Christmas is only a week away and I have yet to start my shopping. I know, I'm bad news (and a bit of a procrastinator... just look at the time I posted this...) and I'm feeling a little guilty over my late start. So, to alleviate some of that guilt, I've decided to make a little list of gifts I would buy for certain Fire players. Check it out after the jump. **Jon Busch - Roget's International Thesaurus, 6th Edition. - $13.22**
On August 19th the Fire laid an absolute egg against the L.A. Galaxy, playing one of their worst games of the year in a 2-0 home defeat. But after the match, Fire keeper Jon Busch put on one of the best performances of the season.
Several reporters (including myself) clustered around the locker of Busch - who is one of the better quotes on the team - and he took it from there.
Buschy launched into a bit of a tirade, producing such gems as, "it doesn't matter about flicks and fancy and I can put a ball here and I can put a ball there, that's bulls**t" and "it's plain and simple... today wasn't effective soccer and it was crap."
But Busch recieves a Roget's because of his prolific use of the term "effective soccer." He probably dropped that little phrase close to 10 times in the interview. For that, he'll get the thesaurus.
**Brian McBride - ShamWow - 8 for the low price of $19.95!!!**
At this point in his career, Brian McBride isn't exactly known for his speed on the field. But once the game ends - and the Toyota Park media starts heading into the Fire's locker room - you can count on one thing every time: McBride will make like Usain Bolt and get the hell out of Bridgeview before you can say "paper towel."
The quickness with which he leaves the locker room is remarkable. It makes me say "wow" every time. In fact, McBride is so quick that he will sometimes leave Toyota Park without even drying his hair after his postgame shower.
And that is why Brian gets the ShamWow. With this part shammy, part towel, McBride could dry his hair on the go. It wouldn't take more than a second for his hair to go from sopping wet to bone dry - meaning Brian could dry off and not sacrifice any time at all.
Plus, that thing holds 12 times its weight in liquid! WOW!!
**Patrick Nyarko - Longer studs for his cleats - $12.95**
Unlike fellow forward McBride, Patrick Nyarko is a complete burner on the field. In fact, Nyarko is so fast that sometimes he'll lose his balance and fall to the ground. And though Patrick will always fight through his stumbles and hit the ground running, his slip ups can sometimes cost the team.
I know Patrick would be absolutely sick if one of his tumbles cost the Fire a game (or even a point) and so he'll be finding some studs in his stocking this year.
**John Thorrington - Stress ball - $1.34**
John Thorrington isn't afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. Sometimes this can be a good thing (see his incredibly passionate performance in Game 2 of this year's Eastern Conference Semis). Other times it can be a bad thing. A very bad thing (see the cards he picks up for dissent).
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for yelling at the ref (Note: I whined at the refs *all the time* in my high school soccer career). However, at times John can be known to cross a line that ends up costing the Fire - and himself - in the form of cards.
For this reason, John - who led the Fire in cautions and ejections this year - gets a stress ball. He can carry it with him on the field (in his sock maybe? Think of it as an extra shin guard...) and squeeze it any time he gets upset with the ref, thus limiting his card total.
Well, those presents fill up all the room under Fire Confidential's imaginary holiday tree. Now it's your turn to spread some holiday spirit. Feel free to give gifts to any Fire player or even me (here's a hint, I really enjoy remedial grammar lessons!) and keep that holiday cheer going.
(Another Note: All of these gifts were "given" in good fun. All four of these guys are very nice people and if I were giving them an actual holiday gift, it would be much kinder -- and probably cheaper -- than the ones listed above.)