A parable about Ben Olsen
In 1996, an earthquake hit the Great Bridge High dating scene: I, Jeff Maurer, was back on the market. Freed from the shackles of a grueling four month relationship, I was ready to start having fun again. And who wouldn't want a piece of this action? I had a sporty, three-cylinder Geo Metro, a growth position in the food industry (Wendy's), and the Norfolk area's most impressive collection of Nirvana t-shirts. Form an orderly queue, ladies.
There was one girl -- a girl I had known a long time -- who was interested. And sure, she had most of the things I was looking for, but when you've got what I was selling, you don't accept the first offer. Besides, she was a freshman...a FRESHMAN! "Jeff Maurer does not date freshmen!" I loudly declared to anyone who would listen. I thought that doing so would send the right message to the Maxim models, Hooters waitresses, and pro beach volleyball players who would surely be beating down my door.
Things didn't really play out the way I hoped they would. The ensuing couple of months didn't really resemble a hot tub party at the Playboy mansion, unless hot tub parties at the Playboy mansion involve way more Ramen noodles and Tekken than I realize. Not that I wasn't making offers...I made tons of offers. I had a lot of talks with college girls, and I was even chatting up this girl from Germany at one point. But nothing panned out. In the end, I realized that the best option was the girl who was there all along, the girl whose qualities and character belied her young age. So I went back to her...except by that time, she was dating Mike Cuddyer, now of the Minnesota Twins.
Obviously, this is just a story (although it contains enough accuracies that it could probably be categorized as "historical fiction"). My point is this: D.C. United never should have excluded Ben Olsen as a candidate, especially if there was any sliver of a chance that he'd ultimately get the job. It was a boneheaded move. But it's also water under the bridge: they hired Benny, and I think it's a good move. Maybe I'm biased -- he was my favorite player -- but I think he has the qualities to be a great coach and I was happy with the job he did last year.
Although, what does the way that the search was conducted say about United? Nothing good. Not only was there the obvious -- and completely avoidable -- foot-in-mouth moment, but how many coaches turned them down? I'll bet Caleb Porter did. Who else? Lucien Favre (great name...makes me picture Brett Favre in a beret with a baguette)? Just please tell me that Jurgen Klinsman wasn't on the list -- he's the Cameron Diaz from There's Something About Mary of soccer.
| November 30, 2010; 10:51 AM ET
Categories: Jeff Maurer, United | Tags: Jeff Maurer, United
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