It’s over? We got through the Clasico and everyone is still alive? Fantastic! And a good result too. A draw against Real Madrid is quite respectable considering our current defensive deficiencies. To celebrate, let’s hand out some awards!
Nothing New Under The Sun Award: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Once again La Primera is a two-horse race with Barcelona and Madrid tied on points at the top of the league table, with the rest of the pack dropping back. Oh when will La Liga become more competitive like the EPL? … wait, what? What’s that you say? It’s Atletico Madrid tied with Barça, not Real Madrid? Really? Oh. Never mind.
El Puto Amo Award: Tito Vilanova, ladies and gentlemen. Still unbeaten in the league and CL. Taking risks and not breaking a sweat. Telling it like it is in press conferences. Like a boss.
What I Did On My European Vacation Award: I know it won’t happen, but wouldn’t it be funny if Real Madrid finished the season in a Europa League position? Where’s your Decima now, eh? 😈
Factotum Award: Adriano has now successfully played these positions for Barça: RB, LB, CB, attacking midfielder, & winger. Next week Tito plans to try him out in goal. Swiss Army Knife? Bah! More like a Leatherman ™!
MOTMOTMOI Award: Busquets was absolutely tremendous in this game. Even more so than usual. Magisterial, to borrow a Ray-Ray-ism. In fact, he is the MOTM so often that I am considering inaugurating a MOTMOTMOIOB award. Honourary mentions go to Pedro! and Alba.
Golden Tricycle Award: Cristiano Ronaldo demonstrates that he is not ready to take off the training wheels just yet by launching a laughable attempt at a bicycle kick. Unfortunately he landed awkwardly on his shoulder and was in some pain for the rest of the match. It’s OK, Cris, I’m sure you’ll graduate to a big-boy bike soon!
Dog Whisperer Award: Sit, Dani, sit! Good boy. Not that I am at ALL happy that Dani Alves is injured again, but at least he will have a chance to sit down for a few weeks and think about what he has done. I’m not sure what is going on with our Brazilian Bandito, but he needs a little break to get his head together and find his mojo. He will, don’t doubt that. I think the thought of an ascendant Montoya might be just the stimulant he needs.
Caught In The Rat Race Award: The beautiful HD download I watched yesterday allowed me to see the racing stripes that both Benzema & Ronaldo had shaved into the left side of their heads. Wikipedia defines “rat race” as “an endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit”. No matter how hard they run after Barça, they’re never going to catch up.
If It Walks Like A Duck Award: Mascherano has been playing as a CB for over two years now. At what point do the commentators stop referring to him as an “emergency option” or a “backup”?
Rene Levesque Memorial Ashtray: To the supporters who chanted for Catalan Independence at 17:14. It was a moment the father of modern Quebec would have been proud of. (Oh, look him up.) Although it is pretty ironic that a large percentage of the crowd who participated in creating the giant Senyera was made up of dirty foreigners.
Gloria Mundi Award: Lionel Messi. Free Kick. Did you hear the angels sing? Or was that just San Iker crying?
Rearview Mirror Award: Speaking of that FK, Messi was cracking me up, because every time the referee turned his back he moved the ball. At least 4 times, until it was over a metre, even a metre-and-a-half, away from where it was supposed to be. Interestingly, he moved it away from the goal instead of closer, which tells me that he must have practised a free kick from close to that exact spot. Sneaky little flea. Maybe refs should be equipped with a headpiece mirror so they can see behind them?
HOTM (Hleb Of The Match) Award: The Barcelona “fan” who took the opportunity to show off his fancy laser pointer, targeting the referee and RM players. According to EMD, he was identified by Camp Nou security people during the game and handed over to police. Hope he gets jail time for assault with a weapon instead of just a fine.
Unbearable Lightness Of Being Iniesta Award: Graham Hunter said it best on twitter a while back: Whenever Iniesta gets tackled he gets this look of utter disgust on his face as if to say, “Here I am on the floor again.” It’s his own fault, of course. Since he is so gifted at getting the ball out of tight situations the only way to shut him down is to knock him down. Repeatedly.
Making A Molehill Out Of A Mountain Award: Eric Abidal, who is continuing his quest to regain his fitness and rejoin his beloved Barcelona by climbing a freaking mountain! I dare you to watch this video without tearing up or bursting into song:
Climb every mountain,
Search high and low,
Follow every highway,
Every path you know.
Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
‘Till you find your dream.
A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life
For as long as you live.