The O87 Mailbag

We here at The Other 87 get a lot of fan mail, and until recently we’ve been nervously stuffing it in the freezer like Andy from Parks and Recreation. But now that we’re pretty certain our parents aren’t the only people following this blog (Hi honey!) we owe it to you, our readers, to answer the questions you thought only we could answer. I’m channeling Sally Field here…You like us! You really like us!

Okay, the truth is we don’t get any fan mail.  But we’re not going to let that bother us. Instead, today’s feature is an exercise in self-delusion. We scoured all the search queries that led to our site and picked our absolute favorites (basically, anything that wasn’t a search for Ivan Drago or Fergie, not that there’s anything wrong with searching for Ivan Drago). While the names and places are fictionalized, each question below is an honest-to-God unedited Google referral.

Without further ado, the O87 Mailbag. Oh, and if you wanna email us questions in the future, hit us up at

Who has the highest score in FIFA soccer?
Fred Goodbody, Gary, Indiana.

Hate to break it to you, but it appears that you’ve been living under a rock the last three years. Lionel Messi has probably caused the FIFA people to consider curving every other player downwards just so they don’t have to break the 100 point scale barrier. I think @ShinGuardian put it most aptly during the Barcelona-Chelsea stalemate: “Unreal from Messi despite not scoring. Dude’s going to have player rating next year in Fifa of “GOD.”

Did Messi ever get red card in any match?
Vincenze Iaococa, Brasilia, Brazil

To our knowledge, he’s never been red carded while playing for Barcelona. He got a red card on his first cap for Argentina, but that was clearly because the referee had no idea who he was or who he would become. Gary Lineker, believe it or not, was never cautioned (yellow or red) in his entire career. Unless you count the cautioning (a brown card?) after he pooped himself on the pitch against Ireland in the 1990 World Cup. So really, in addition to being better than Neymar, Messi will have to poop himself in order to become the greatest ever.

Statistically how many soccer teams in the world?
Pierre Perot, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Let’s see… put the one on top… carry the four… what’s 7 billion divided by 186… the nexus of Jupiter’s moon… six major leagues… Messi has like 14 trophies already… A million-billion teams. Actually theoretically, with a world population of 7.008 billion divided by 11, the maximum number must be 637,112,168 teams, but since that doesn’t take into account that some of those people might be on more than one team, we’d guess it’s much more than that.

 Is Franz Beckenbauer better than Cruyff?
Lemuel Fine, Carson City, Nevada

There’s only one way to settle this. An MTV CELEBRITY DEATH MATCH!, of course. Although Beckenbauer is taller with longer legs, we imagine Cruyff would dance around the big man, tiring him out, until he struck quickly with a leg sweep-figure-four-leg-lock combo, essentially reducing Der Kaiser’s lower half into a confused jig-saw puzzle. As Cruyff was showboating to the crowd, however, Beckenbauer would quietly drag himself to Cruyff’s soccer boots, wrap himself around his legs, and hold on for dear life until Cruyff lost interest and laid down and went to sleep.

Why Messi doesn’t do it for Argentina?
Jordan Ward, Atlanta, Georgia.

We resent that notion. It’s not the size of the center forward that matters, but his movement along and through the back line, dropping deep to collect the ball or making an attacking thrust forward.

Playing soccer with my friend.
Daniel Tafadi, Austin, Texas.

Good for you. We support that entirely, even if you do feel the need to tell Google about it… Unless you were looking for pictures of you playing soccer with your friend, in which case, we suggest Facebook or Pinterest. Or maybe a digital camera or Iphone.

Free lesson in paradox.
Jane Hershman, Miami, Florida.

Sure, coming right up! Zat Knight walks into a bar, and announces to the establishment: “If this sentence is true, then I am a better player than Lionel Messi.” You’re next lesson will be $20. And don’t be so demanding.

Why does Drogba dive continuously?
Sim Sum, College Park, Maryland.

OK, continuously may be a bit of a stretch. We know that his performance against Barcelona was nothing if not play-acting, but you can’t deny that his repeated death wounds broke up Barcelona’s rhythm a bit. In other words, don’t hate the player, hate the game that allows it. As a soccer fan, it’s silly to hear NBA analysts blast flopping on the court. If only they knew how good they have it.

The Jungle Upton Sinclair Book Cover.
Grady Mophatjer, Fruit Bottle, Alabama.

Wrong site. You’re looking for The Other 87 Pages. Come on!

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