Simmons Jinxes Donovan

Left side...right side....no, wait—D'oh!

If you didn’t catch Landon Donovan’s appearance on Bill Simmons’s podcast before MLS Cup 2009, it’s worth checking out for several reasons, not least of which is that Simmons totally jinxes Lando’s penalty in the title game.

At one point during their chat, the subject turns to penalties, and how there’s more to the dynamic between kicker and keeper than meets the eye. Then Simmons says something to the effect of, “And when that happens, you just sky it way over the bar—I mean, not you, but other shooters….”

Cut to Donovan’s PK this past Sunday night: what does he do—a guy who hasn’t missed a penalty since the Clinton administration? He skies it over the bar! Cue Twilight Zone theme…..

Simmons also makes a good point in the podcast about the name of the championship game, “MLS Cup”—it’s a little bland, we agree. They could use a more iconic, catchy moniker. MLS has made giant strides in areas like team names, uniforms (especially), and stadiums. Here’s another marketing opportunity-area for the league. The trophy itself was  appropriately re-named last season in honor of Phil Anschutz, maybe the game itself is due for a rechristening.

[UPDATE: Simmons’s mea culpa; scroll down—way down—for it, and a link to podcast excerpt.]