an open letter to rafa márquez

spoiled cry baby, rafa marquez.

Sr. Rafael Márquez Álvarez
Red Bull New York
600 Cape May Street
Harrison, NJ 07029

Señor Márquez:

I am writing with regards to your actions following your recent match against Real Salt Lake at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday, September 21, 2011. As a fan of Major League Soccer — and the sport of football in general — I felt that your blatant disregard for proper professional etiquette has brought great shame upon your club, your league, and yourself.

Perhaps your home fans were a little harsh on you during that match, booing you every time you touched the ball. I can see how that would rattle some players. But then again, maybe they were somewhat justified in their booing seeing how you have been mailing it in all season despite collecting the third highest paycheck in the league. You’re also a veteran professional, used to playing in front of 90,000 fans at the highest level of the sport, so I would wager that you’re more than capable of handling some boos here and there without having to show them a childish, obscene gesture.

Maybe you were frustrated because your squad shipped 3 goals in the first 21 minutes to your Mormon-country visitors, which helped to drop your squad into the outside-looking-in position for this year’s playoffs. Though then again, you haven’t really been playing like you want to help your team make the playoffs, highlighted by this awful bit of defending by yourself in said game. So with your performances in mind, I don’t think it’s very fair for you to say “there isn’t an equal level” between you and your teammates, and that the loss was to blame on the rest of your back line not being able “perform at the same level.”

Not that I should have expected anything different from you, and that’s my fault for assuming that you had abandoned your previously wicked ways. After all, you’re the same guy that was red carded for a mid-air headbutt on Cobi Jones in 2002 World Cup knockout round, and again for charging Tim Howard and kicking him in the head during a 2009 World Cup Qualifier at Crew Stadium. You also publicly insulted Landon Donovan’s family during a 2004 interview, which is by most accounts, a pretty classy move. Let’s also not forget that you cheated on your first wife with your now second wife.

Long story short, Rafa, is that you need to quit being a gigantic prick and get over yourself already. When Jimmy Conrad claimed you were arrogant a few years back, he hit the nail on the head perfectly when he said, “we’re apparently a step below or a whole level below whatever he thinks in his own mind.”

Well, I hate to break it to you big boy, you’re not better than the U.S., MLS, Red Bull or anything else for that matter. Nobody cares that you used to play for Barcelona, all they care about is how you are playing now for your current side. And since you’re the one who put pen to paper on an MLS contract two years ago, you’re also the one that has to deal with whatever perceived unhappiness you’re experiencing. Despite rating yourself as a highly desirable commodity, I don’t exactly recall any clubs of importance clamoring for your signature over the summer transfer window.

Don’t like how your teammates are playing? Maybe you should try using all of that experience you’ve picked up over the years to help educate them .Don’t like being booed by your own fans or berated by the press? Maybe try playing a little bit harder. They boo because they expect more of you and your $4.6 million a year contract.

I’m sure in your 15 years of professional experience — from Atlas, to Monaco, to Barcelona and New York — that you’ve faced some pressure heavier than this. After all, this only MLS, right?

Time to grow up, big boy.

D.J. Switzer
wrong side of the pond

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