01 May 2007

The All Shakespeare Starting XI

Before we get back into the wallowing paranoia that the season's start has given us ahead of Thursday's game against New England, I thought I would try and have a little fun. It is "A Year of Shakespeare" in DC, and in an attempt to do my part for the cultural significance of our fair city, I give you the All Shakespeare Starting XI, plus bench. To my knowledge (and quick Google searches) this most worthy effort has not yet been undertaken, so I may need some help. I'm not sure the roster is quite right, so your recommendations of how to fine-tune this goal-scoring machine are most welcome before their season starts against Jonson Athletic and Marlowe Wanderers.

GK Brutus (Julius Caesar) – Your keeper should be cool, unflappable, like Brutus, who won't take a night off even if his wife kills herself by swallowing fire.

RB Marina (Pericles, Prince of Tyre) – If she guards the right flank as well as she guarded her chastity, attackers will find the box difficult to penetrate.

CB Henry V (Henry IV, Henry V) – After some shaky moments during Henry IV when his passion for the game was questioned, this young prospect demonstrates strong abilities to organize a back line and is great in International competition. Just elected captain.

CB Titus Andronicus -- The great defender of Rome is stout on the pitch, but can occasionally make odd choices in his distribution. Makes up for it with great service (both on the pitch and at the dinner table).

LB Goneril (King Lear) -- Confident in handling the part of the land allocated for her, Goneril may get caught ball-watching occasionally and never seems grateful for the role she gets on the pitch.

RM Falstaff (Henry IV, The Merry Wives of Windsor) – Aging star popular with the fans (think 2002 Marco Etcheverry), pops up unexpectedly in odd places and seems to defy time. Was supposed to be in the starting line-up for Henry V, but was stripped of captaincy and lead role by Hal, and may be on the way out as nights out with George Best catch up with him.

CDM Shylock (The Merchant of Venice) – Opposing attackers find it difficult to charge through midfield when this Demo Kovalenko-esque midfielder takes his pound of flesh.

CAM Iago (Othello) – What should your #10 be? Crafty, and they don't get much craftier than Iago, whose use of misdirection and playing others through is unparalleled. Sure, he's still upset that he was passed over for Othello for the Italian team, but professionals can get beyond that, right?

LM Duke Vincentio (Measure for Measure) – Excellent two-way player, both in dictating the attack and in performing the down and dirty work of tracking back and defending.

CF Macbeth – He can strike and finish, but plays withdrawn constantly checking back for the ball and looking for players ghosting out on runs. Occasionally overconfident, when he scores it's a dagger to the opposition.

ST Othello – Charges headlong on whatever Iago sends him to chase, occasionally acts too quickly for his own good, but that's what you want in a striker.

Manager: King Lear -- Replaced Polonius earlier this season. Emphasized simple play and tactics – "Divide we our formation in three!" May lose his cool towards the end of the season or in bad weather. If season does not end well, may be replaced by Propsero who supposedly retired, but is said to be itching to get back in the game.

Former Manager: Polonius (Hamlet) – Like Ray Hudson, he was quick to the quip in the locker room until the front office realized they had no idea what he was going on about.


GK Cordelia (King Lear) – Biding her time on the bench until her father realizes she has something to offer.

D MacDuff (Macbeth) – Need a steadying defense at the end? MacDuff can shut a game down and make opponents feel that their grasp of the game was "untimely rip'd"

M Puck (A Midsummer Night's Dream) – Fast, mischievous, Puck'll do whatever it's told in order to sow confusion among the opponent's defense, and is clever enough on the ball to make any marker look like an ass.

M Ariel (The Tempest) – Sometimes you need a bit of magic on the ball, and Ariel is a great choice. Excellent at winning midfield headers, like most Elemental Internationals.

M Hamlet -- Transfer listed, he never seems to have settled in and lacks confidence in his decision making. May have been affected by the death of his father, it is hoped that a transfer back to Elsinore FC where he'll be closer to mother and girlfriend (Bianca.... er, Ophelia) will provide him the comfort level to flourish.

F Lady Macbeth (Macbeth) – When Macbeth can't get it done, she'll come into the game and finish it off.

F Ulysses (Troilus and Cressida) [on loan from Ithaca United] – Excellent at picking the lock of another team's impenetrable fortress, and popular for talking with other players and coaxing the best performance out of them. Many fans demanding he see regular starting time, but they're just a bunch of Homers.


M Richard III – Leg and back problems plaguing this potential star, rumors of a bad attitude also surround him.



At 01 May, 2007 09:21, Blogger Kinney said...

Wow, that was very well done. We know at least half the team will kill themselves for the team, which is all you can really ask in a player.

At 01 May, 2007 09:35, Blogger D said...

Let's see... the body count after the season would be Brutus, Titus, Goneril, Falstaff, Iago, MacBeth, Othello, Lear, Polonius, Cordelia, Hamlet, Lady Macbeth, and R3. So, yeah, roster turnover could be a problem. But what a season you'd get until then!

At 01 May, 2007 10:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Priceless. I really like this one. Definitely going to pass this on to Deadspin!

At 01 May, 2007 10:49, Blogger Greg said...

That's a lot of egos in the starting xi, no wonder Polonius was unable to coach them up. I expect Lear will have to lean heavily on his captain Henry V for some brotherly pep-talks to keep them all banded together.

At 01 May, 2007 11:02, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Sulu,
Ahead, Nerd factor 9! ;)

At 01 May, 2007 11:03, Blogger D said...

Gregory: Excellent point. After leaving the Shakespeare team, I think Polonius was in line for Chelsea to replace Jose, but things soured after this exchange:

ROMAN: So, what should our transfer strategy be this year?
POLONIUS:Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
ROMAN: Fuck that. My husbandry is just fine. Have you seen my new wife?

Correction: My wife, who helped me assemble this list, points out that Iago does not die on stage at the end of Othello, so may be available for next season.

At 01 May, 2007 11:07, Blogger D said...

DCUinCT: Hah! You don't even want to know what we did after putting this lineup together.

At 01 May, 2007 12:28, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always thought the IQ of soccer fans is far above those of any other sport. (At least in the US.) And here we have the proof!

"RB Marina (Pericles, Prince of Tyre) – If she guards the right flank as well as she guarded her chastity, attackers will find the box difficult to penetrate."

There are very few things on the net that literally make me laugh out loud. (And I refuse to abbreviate that.) This was an exception, to the point that I will never again read your blog while drinking a latte.

It's not pretty.

At 01 May, 2007 12:52, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me guess

Probably more successful than the current DCU!

At 01 May, 2007 12:55, Blogger EdTheRed said...

A fine side...until you play Padova, and their starting D-Mid, Katharina Minola do Baptista (who wears only "Kate" on her jersey) wipes out half your starters...and you won't get much help from Hamlet off the bench, since she's already tied up and beaten Bianca (her own sister!).

(Wow...I am totally not cool.)

At 01 May, 2007 13:41, Blogger frescova said...

To win, or not to win...

that is the question :)

Instant classic.

At 01 May, 2007 13:59, Anonymous Anonymous said...

4-4-2?! Are you mad!?!

At 01 May, 2007 14:30, Blogger EdTheRed said...

My dear brian: "Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't."

At 01 May, 2007 14:50, Anonymous Anonymous said...

D, what do you write?

Words. Words.

At 01 May, 2007 15:36, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

At 01 May, 2007 15:49, Blogger D said...

EdTheRed: Brilliant. Well done. Kate is indeed fearsome, but perhaps a transfer for Petruchio can be arranged.

Laurie: Thanks, Marina was the line I thought a long time about potentially cutting, so I'm glad it worked for you.

Dave: I dunno. Looking at these comments, I'm filled with hope. O brave new world that has such people in't!

At 01 May, 2007 15:49, Blogger Dave said...

The idea of Kenneth Branagh as Henry IV skippering an All-Bard XI really has us giddy.

At 01 May, 2007 16:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's a soccer?

At 01 May, 2007 16:00, Blogger josh said...

fantastic landycakes reference thrown in there.

At 01 May, 2007 16:07, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you have a Shakespeare Starting XI without the only character to have a Premiership club named after him: Henry Percy of Henry IV, also known as Harry Hotspur? He will, of course, be the classiest player on the pitch.

At 01 May, 2007 16:12, Blogger D said...

Bro. Josh: A gratuitous shot at Landycakes, but one that had to be taken.

Anon: As a Spurs fan, I thought about it. But putting Hotspur and Henry V on the same team could be very problematic.

At 01 May, 2007 16:50, Blogger Unknown said...

The post was great. But the comments really:

1) Make me proud to be a fellow geek among DCU fans.

2) Make the original post all the better.

Lay on, McD. And damned be, the first who cries, 'Hold! Enough!'

At 01 May, 2007 17:39, Blogger aaron said...

Still in disbelief after the red card, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern only know that they were "sent off."

At 01 May, 2007 17:43, Blogger aaron said...

Laertes was cut from the Italian team for his steadfast avoidance of flopping, hell, even when he's hit he's unlikely to acknowlege it.

At 01 May, 2007 20:29, Anonymous Anonymous said...

O Jesu, this is excellent sport, i' faith!

At 02 May, 2007 16:54, Blogger Blue Blooded Journo said...

Why on earth is Harry playing CB? He showed his ability to take on multiple defenders on various occasions and come out on top. At defense, he's a red card waiting to happen.

At 02 October, 2008 23:17, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DC United owner chang is the biggest scumbag and con artist.


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