Breaking BadDempsey and Fulham are getting divorced, and I’m not taking it well
by Jeff Maurer | Friday, August 31, 2012
Fulham is my favorite English team. Dempsey is my favorite Fulham player. So this divorce is painful for me to watch, especially since - unlike a real divorce - two Christmases and frequent trips to Legoland are unlikely to result from this particular split.
It’s been ugly; Dempsey hasn’t played, Jol has growled about the situation (although growling seems to be the only form of communication Jol is capable of). Dempsey has tweeted: “There are two sides to the story. The truth will come out soon.”
I’m hoping the truth is something that somehow exonerates both Fulham and Dempsey. Maybe it’s all been one big Andy Kaufman-Jerry Lawler fake feud. Maybe Jol and Dempsey are testing out plot lines for the new season of Dream Team. Maybe Dempsey’s “strike” was a show of solidarity with some other labor movement; are sanitation workers in Nacogdoches at work today? Maybe I’m grasping at straws, but I’m praying for something that doesn’t force me to choose between Mom and Dad.
I understand and respect Dempsey’s desire to play in the Champion’s League. It’s the same logic behind the “celebrity exemption” that some couples have: if something really amazing comes along - be it Manchester United or Jon Hamm - then you can’t deny someone that opportunity. I have even thought about Dempsey’s potential landing spots. I can stomach a move to a big club. Or even Tottenham. But reports this week that Sunderland were interested have offended me to the bone. That was NOT the agreement. Sunderland are NOT a step up. To extend the “celebrity exemption” analogy, that’s the equivalent of your wife picking the schlubby dude next door. That was NOT THE AGREEMENT!
I just hope the ugliness of the past week has an explanation that can keep me rooting for both sides. I hope Dempsey’s Revealing Of The Truth proves to be more substantive than OJ’s Search For The Real Killers. I hope this doesn’t mean that US National Team fans are going to get Wondolowski’d on September 7 and 11. For the past several years, Dempsey has been an unequivocal success story: a hard-working goal scorer who constantly exceeded expectations. He’s always been a gritty player, not a whiny superstar.
This is going to get resolved one way or the other; I hope I’m still cheering for Dempsey when it does.