If you’ve ever been fired or laid off from a job, it’s a pretty typical response to hope for everyone at that company to get scabies, even if it was totally your fault that you got the ax. However, Landon Donovan didn’t exactly work for ACME Sex Toys and Spreadsheets when he was sort of laid off last month, because we all know that his pink slip came from the US Men’s National Soccer Team after he was left off America’s 2014 FIFA World Cup roster. Despite the fact that most of us were like, “Oh no, how could you exclude the guy responsible for all of those awesome goal reaction videos?” we knew that Coach Jürgen Klinsmann’s choice was the right one.
That didn’t stop Donovan from feeling a little bitterness towards the American team, and he admitted to the Los Angeles Times last Friday that he wasn’t exactly quick to pick up the pompoms.
“I’ll be completely honest, watching them play Azerbaijan, inside, part of me was thinking, I hope the game doesn’t go very well today,” Donovan said Friday in a phone interview. “In my heart of hearts, I thought, if we get a 1-0 win and the team doesn’t perform well, that would feel good.” (Via the LA Times)
That might be the most passive-aggressive ill will in the history of sports. That’s like Kenneth Parcell telling the cast and crew of TGS that he hated them so much that from here on out, he’d only do anything that anyone asked of him at any time and nothing more. The most bitterness that Donovan could ever feel was basically, “Man, I hope they win, but only with a stereotypical soccer score. That’ll show everyone.” And even then, he couldn’t be that mean.
“Then the next day I woke up and said to myself, that’s a really crappy way to feel,” Donovan said. “That’s a bad way to live your life, it doesn’t help me, it doesn’t help the team, it doesn’t help the energy that the team needs.”
That’s a really mature and commendable attitude from the guy who has since gone on to serve as an analyst for ESPN’s World Cup coverage with all the charisma of a publicly-funded light jazz radio station weather reporter. But the problem is that those quotes aren’t sexy enough for sports people, and they’re much better off having the context sucked out of them and crammed into 140 characters/emojis for people to freak out over. For example:
Except, ESPN’s Max Bretos doesn’t include the fact that Donovan still wanted the US to win and felt bad about only wanting them to win 1-0, so the overreactions and hot sports takes started to roll in. A sampling, if you will:
Now, since Bretos never linked it, there’s a 5,000% chance that none of his followers and random Tweeps who read his Tweet actually read the LA Times column, so once the saltiness over Donovan’s perceived saltiness has settled in, Bretos had to clarify for the sake of fairness.
And there you have it, a simple misunderstanding and everything is all better now. Wait, I’m being told by my trusty pet bald eagle that nothing was better.
In conclusion, people on Twitter are still the worst.