then I thought I’d hop the Metro and catch Messi at the Camp Nou.

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SoccerMom obsesses over FCB and this blog instead of grading papers, burning dinner and/or raising her small children. She blames a Spanish husband and easy access to Hispanic-targeted cable sports channels for her football addiction and consequent failure as a professor, housekeeper and mother.


  1. Miguel
    February 8, 2012

    I don’t get it. Is what’s his face from “Up in the Air” supposed to be Ramón Cugat?

  2. hansh
    February 8, 2012

    I’m having issues picturing Iniesta, a man I find attractive, as a 6-year-old wearing a gown with bunnies and asking for stickers from a doctor. This makes me uncomfortable…

    On the plus side, the rest of the post makes me smile 😀 I think Cesc, Pique, and Puyol do interact like that most of the time. And “Copadrenaline” is my new drug of choice!

    • mom4
      February 8, 2012

      On the other hand, it wouldn’t be hard picturing him in a gown with bears.

      Super game today. A little scary at times and I could wish for better finishing, but we looked like us again. And when we look like us, pretty football follows.
      Valencia played very well too. That was encouraging to see as far as the health of the league is concerned Diego Alves should start for Brazil.

      • hansh
        February 8, 2012

        Thanks mom4, I never get tired of that commercial.

        I agree, I really enjoyed this game today. We looked like we were invested in it again. And what a game Puyol had!

  3. Megster
    February 8, 2012

    Nice one soccer mom! Just referencing Dr. Ross made me smile simply because ER is my favorite show. I would also like to allude your story to the movie Girl Interrupted. There are so many ‘crazy’ scenes but the best is the one with Cuenca & Alexis. I also imagine you singing ‘Downtown’ when you gave Iniesta the sticker. 🙂

  4. Momo
    February 8, 2012

    Superb game today!

    -Cesc and thiago complemented Xavi perfectly in terms of adding intensity, creativity, and immense workrate.
    – Intelligent game from both Cuenca and Alexis. Movement and ball circulation was great although Cuenca could have done with a little more running at his full back. Although his reverse pass to messi was sublime.
    – Signs of the pique of old (pre-shakira) were definitely on show today. Great play and composure from the back. when he plays like this he could easily walk into almost any midfield in the world.
    -Masch, Messi, Xavi, Abi, Puyol, and even Pinto were all superb.
    – Hope this marks the end of the 3-4-3 seeing how balanced and comfortable the 4-3-3 has been especially when dealing with the high pressing tactics most teams are deploying against us these days.

  5. barca96
    February 8, 2012

    I would like to say that I think that only Cesc can score that type of goals. This is the 2nd time now in a big match where he breaks away from our half and makes a long run to the goal to score.

    I couldn’t think of any other player on our team who would make that type of runs. Messi usually will stay back to get the ball. Same case with Xavi, Iniesta etc.

    • Peterj
      February 9, 2012

      Nothing special in dat movement..Alves does plenty of those moves but difference his dat alves is always trying to assist a free player even when he is certain to score

    • Srini
      February 9, 2012

      Por Favor ( srinivasanDOTvrATgmailDOTcom )

      • icemel
        February 9, 2012

        De nada! Achtung: die E-Mail kommt.

    • Miguel
      February 9, 2012

      Thanks for the link! I haven’t seen any of the NextGen Tourney.

  6. Sheena
    February 8, 2012

    That was great SoMa. 🙂

    Also: I think this was one of our best showings against Valencia in recent times. They scare me, because they always tend to give us a really hard time, especially during the first halves of games against them. But they just didn’t look as threatening this time. Maybe they were a little tired, or we were just on, but here’s to hoping we see more of the same when we play them in the league on the 19th.

  7. February 9, 2012

    this was hilarious, laughed the whole time. best parts were Cesc & Puyii & Pique and Alex & Cuenca.

    i must be the only cule in the world not impressed with last night’s performance.

    • Helge
      February 9, 2012

      I was not impressed with our efficiency in front of goal and neither with the amount of big chances from Valencia.
      Someone said in the last comment this could have been 4 or 5-0, but even though we were superior with regards to ball possession, creation of goal-scoring opportunities and looked the more fluid team in both matches, Valencia would have knocked us out if in particular Soldado in the first leg and Jordi Alba yesterday finished their chances.

      Overall performance was good and we deserved to go through, but a clinical team could have ‘killed’ us.

  8. TITO
    February 9, 2012

    You would be, if only the score-sheet was 3,4-0 for us considering what we missed. Great game, reminded me at those games where the opponent would try to press us from the beginning and after 10 minutes when they realize that it’s not working for them, we take control of the game.
    I just wish our finishing improves ahead of the tough fixture that we have.

  9. barca96
    February 9, 2012

    Wayne should keep his nose out of it. He didn’t do enough on the pitch when Capello was manager. Wayne should concentrate on being a player and not on who he wants as England manager.”

    – Former Republic of Ireland captain Roy Keane dismisses Rooney’s input.

    That’s hilarious!! The man really isn’t shy to voice his strong opinion publicly or in the dressing room (Mick Mcarthy can tell you that).

    But seriously, England is in a deep mess right now. No captain and no manager.

    I’ve always been a fan of Redknapp since his West Ham days thanks to Cole. I do think it’s possible for him to do a dual-task of managing Spurs and England at the same time. It is after all in England and in London so there shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

  10. Chiu
    February 9, 2012

    Final, Yeay!!! I just watched the highlight.

    – Pinto made some brilliant saves. Pretty excellent performance except when he went out too early to closing space and fortunately Masch was there for clearance. I just realized Pinto have led us to 3 CDR finals in 4 seasons, as Pep said. On the other side, Diego Alves was also on fire to keep the score line respectable for Valencia.

    – Valencia defense made some fatal misplaced passes at their back. So unlucky for us nothing converted to goal from their errors.

    – I think the clip on Messi deserved a penalty kick. That contact was happening exactly in the last second together when Messi shot/chip the ball, unbalanced Messi while him targeting the ball. Looked at the “WTF schoolboy face” from Messi waiting the referee to point the penalty spot 🙂

  11. Jafri
    February 9, 2012

    Question: Why does EE have more matchday revenue than us? (123 to 110 mill euros) We have the biggest stadium in europe.

    Also, more commercial rev…

  12. Gogah
    February 9, 2012

    Anyone know when 3M can play again?

    • mom4
      February 9, 2012

      I thought we were looking at April(ish).

  13. mom4
    February 9, 2012

    Related to barca96’s post about England, has their FA ever said why Suarez was tried and banned right away yet Terry awaits a trial after the Euros?

    @ SoMa, I’m glad you were there to give Don Andres a sticker. He deserves it. I hear rocket pops help too. (Hey Blitz, didja know that there’s a rocket pop shooter?: )

    • blitzen
      February 9, 2012

      I can’t drink anything raspberry-flavoured, so no rocket pop shooter for me, thanks. I’ll stick with my tequila. 😛

    • Mila
      February 9, 2012

      Terry was charged by their prosecutors with criminal racial abuse, which the FA decided takes precedence over a disciplinary hearing.

      Basically, the FA will being a disciplinary hearing only after the justice system does its bit.

      Suarez was not criminally investigated nor charged, so the FA exercised their right to act and subsequently banned him for 8 games.

      If Terry is found guilty, aside from a criminal punishment, most likely a fine, he will be investigated by FA, found guilty and banned for a number of games.

    • Miguel
      February 9, 2012

      I’ll take a rocket pop shooter. Or a sticker.

    • February 9, 2012

      I spent my whole day today at the place this guy passed his baccalauréat. 😯 Creepy coincidence…or have you been stalking me?!

  14. Lev
    February 9, 2012

    It is so sad for Ibi that he has such a long injury because he would have played a LOT of minutes for Barça this year 🙁

  15. Miguel
    February 9, 2012

    He used his free arm to edge Shakira behind him and out of Cesc’s line of blurry vision.

    This is my favorite line. You gotta learn this the hard way.

  16. The best moment from last night match was Messi’s reaction after Diego Alves saved yet another of his attempt. Many Barca hater says he was looking for a penalty, that’s nonsense. There was no doubt he was shocked by Diego’s performance, I would say that’s an appreciation for his keeping. At that moment I thought Lionel gave up the idea of beating Alves.

    • Laurentiu88
      February 10, 2012

      he was not ‘looking’ for a penalty nor was he amazed by DA save, he was in disbelief that again a penalty was not given.

  17. ooga aga
    February 10, 2012

    always grateful for the laughs, soma

  18. mom4
    February 10, 2012

    Good stuff:
    Video: Tackles Javier Mascherano [by @allas4] #fcblive

    Masche says NO!
    Really beautiful defending! Didja know tackles could be pretty?

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