Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fictional Moldovan Soccer Phenom Tells All

The demise of the cobwebby Olde Media is taking much too long. Sure, sites as humble as Yahoo! News and as serious as have done their part; and I genuinely hope that the bankruptcy of the odious Star Tribune is but the first of many. However, I will not be assured of the ultimate success of this phenomenon until the Newspaper of Record; the Gray Lady; the uppity liberal litterbox-liner; is consigned to the history books. I speak, of course, of the New York Times. 

The rise of the New Media has given us such hysterically leftist sites as the Huffington Post and the Daily Kos. It has also given us, thankfully, Slate, while left-leaning, is largely objective, well-written, serious and enjoyable. They have a knack for digging up interesting, obscure issues--and making some where there aren't any. For example, two recent articles mused diversely about ridiculously convoluted congressional districts and their impact on the electoral vote and other things, and a man's musings about why his enormous steer was spiritually at peace. It is just the eclectic but topical and interesting assortment of articles a quirky new-media website needs. 

This article was so funny that I read it to the whole household, where it received much acclaim. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. 

An Irish sports journalist from Galway began a clever hoax in a sports forum regarding a fictional Moldovan soccer player with alleged godlike skills. From there it only went up: At one point before he came out of the closet as fictional, Masal Bugduv was rated by no less a newspaper than the Times of London (talking about arthritic and snobby olde-media anachronisms) to be the 30th most promising soccer player in the world. Incidently, "Masel Bugduv" is a whatchamacallit to the Irish Gaelic "M'Asal Beag Dubh," which means "my little black donkey." Which, coincidentally, is the title of a short story by early-20th-Century Irish writer Pádraic Ó Conaire--"about a man tricked into overpaying for a lazy donkey based on some vivid village gossip, can be read anachronistically as a parody of the culture of soccer transfers, in which the flaming rings of hype around a player—about how good he is, where he might go, how much a club might pay for him—often seem to overwhelm the minor matter of what he does on the pitch." 

Intrigued? Read the article. It's hilarious.