Tissuegate: Pareja Shaping the Narrative

As everyone knows, #Tissuegate happened. As all you readers know, I love to hate Caleb Porter. So it’s especially delicious to me that he is involved in this little scandal.

We all saw what happened, Dallas coach Oscar Pareja tried to hand some sort of paper to Porter immediately following his team’s loss to Portland. Porter throws the “paper” in Pareja’s face and storms off. Porter presented his take on the incident postgame, claiming:

“I walked over to shake his hand and he had a tissue that he put over his nose and tried to hand me a tissue… So I thought it was very poor sportsmanship out of him [Pareja]. I never said one word to him the whole game and he obviously wasn’t happy with the loss. But I’ve never had a coach come up and disrespect me like that. So that’s what happened.”

Now we’ve finally heard the other side of the story, albeit a bit late, from Pareja. Per Alexi Lalas, Pareja was merely showing, with a cute little prop joke, his frustration with Porter’s constant whining. Thus the crybaby’s tissue.

So who are we supposed to believe? Unsurprisingly, I am siding with Pareja here. Trying to hand a dude a rag covered in your snot is serious magnitude level of gross. Such an act is also not a universal sign of macho disrespect. If that was the only message Pareja wanted to convey, an easy crotch grab or middle finger would’ve sufficed. As lame as it was, I do think Pareja just thought he was being cheeky. And lord knows Porter can whine (and gloat and wax delusional) with the best of them.

However, in explaining his motives for in l’affaire du tissue Pareja lied through his teeth. There is no way he was trying to communicate some greater good to his fellow coaches. He was just pissed. End of story. Trying to shape the narrative that MLS is full of crybaby coaches is very disingenuous of the Dallas head man. Pareja is a good coach, for sure, but he also inspires flopoonery (that is his teams somehow excel at both flopping and gooing out). He clearly embraces shady gamesmanship. Shaping a narrative that gets opposing coaches self-conscious of arguing calls, or of communicating with the refs in general, is a win for FC Dallas. Dallas thrives on pushing the rules to the breaking point. If Pareja gets any single coach hesitating to voice displeasure with refs, he won.

Updated: April 7, 2015 — 11:33 pm
  • Friar Tuck

    Yeah, I’m not gonna say Porter can’t be an abrasive figure, but Pareja is totally the putz here. Not only was his cheeky move classic poor sportsmanship that was literally thrown back in his face, but he also allowed Porter to deliver the most classic of sports comebacks, “Scoreboard”. And then he has two days to try and come up with an explanation and he comes out with this lame excuse about how it was an altruistic gesture to get coach’s to stop hounding the refs, which makes total sense for him because like you pointed out, his team excels at the flopoonery tactics.

    • Tuck thanks for chiming in. I do agree with you, Pareja got way too cute and set Porter up for a simple, “scoreboard.” Brevity is the soul of wit.

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