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Clear & Obvious: C&O investigates: Do MLS teams actually know the rules?: An investigation

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The world may never know.

MLS: Seattle Sounders at Portland Timbers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

“Clear & Obvious” is a new kind of sort of vertical/brand/excuse for us to make fun of the deeply strange and wonderful world of MLS. Please take it very seriously.


A stunning revelation occurred Monday afternoon. A revelation relatively unnoticed by the rest of the MLS watching public (bless y’all), but still wholly Shamylanian.

Apparently, teams don’t know the freaking rules.

Truly stunning, truly Shamylanian, we know.

We at C&O, of course, had to verify this. So we checked in with multiple teams to ask the burning question: “Do you know the rules of the league you play in?”

LA Galaxy

“The what?”

The rules. Of MLS. The league you compete in. The things that determine how everything should be done? Like what’s legal when you make roster moves.

“Ohhhhhhh. [thirty seconds of laughter] You mean the ‘rules.’ Yeahhhh, we definitely know the ‘rules’ [forty-five seconds of increasing laughter]. ”

Colorado Rapids

“Ok so you’re saying that there’s a list of these things out there? And they tell you what you both can and cannot do.”

Yeah, things like DPs and all that.

“Ok. Yeah. You keep saying that. What is that?

A DP?

“Yeah.”

It’s like a player you can pay more than everyone else and it won’t hurt your salary cap. Yours is Tim Howard.

“Ok. Yeah. You keep saying that. Who is that?”

Real Salt Lake

“[Horrific string of profanity]”

Sor--

[Profanity Continues]”

We’re so--

[Oh god the words, the horrible words]”

Yes Mr. Petke we know you’re not with the team anymore we had the wrong number.

NYCFC

“Sure…..We understand the rules….Of course.

[distant mumbling]

Yes, we understand that the rules allow us one (1) stadium of our own.”

What?

“Yes, we get one whole stadium. It says so right here in the rules. We’ll be expecting it shortly.”

We can’t....give you…..Look, we’re a blo--

“NO TAKE BACKSIES [phone clicks.]”

Austin FC

Yes, we saw Mathew McConaughey in “A Star is Born” can you please just answer the--

“Sure, sure, sorry…”

“…”

“So the thing about Jack Maine is that his songs in the movie really reveal his character.”

Everyone hates you.

Portland Timbers

“We know the rules the most. We’re the best rule followers of all-time. No other team in the league follows the rules like us.”

So what you’re saying is…?

Exactly. We hate fascists.

…I don’t...understa--

“Look it’s simple. We follow the rules. The rules are in place for a reason and anyone who dissents from them should be eradicated...from the stadium, ERGO we hate fascists.”

“You think we do this because it’s fun? No. The rules are what guides us. If ANYONE were to break them for any reason, then that just doesn’t sit right with us. And because we make the active choice to create these rules in society, then we must follow them to maintain order. And because we are maintaining order at all costs ERGO...we hate fascists.”

...So….it….kind of seems like…..you….

“AND BECAUSE WE HATE FASCISTS WE WILL ADHERE TO THE RULES. AND THE RULES HAVE DETERMINED THAT NO ONE SHOULD BE UNCOMFORTABLE. AND ANYONE MAKING ANYONE UNCOMFORTABLE IS THE OTHER. AND THEREFORE, ERGO, ANYONE MAKING THE FASCISTS UNCOMFORTABLE SHALL BE CONSIDERED FASCISTS AND WE. FREAKIN. ERGO. HATE. FASCISTS.”

............................................................................................................................................................No one else in the league had any idea what the rules are until you pointed it out? Just you? Seems kind of like a hackey way to gaslight someone into excusing your actions through whataboutism.

“That’s right. No other team had any idea. And we pointed it out because we want everyone to feel comfortable. Because those are the rules. And because fascists have no place here.”

So...can I bring this sign that says I hate fascists to the next game?

“You beautiful, sweet, sweet idiot.”