The Heel Turn For John Harkes
Yesterday I posted some thoughts on John Harkes' lobbying for Bob Bradley's job. This led to Maradawga's post on why Harkes going to the Metros would spoil a perfectly good rivalry, and be a detriment to MLS. Having pondered some more on the issue, I think you could still keep the rivalry and get Harkes in as coach of the Metros. But only if you take an example from another federation. The NFL? The NBA? No, my friends, MLS would need to learn from the WWE and execute the John Harkes Heel Turn.
That's right, professional sport-entertainment wrestling. The trusted confidant turned traitor is an old standby. Wouldn't it be amazing if there was some ceremony with El Diablo and Harkes and Bruce Arena and Moreno? And in the middle of it, John stands up, grabs a microphone, and delivers the following speech:
"You know, I bled red and black when I played for United. And we won a few titles, me and my friends up here. Those were good times. We had spirit. We had guts. We represented the best of what MLS Soccer could be. And that's why I'm here today. To remember those times..." A pause. "And to bury them"
(At this point, Eric Wynalda on TV commentary does his best Jerry the King Lawler impression: "To bury them? What's he talking about?")
"That's right. My DC United is dead. And while Barra Brava gives all their credit to Moreno and Etch, and Bruce Arena gets to coach the US National Team, what did I get? Nothing but a role on the sideline and some snotty little kids to train. Well, I'm sick of it. And I've discovered the new spirit of DC United... in New Jersey"
(Crowd boos loudly)
"I'm tired of living in the shadow of these people. You can't keep the Captain for Life down. And I'm going be the new Metro head coach. And we'll stomp all over United. Before I go, though, I'll remember the good times, and shake hands with my former friends here."
(Harkes holds his hand out to Jaime, who stares at it for a moment. Then, at one-half speed, he reaches for it, and they clasp in a firm handshake. Harkes smiles, and holds the pose, then pulls Moreno towards him and knees him in the stomach. Whirling, John grabs a steel chair and takes it to Bruce Arena. The crowd is screaming. Alexi Lalas appears and starts battling with Etch. Then suddenly, the Ukranian National Anthem plays.)
Wynalda: "My god, it's Dema!"
(Kovalenko appears, points and Harkes and Lalas, and runs toward the stage. John and Alexi bail out, and cower together behind a buffet table. You can read Dema's lips: "This ain't over")
Wynadla: "There's pandemonium in MLS. Who will survive in 2006?"
Now that would definately keep the rivalry going. And the thing about a heel turn is, well... you can always turn face and redeem yourself later.