Editors Note: This story is satirical, meaning that it is not true. We do not condone nor recommend the behaviors of this article. Please enjoy Loons games safely and responsibly, no matter how painful they may be.
It is with great sadness that we note the passing of our beloved analytics contributor, Colin O’Donnell, following his research for this week’s article that included drinking a shot of bourbon each time he remarked, “WTF IS HE DOING” as the result of an inexplicable error by a Loon.
The cause of death, according to officials at Hennepin County Medical Center, was organ failure due to extreme blood toxicity, a result of what officials described to be a record-smashing 2.2 blood alcohol content—27.5 times the legal limit.
“I told him that he was flying too close to the sun,” O’Donnell’s widow, Casey Nielsen, said in a statement. “I didn’t even watch the game with him live but the amount of times he screamed expletives at the television the first time frightened our dogs to no end.”
In notes provided to E Pluribus Loonum, O’Donnell was revealed to have actually written up significant portions of a liveblog. To respect his memory, we’ve decided to summarize the coherent parts of his article, omitting the portions that devolved into repeated profanities and, following Eric Miller’s 50th minute yellow card, vulgar references to the mating practices of the common loon.
His project began innocuously enough, with his early entries showing some enjoyment of Maker’s Mark as early as a 6th minute goal kick out of bounds by Bobby Shuttleworth. The first note of serious frustration, however, showed up with Darwin Quintero’s shot in the 24th minute. With Quintero at the penalty spot, Christian Ramirez made a tight run to the far post. Rather than make the pass on the header, Quintero instead shot high and wide with a header.
“This is the third time this game where Quintero missed Ramirez’s run in front of him and didn’t distribute to him,” Colin wrote. “Ramirez has been successful precisely when he’s doing those plays and getting in on the goal mouth. You need to pass to him to at least open up the dummy play. Worst part: I got some of the sealant wax in this one.”
Colin’s notes showed that he consumed at least seven ounces of alcohol in the 35th minute in the wake of Yordy Reyna’s goal: “First Schuller takes a brutal attempt at a tackle. Warner then tries to knock Reyna off the ball by, and I kid you not, spinning around and turning his back to him. Kallman and Calvo then each back away from him while he slots outside rather than attempting a tackle outside of the box, with Miller then running away from the gap that Reyna shoots through versus trying to pressure him into losing the angle; there’s maybe an ounce here, guess I’ll kill it…”
Colin’s coherency began to fail him shortly afterward, as evidenced by his commentary on Michael Boxall’s yellow card in the 39th minute. After jostling for position against Alphonso Davies as the ball went out of play, Boxall opted for afters and shoved the teenager to the ground, leading Colin to become bizarrely conspiratorial. “There’s no way that Bayern doesn’t send a hit squad after Boxy there,” the notes say. “Maybe Bayern will hire those Dynamo Dresden ultras to go after him. Wait... Houston Dynamo were the last team to beat the Loons... are the Dynamo a secret front for the DFB to bust skulls to protect future Bundesliga players?”
Refilling at halftime with a handle of Evan Williams was revealed to be a major error of judgment given what the match report at WhoScored called the only individual error: Ibson’s pass in the 56th minute. “Was this pass a mistake?” Colin asked in his notes. “This looks more like Ibson following the Bittenbinder method: ‘If I backpass it directly into the path of their two best attackers, they’ll think that the delirium and abnormal behavior is a sign that I have rabies.’ To be on the safe side, I should just finish my glass to wash out my brain and forget this.”
The notes become downright hallucinatory and incoherent after this, but his lucidity popped up following Romario Ibarra and Abu Danladi’s introductions. “Do I take residual shots for Eric Miller’s inclusion? I think I should,” the notes recall. “That keeps getting more and more delicious. The lack of a wing back to play that spot isn’t entirely Heath’s fault, but playing him as a true wing back as opposed to just having defensive responsibilities ended up being an obvious error. This has turned into a set piece in Kansas City.”
“And Abu… why? If you’re not giving Christian Ramirez touches when he’s waiting in the box, what is Danladi going to do differently? Get in front of [Whitecaps goalkeeper Stefan] Marinovic when Quintero is going to shoot headers from the spot anyway? [hiccups uncontrollably]”
Sadly, it appears that the comeback attempt, which included two assists from Darwin Quintero in the last ten minutes of normal time, came too late both for Minnesota and for our reporter. It appears that Colin turned on his webcam moments before passing out in the 80th minute as Francisco Calvo attempted a long pass that went out of play; his last moments saw him attempt to take another shot, fall over, and pour his last bit of whiskey into his nostrils.
“Please, I beseech you, Minnesota United fans,” Nielsen concluded. “If Ibson is on the team, this game is only safe when drinking Coors Light.” On behalf of the EPL family, we concur, and only wish in hindsight that Colin had followed Jeff Rueter’s advice to write responsibly.
In addition to his widow Casey, O’Donnell is survived by his three dogs, Danny, Kyla, and Maggie; mother Ann Gallagher; his father Tim O’Donnell and stepmother Susan McCoy; two step-siblings and three step-nephews. In lieu of flowers or other memorials, Colin’s widow requests donations to the Save Christian Ramirez Fund, aimed to counterbalance the allocation money that Sporting Kansas City would pay to acquire the Loons striker.