Basking in the Glow of the Red Devils

CR7: A force of one.

As a lifelong (but hopefully recovering) hypochondriac, I had a recent visit with my doctor over cholesterol and blood glucose concerns. As I often do, I was wearing a long sleeve Manchester United jersey the day of the visit. I was pleasantly surprised when at the end of our uneventful visit, my younger than me Grey’s Anatomy doctor (100% Irish extraction too-McDreamy II) asked if I was “a Man U fan or just liked the shirt”. (A valid question: I own and wear many other soccer jerseys based on aesthetics. But of course, NEVER the shirt of another English team.) I said, of course I was a fan and had two tattoos to prove it. He then saw as I was walking away that I had Rooney and #8 on the back. He called out, “Rooney! He’s getting married!” Of course, “Dr. McPaddy” is a keeper…
Having been a die-hard supporter since about 1985, I’ve seen many iterations of the team I have come to live and die by. Though United did the Treble (the League, FA Cup, and European Cup/Champions League) in 1999, I don’t consider that side United’s best ever-at least in the 20+ years I have followed them. In my opinion, this was probably some variation of the team that included Eric Cantona, Mark Hughes, Andrei Konchelskis, and Peter Schmeichel, among others, beginning with the 1992-93 season. I held this opinion until last season (2006-2007). Though they only walked away with one piece of silverware, I believe that the current squad (augmented this year by the likes of Tevez, Nani, and Anderson) might just be the best ever.
Before today, I considered the best players in the world, Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, Kaka and Christiano Ronaldo to be in a dead heat. After today, I am convinced it is the United number seven that is at the pinnacle of the world game. His first United hat trick against unfortunate Newcastle in today’s 6-0 drubbing brought his season total so far to today to 22, keeping him at the top of the Premiership in scoring. But it’s not all about quantity. The quality of his goals and overall performance are the stuff that are the crown jewels of soccer marketing. Ronaldo’s exploits can win new converts in the ranks of detractors and the uninitiated. Speaking of detractors:
That’s right. I don’t mean kiss it. I mean open wide your neanderthal maws and siphon my sphincter! (And I love hockey. Seriously, those two should’ve been cast on that short-lived Geico caveman show spinoff. Douche bags…)
And for the initiated, Ronaldo’s performances are almost orgasm-worthy. Yes, the 2007-2008 squad is the best ever. One of the aspects that sets it apart from great United teams of the past is its rock-solid back line: Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, O’Shea. Granted, I recognize the deficiency that many English teams (including United) have when facing continental teams. But in my opinion, of all United squads I have seen play, THIS one is by far the most Treble-worthy. On an unrelated note, have you seen the club’s balance sheet lately? Still whining about American ownership, are we?

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