Friday July 13th, 2018 01:28 The conspiracy of goalkeepers

Years back, one of my favorite Premiere League seasons of all time saw Edwin Van der Sar at Man U and Petr Cech working for Chelsea, with both sides in a heated title run.

My Villa did pretty well too, but nevermind that now.

As a player, I only remember doing part of a single season as the dedicated keeper. But I do remember being a de-facto backup for a number of teams.

The coaches/captains consistently saw me as more useful elsewhere, but I always did love being a keeper. It’s a huge responsibility and one that not infrequently leaves you bearing the brunt of blame for goals.

You also get to be the commander of the entire defense, shaping play to your will [as much as one can]. For as many shots that get past, you get to be the hero for every one that doesn’t. You get to make an enormous contribution to the team, albeit one with great risk of failing that same team.

And while your teammates respect the skill required, the greatest respect comes from other keepers. Only they can truly appreciate a spectacular save, be it the inevitable result of reading the situation to anticipate the oncoming attack or reacting to good effect while functionally blind.

Long story short, I have unending respect and admiration for quality goalkeepers. If for no other reason than:

The other 10 can score all day long, but if your keeper lets in just one more than you scored, it’s all for naught.

Now, I had started this post before Tuesday’s epic England-Croatia match. I then did and still do hold great respect for this man, Jordan Pickford.

pickford

He came out of nowhere, in terms of the international stage. He was with smaller clubs until signing with Everton last year. Commentators and opinion-writers for the sport generally panned the selection when it first was known.

For the uninitiated, it’s positively bonkers that a 24-year-old with a single EPL season under his belt would not only be selected for his national team. The side was known to be relatively weak in general; this was still one of the more questionable decisions at the time, despite how well he later embarrassed his detractors.

Your usual keeper of quality is older than 90% of the team, has proven himself in multiple leagues in multiple countries. Your usual keeper of quality would burst out laughing at the idea that a team with a 24-year-old in goal had a real chance to make the World Cup semis.

I mention that i began this post days ago because it was only today my mind drew a line between that man and an American politician.

Namely, Trey Gowdy.

In politics, he’s a relatively young man with, not just an relatively unremarkable but also relatively short body of work as an elected official, compared to his contemporaries. One that also jumped well above his expected station to so quickly chair House Oversight.

Unlike Pickford, one of the clear standouts at this year’s Cup, his performance is somewhat lacking.

Whether you believe or not that some actionable failure/crime was committed in the Banghazi incident, the man utterly failed to prove a damn thing. Those hearings were voted into existence on May 8, 2014 and didn’t end until December 12, 2016.

In 29 months, at a cost of somewhere between $6-7 million dollars of our (the taxpayers) money, absolutely zero was produced beyond a report of their findings, which, for all its rhetorical jabs, never once concluded that Secretary Clinton was at fault for the deaths of those brave soldiers.

Some things might have smelled a bit fishy, but any reasonable person should be able to accept that the committee had more than enough time and resources to discover the truth. In the end, that was their conclusion.

Now, working on the topic of possible FBI malfeasance concerning the 2016 election, he’s doing even less of a job to keep [what is the ball in this metaphor] out of the back of the net.

Note: I will omit commentary on the manner in which today’s testimony was handled, despite obviously having something to say

Based on Gowdy’s questions, he appears to be probing the possibility that someone, at some point, did something to interfere in the 2016 election and that it was done for partisan goal of preventing Donald Trump from being elected.

And that’s where my mind tied him to Pickford.

Pickford is tasked with not letting bad things happen that will hurt his team. In theory, Gowdy is tasked with the same goal. The FBI and DOJ are his field players, and he is there to stop anything that gets past them.

So, if the FBI – the effing FBI that most Americans spent a lifetime being taught to respect – set out to sabotage the campaign of Donald Trump, it should at least be a little bit of a shock that they failed so miserably.

In the ‘sabotage Trump’ theory of events, the FBI, a massively powerful arm of the US government, was actively involved, at the highest levels, in a conspiracy to steal the presidency from Donald Trump, and their public acts in furtherance of that goal were:

  • They publicly announced an investigation into Trump’s opponent’s actions as Secretary of State.
  • They released large amounts of officially-reviewed communications in connection with that investigation into Trump’s opponent, giving them to Republican-led committees with known track records of leaking such information to the press*.
  • They released more caches of those communications involving Trump’s opponent, multiple times, over the course of several months, ending shortly before the election was held.
  • They kept almost perfectly silent about ongoing investigations into Trump and his campaign, specifically in regards to now-known interactions between Trump, his businesses and his campaign with Russian officials during said campaign.**
  • The FBI publicly stated that Russia, specifically, was attempting to exert influence on the 2016 election. At the time, they made no accusations of any kind nor linked said interference to either campaign.
  • When people began learning about Trump/his companies/his campaign’s involvement with Russian citizens, entities, government-affiliated companies and government officials, the FBI deferred all questions, offering little to no substantial information
  • The FBI director, mere weeks before the election, personally announced a return to the investigation into Trump’s opponent, long after the first investigation found no actionable criminal or civil violations.

***(see bottom)

If Jordan Pickford set out to prevent England from winning the cup, he did a similarly bad job. He was a rock in the goal. Stopped penalties, amazing strikes and surprise headers. Surely he could have let one in here or there. But all the while, it appeared to any objective observer that he was doing all he could to thwart his opponents rather than his own team.

The phrase ‘own team’ being operable because the vast majority of the FBI are registered Republicans. This is fact.

Thus, to suggest that the FBI was working on behalf of Hillary Clinton is the same as suggesting Jordan Pickford was working for Croatia and every other team England faced.

In which case they were both pathetically inept in achieving their intended result.

Which would mean all of those keepers of quality were cruelly duped in their respect for Pickford, as would be all the other LEOs of the nation in having any respect for the quality, stature and honor of the FBI.

And I find it difficult to posit that, in both cases, those entire nations could be so subverted with so little evidence left to prove such an act.

*The same press that then-candidate Trump named as enemies of the nation, whom he later not-so-slyly suggested were acceptable targets for murder

**While those investigations were later revealed, whether anything done was illicit or not is still to be determined. I don’t like the man, but we, as Americans, should be fair.

***I’ve personally seen teenage girls organize a more effective conspiracy to give someone they don’t like an unflattering nickname.

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IT guy, dev, designer, writer.

Got a degree in print journalism from UF but history dealt some bad cards to that industry, so I moved back to an earlier love: the computer.

Was recently at ZMOS Networks, but am now the Senior IT Associate at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

My name is moderately common, as are a couple screen names, so always look for the logo to make sure you're reading something with official Km approval.

You can get to me directly with kyle(@)kylemitchell.org