Liga Preview: FC Barcelona – Real Zaragoza, Saturday 2pm, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com
Scene: A man stands on the field of an empty stadium. He wears a suit and tie. He holds a cell phone to his ear with one hand.
Javier Aguirre: The Camp Nou is a gorgeous place, I’m telling you.
Voice on the phone: But will they really have me?
Aguirre: Of course! You come recommended from the highest circles of coaching in the world. They’ll have you.
Voice: Guardiola recommended me!? This is fantastic–
Aguirre: No, dammit, I did.
Voice: Oh. But I thought you said–
Aguirre: Shut up, do you want the job or not?
Voice: Well, of course, it’s be an honor to play there, in that stadium. My first time outside of Mexico and I get to go there? Fabulous.
Voice: And I’ll certainly be the tallest player on the squad. I mean, I’m over 3 feet tall! [laughs]
Aguirre: Too true.
Voice: Do you think I’ll get much playing time?
Aguirre: You’ll always be able to earn playing time. You’re straight gangster in front of net.
Voice: But that’s not what they need right now, is it? I mean, they’re pouring in the goals left and right. Or at least they were. I haven’t watched for a bit.
Aguirre: I understand your concern, but despite the number of goals you might think the team scores, they need you quite a bit. There’s been a veritable drought recently. Only 3 goals in the last 4 games!
Voice: Huh. I didn’t realize that, but like I said, I haven’t watched for a bit. That sounds promising. I’ll hop the first flight out.
Aguirre: Great. This stadium really is lovely.
Voice: I’ll see you there. [hangs up]
Aguirre: We’re saved! [jumps up and down a couple of times] I should go get another crew cut to celebrate. But no, that wouldn’t be prudent. I need this hair. Maybe I should grow a mustache. It certainly has helped Preciado. My, what a mustache that is. I’d be more envious if I weren’t so successful. But maybe I should.
[He debates this point throughout the night, standing on the stadium grass. The grounds crew, arriving early the next morning, ignores him. Soon a man comes out of the tunnel wearing a Barcelona shirt. He approaches Aguirre.]
Bofo Bautista: Javi, my man, my buddy, what’s good in the hood?
Aguirre: Oh great, you’re here! We’re saved. [turns to the grounds crew] Do you hear that, puñeteros? Saved!
Bofo: Heh, yeah, saved. I like it.
Aguirre: But why are you wearing that shirt?
Bofo: Just getting used to it, you know? Gotta be prepared for going out on the field for the first time.
Bofo: You know, for my debut with Bar–
Puyol: Hey, guys. What’s the haps on the craps?
Bofo and Aguirre: Where’d you come from?
Puyol: Oh, I was just cutting the grass as usual. Sorta my pregame ritual. And post game. And during my off days. It’s actually just sort of a ritual. Or a job.
Puyol: I’m on the grounds-crew.
Bofo: Will I have to cut the grass here too?
Puyol: Oh no no, visiting players don’t have do that. That’s silly. You’re crazy. Oh it was a joke. I like you. You’re a funny guy. I won’t kill you during the game. But bald. Quite bald. So maybe I will just mangle you.
Bofo: Wait…during the game…hey, Javi, what’s this guy talking about?
Aguirre: Seemed pretty logical to me. What’s not to understand?
Bofo: Well you said “Come play for me in Barcelona, it’ll be great….the Camp Nou is a gorgeous place.”
Bofo: But you coach Zarago–oh crap.
Aguirre: Wait, you thought–Ha! Seriously?
Puyol: Hey have a great afternoon. Wear extra shin guards tonight, though, I’ve got some thunder built up and I think I’m going to town on some unlucky soul. Take care! [goes back to his blaugrana-painted mower].
Bofo: So you lied to me! You said I’d sign for Barça!
Aguirre: I said “Do you want to play in Barcelona?” Not, “Do you want to play for Barcelona?” Seriously? Come on, man, even I’m not that crazy. Let’s get ready for the massacre I mean match.
Official Prediction: 3-0, goals by Messi (2) and Villa. None by Bofo.