Editor's note: I promoted this story not because I feel like drumming up this debate again, but because it's really well written. Let's see if we can't keep it civil. - Jeremiah
Sure, the northwest has seen its fair share of success. The '79 Sonics. The 1991 Washington Huskies. The 2004 and 2010 Storm. The first Stanley Cup by a US team (google it). But oh man, has this area seen some heartache. The Seahawks alone have ripped your hearts out enough, not to mention the 2001 M's, the Sonics in the early 90's, the Sonics just before and now just after they've moved. I get it.
It's like a game of musical chairs, except the music is hope. And nobody wants to feel like the guy without a chair when it's gone. So you look for cracks in the armor. You look for what will kill you down the road. Maybe Hasselbeck wasn't that good. Maybe Jim McIlvane wasn't albino Mutumbo. Maybe a guy like Bret Boone doesn't suddenly double his HR and RBI totals in a season's time without something fishy going on. I get it.
So now it's EJ. Co-leading scorer EJ. Don't get me wrong, I'll never confuse him for Mike Fucito chasing down a ball, but I sure as hell will never confuse him for Mike Fucito finishing a chance, either. Cordell Cato could run for days, but he never won a match for us.
So some of us have to invent some reason to lean off of the wagon. "EJ is lazy." The laziest critique of this club possible, since it has been around since game one, except the name has changed. "Fire Sigi" "Fire Adrian" "Real grass." Now the newest, and currently most echoed:
"EJ only scores when he gets the ball on a silver platter."
What does that even mean? He doesn't dribble from 18 to 18? He scores on set pieces (remember when that was something we wished we had a guy to do)? He doesn't chase every ball 5 yds out of bounds?
Anyone who would parrot this inane pablum should watch the header from the Gals match again. And again. And once more until it sinks in. Watch EJ rise above everyone. Watch him direct it past one of the best keepers in the league. Think back to Mauro trying to do the same from a Neagle feed awhile back and re-evaluate what a "silver platter" really is.
EJ turns ties into wins and losses into ties. He does it quite often with his head, but he does it. You may not like him, but like any team he lines up against, disrespect him at your peril. You can't argue with results.
And hey, why not be the last one off of this ship? It's going to be a hell of a ride.