Yes, I’m back! Well, I never really left, but you know what I mean. Here are some lovely blitzen awards to ease the sting of losing the Mini Clasico today:
MOTM Award: If Iniesta had played the entire game the way he did in the 2nd half, the award would have gone to him, no question. As it is, I’m giviing it to Pedro, who is well on the way to earning back his punctuation. He has been in brilliant form since even before the preseason, and I am thrilled to welcome the real Pedro back to the team!
Red Hot & Blue Award: I don’t know exactly what the temperature was in the Camp Nou on Thursday, but from all reports it was very very hot. And humid. To the point where the players looked like they were standing in the middle of a rainstorm, that’s how much they were sweating. This is when I realized that I actually really like the new kit. It’s a slimmer fit than the last couple of seasons, and when it’s all shiny wet and clingy, it’s really very flattering. Jury is still out on Tequila Sunrise.
That Old Black Magic Award: I also noticed that in spite of the heat, Pique still insisted on playing in long sleeves. This is a superstition of his from way back, and while it is certainly not the craziest one I have come across, I can’t imagine he was comfortable with it.
Cheaper By The Dozen Award: At least I assume Tito has gotten a wholesale deal from Banana Republic (or whatever is the Spanish equivalent) on those plain black short-sleeved shirts he seems to have made his uniform of choice. Personally I think he looks great. It’s a classic look, he is comfortable, and let’s face it, he’s just not a suit guy. Gok Wan approves.
Got Your Nose! Award: Apparently Xavi’s goal celebration of holding his nose was not a reaction to the stench of 60,000 sweaty cules in the humid cauldron of the Camp Nou, but a tribute to the kids at his summer football camp. Either that, or his girlfriend’s name is Pinocchio.
Night Of The Long Knives Award: Dani Alves finally shaved! Thank the gods and Sweeney Todd. Unfortunately, there was some collateral damage in the form of Tello, who is suddenly completely bald. Not that it looks bad on him, but (remembering Cesc’s hair disaster from last year) you have to wonder what sort of bizarre hazing rituals go in that dressing room.
Master of Puppets Award: Sergio Ramos just really likes picking people up like ragdolls, doesn’t he? First he and Arbeloa tag-team Villa in this famous incident, and now he unceremoniously hauls Alexis to his feet after Sanchez goes to ground in the box. I have to admit I don’t blame him this time. Alexis was diving all game long and it was just embarrassing. Please Tito, make him stop! He is a fantastic player and an all-round great guy and I hate that he constantly does this. (It also pisses me off that the English commentators constantly refer to Busquets as a diver when Alexis is a hundred times worse. Gah!)
Trollhattan Memorial TOTM Award: Mourinho, of course! “I’m not going to complain about the referee’s terrible mistake because I don’t talk about the referees anymore.” OIC.
Stop! In The Name Of Love Award: Did you see how angry Alexis got when that pitch invader tried to hug Messi? Dude is lucky he still has a face! Do not try to break up a Barça Bearhug ™ or you WILL regret it.
Mi Casa Es Su Casa Award: Sergio Ramos, for helping himself to a bottle of water from one of the Barça medics bags while Pedro was being attended to. No, I don’t have a problem with it, obviously, the water is for anyone who needs it, it just struck me as funny. Knock someone down, then steal their water for good measure!