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Out of the frying pan

Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, they do.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

You couldn't script this.

If you tried, you'd be labeled a sensationalist and lumped in with the scriptwriters for a network reality show or daytime soap opera. Nobody would believe the far-fetched load of crap you were pushing was real. But here we are, watching it all play out like some sort of Stanley Kubrick movie, where things are like a lucid dream yet bare and stark and the heroes are flawed to the point where the villains are only slightly more noticeable than the background furniture.

It's easy to point fingers right now. The Front Office is always a favorite (and often deserving) whipping boy. The manager often bears the brunt of the criticism, and the players too are often not beyond reproach. But this season has brought a lot of gray area into what has been a fairly black and white mural six years in the making. Whose fault is it that the referees were the story in the first two matches? Who could have foreseen the utterly bizarre chain of events that has lead Rais M'Bolhi to take/be forced to take a leave of absence and then return a month later like nothing happened? Who is to blame for what seems like every player in the lineup missing time due to injuries in the first ten weeks of the season? How do you plan for CJ Sapong's legal troubles and stint in rehab?

What else could possibly go wrong? What other stomach-churning twists and turns will this roller coaster take before we are mercifully allowed to exit the car and run to the nearest trash can to throw up? This isn't a challenge to the soccer gods or your God or that Western notion of karma - it's the desperate cries of men and women who have survived a plague of biblical proportions and are at the breaking point where all there's left to do is raise their hands towards the skies and yell "What could possibly happen next?"