More on the Thierry Henry suspension – a cynic’s view

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I almost mentioned this in the previous post, but decided we needed a clean break in the conversation.

Because generally speaking, I am not a conspiracy theorist. I always say, five people in a room can barely agree on where to go for lunch – much less cook up and plan something more complex and nefarious.

We talked before about Thierry Henry being suspended for opening a sneaky can of whup-ass on Kei Kamara. Naughty, naughty, Thierry.

The league suspended Henry for a match.

But was it really a suspension?

It was in the technical sense, that Henry will be ineligible to play Saturday against the New England Revolution up in Foxborough, Mass.

But if you consider “suspension” to be some punitive act, a penalty with some real bite that causes someone to actually consider the consequences of a harmful or illegal act – well, this one hardly qualifies.

It’s as much a penalty as telling a fifth-grader who didn’t clean his room that he will not be allowed to go to school that day. “Now see here, young man, you’ll play video games all day and eat spaghetti for lunch … so I hope you’ve learned your lesson!”

Henry, like so many others with hard and fast roots in the foreign game, detests playing on artificial turf. (Gillette Stadium has the fakey.)

Heck, Red Bulls manager Hans Backe made no attempt to obscure the weekend’s plans. What he said on a conference call Friday:

We weren’t expecting him to play because of the turf. It’s more about the history with his Achilles’ problem. He always picks up some kind of injury on turf. The turf in U.S. is not the best, it is really hard to play on. I think the only one decent is in Portland.”  

So, if I put on my cynic’s hat (it’s not a bit fashionable, so I don’t show it in public very often), I might say that this made the disciplinary committee’s decision easy.