When in doubt badger teammates
I must admit, if my brain doesn't have a good month to rest, I don't know what direction my periodic periodicals might spin. Perhaps I could dote upon the start of the MLS season, or maybe Landon Donovan's version of free agency in MLS (go to Europe and come back to any team you want!), or, and if I have time, I can make casual mention about why last year's best defense is giving up two goals a game and in the most recent match a pair to Sergio Galvan Rey, who had two goals all of last year. Let's repeat that for resonance: Sergio…Galvan…Rey.
But instead of giving you something you want, I'm giving you something you need: Questions (from me) and answers (from my teammates and coaches). Enjoy.
We ended last year with a 3-2 score line and started this year with a 3-2 score line. What pray tell can this mean? Is there any correlation? Is there a hidden meaning?
Jose Luis Burciaga Junior: No.
Jack Jewsbury: That the Wizards provide fan-friendly soccer.
Chris Klein: We're moving in the right direction.
Kerry Zavagnin: We give up more goals than people think and on the flip side, we score more than people think.
Diego Gutierrez: Hopefully it'll mean we end up at the same place, which is playing on the last day.
Josh Wolff: The offense is much better this year.
Davy Arnaud: I don't think so. I just think that's soccer.
Shavar Thomas: I didn't notice but at least this time we won.
The Coaching Staff: We don't think on those levels. We're not superstitious.
The Rookies (Though they aren't allowed a voice in the locker room, I thought it would be nice to let them speak. Of course, only as a group): We expected a better first question from you.
What would it take for you to wear headgear during a game?
Jewsbury: Does it have to be blue?
Bo Oshoniyi: A nice signing bonus.
Klein: There is no amount of money.
Gutierrez: The national deficit.
Arnaud: Wouldn't happen.
Nick Garcia: Wow.
Khari Stephenson: Five hundred a game.
Alex Zotinca: I don't think I can do it.
Will Hesmer: A couple grand a game and five or six previous concussions.
Justin Detter: Since my head is bigger than most, I'd ask for ten grand a game.
Sasha Victorine: Approval from my wife since she would be the one that walks around with me in public.
Diego Walsh: At least a thousand a game.
Coaching Staff: Ryan Suarez's contract times two.
Rookies: If we could have matching elbow and knee pads.
Now that the league made us change conferences, does being in the Eastern Conference seem less exciting than the Wild, Wild Western Conference or is it just me?
Jewsbury: I think the excitement followed us to the East.
Oshoniyi: I'm definitely going to miss the days of the LA and San Jose rivalries, specifically Jose Burciaga versus Brian Mullan for four games each year.
Zavagnin: It's just you and your passion for the West Coast.
Gutierrez: It's probably less exciting. It's fun going out West.
Wolff: I think it will flip this year, I think the East will be a shoot-out.
Arnaud: It's less exciting only because it's one less trip to Texas.
Zotinca: I like the Eastern Conference because more of my friends live near the East Coast.
Coaching Staff: It's just you.
What team does the "Powers That Be" of MLS want to win the MLS Cup this year?
Jewsbury: From all indications, I would have to say Dallas.
Oshoniyi: Real Salt Lake or Chicago.
Klein: As always the LA Galaxy and the MetroStars.
Burciaga, Jr.: Dallas, isn't it obvious?
Zavagnin: It's a coin toss between Freddy Adu and the MetroStars, but then again, maybe Eddie Johnson. Then again it could be Landon Donovan, but it's definitely NOT Kansas City.
Gutierrez: The LA Galaxy.
Wolffy: A Freddy vs. Landon final would be magical.
Arnaud: DC, Dallas, and obviously, LA.
Thomas: Los Angeles versus New York.
Stephenson: I think Dallas with their new stadium and maybe LA because Landon is back and they want him to win.
Hesmer: DC. So they can have another black and red MLS Cup.
Detter: Obviously, DC United versus Chivas USA.
Coaching Staff: Any team in a large market.
Besides the signing of myself as a discovery player by Brian Quinn and the San Jose Clash in February 1999, what one incident in the last 10 years of MLS stands as the defining moment of why this league will succeed?
Jewsbury: Davy Arnaud re-signing this off-season to remain the King of Arrowhead.
Oshoniyi: The Home Depot Center.
Klein: When Landon Donovan came back to play in MLS.
Burciaga, Jr.: Francisco Gomez becoming the poster boy for Chivas USA.
Gutierrez: Going back to traditional soccer rules. No more countdown clock or shoot-outs.
Wolff: The youth movement. The average playing age gets younger and the quality gets better. Oh yeah, and Project-40, which I am a product of.
Garcia: When adidas pumped in a billion dollars to have the whole league wear adidas products.
Arnaud: 60,000 people showing up for MLS Cup 2002 in New England.
Thomas: The U.S. men's national team success.
Zotinca: Preki's skills.
Detter: Freddy Adu and Sierra Mist.
Victorine: The fact that top names are going to Europe and doing well. Tim Howard, Carlos Bocanegra, Damarcus Beasley. It helps give the league credibility.
Rookies: We came up with two equally defining moments: The shedding of Jeff Agoos' flowing coiffure and the retirement of Brian Bliss.
What does the word "Wizard" mean to you?
Jewsbury: Dynamo, our team mascot.
Burciaga, Jr.: Nothing.
Zavagnin: Someone in a funny hat that can do magic.
Arnaud: I think I've seen it in a crossword. The clue was, "One who urinates forcefully."
Victorine: In all honesty, Kansas City means more to me than the word, "Wizard".
Walsh: The Wizard of Oz.
Coaching Staff: Someone who encompasses all powers.
Rookies: About as much as it does to the people of Costa Rica.
Not that I've heard about anything like this before but hypothetically speaking, if an owner possesses control over the stadium, parking, and concessions in any professional league and can write off any accumulating losses during tax time, why would you threaten to sell the team?
Oshoniyi: Don't know why you would with all that power.
Klein: He must have a better deal somewhere else.
Zavagnin: I'm not smart enough to answer that question.
Gutierrez: The grass is greener on the other side, I guess.
Wolff: Hypothetically speaking of course, if we did make money perhaps it wasn't as much as the money we could make writing off the losses.
Garcia: He doesn't want to have too much of a good thing.
Arnaud: I think it's a little more complicated than that.
Stephenson: Maybe the league is trying to get to single ownership.
Victorine: Did you write that? It's an unanswerable question.
Zotinca: It doesn't make sense.
Hesmer: Are you trying to get me fired?
Detter: Ask Lamar Hunt.
Since all one needs these days to be the leader of a country is doctored records, deep pockets, and powerful friends, I was thinking about running for president in 2032...
(What? I talked to Phil Anschutz once) but wait, wait let me finish, my campaign slogan would be, "I don't care if you vote for me or not, I offer no guarantees, no promises, only plastic smiles and clichéd positive reassurances."
Five words for you: Poster Boy of American Politics. I'd win for sure. Any comments?
Jewsbury: You can count on one vote…from Chris Klein.
Klein: No chance you're getting my vote.
Burciaga, Jr.: As long as you get a Mexican as the Vice President.
Zavagnin: I don't think you have enough friends.
Gutierrez: You'd be open-minded enough to do it.
Wolff: Having been in the locker room for many arguments, I'd be hard pressed to believe you would have any followers.
Garcia: You got my backing.
Walsh: I'd definitely vote for you.
Detter: You got my vote.
Stephenson: Give it a shot. I'd vote for you if I could.
Hesmer: I'll run your cabinet.
Arnaud: Are you a good golfer?
Coaching Staff: You forgot looks.
Rookies: We're all for it, but look out for Republican nominee Chris Klein from Missouri.
What do you think about San Antonio?
Jewsbury: The Alamo.
Oshoniyi: My bags are packed.
Klein: I think it would be a great market for MLS since basketball would be the only competition and our seasons don't overlap all that much.
Wolff: I hear it's lovely this time of year.
Garcia: Viva los Wizards de Tejas!
Thomas: It's not a bad idea but only if the whole team goes.
Zotinca: It sounds better than Rochester.
Walsh: I wouldn't mind living there. I heard it's a fun city.
Hesmer: I'm a fan of the South.
Detter: I think it's a better fit for the San Jose Earthquakes organization.
If I wasn't playing soccer then I think I would be confined to the ennui of the day-to-day doldrums of American expectation all while holding onto the hopeless romanticism of what once was and what may be. What would you be doing?
Jewsbury: Marketing job in Corporate America.
Oshoniyi: I'd be a writer.
Klein: Working in the business world.
Burciaga, Jr.: Boxing.
Zavagnin: If I had the talent to sing, I would be an opera singer.
Gutierrez: Real estate.
Wolff: In my pretend world, I'd be a golfer.
Garcia: Stay at home dad.
Arnaud: Ever seen Tin Cup?
Thomas: I can't honestly see myself doing anything else.
Stephenson: Investment Banker.
Zotinca: I would be a deejay.
Walsh: Running some business in the food industry.
Rookies: Those of us who have degrees would be putting them to use in the real world.
Does my physique intimidate you?
Klein: Only in tight red pants.
Zavagnin: At first glance…no, but up close…absolutely.
Gutierrez: Only on Sundays.
Wolff: Just with your clothes off.
Garcia: I have seen you naked, so…no.
Arnaud: Your physique does NOT intimidate me.
Victorine: The fact that you can bend your body into spandex gummy man. That intimidates me.
Stephenson: I'm bigger than you are.
Zotinca: No but your clothing sometimes does.
Hesmer: Of course!
Detter: No. It makes me feel fat.
Walsh: It only intimidates on the field.
Rookies: So much so that we suggest you play topless.
Mohawk or Mullet?
Tupac or Notorious B.I.G.?
Being caught checking yourself out in the mirror or mispronouncing a word while telling a story in front of a group of people?
Do you prefer our travel attire to be khakis or sweats?
A night out would be spent at Mi Cocina, The Grand Emporium, or your couch at home?
Napoleon Dynamite or Ray?
Jewsbury: Mohawk, Tupac, Mirror, Khakis, Mi Cocina, Napoleon.
Oshoniyi: Mohawk, B.I.G., Mirror, Sweats, Couch, Napoleon.
Klein: Mohawk, B.I.G., Mispronouncing a word, Khakis, Couch, Ray.
Burciaga, Jr. : Mohawk, Tupac, Mirror, Khakis, Couch, Ray.
Zavagnin: Mullet, Tupac, Mirror, Khakis, O'Dowds, Napoleon.
Gutierrez: Mullet, B.I.G., Mispronouncing a word, Either, Mi Cocina, Ray.
Wolff: Mullet, Tupac, Mirror, Sweats, Couch, Ray.
Garcia: Mohawk, B.I.G., Mirror, Sweats, Mi Cocina, Ray.
Arnaud: Mohawk, Tupac, Mispronouncing a word, Mi Cocina, Ray.
Thomas: Mohawk, Tupac, Mirror, Sweats, Couch, Ray.
Stephenson: Mohawk, Tupac, Mispronouncing a word, Khakis, Grand Emporium, Ray.
Zotinca: Mullet, Tupac, Mispronouncing a word, Sweats, Couch, Neither.
Hesmer: Mullet, B.I.G., Mispronouncing a word, No preference, Couch, Napoleon.
Detter: Mohawk, Tupac, Mirror, Khakis, Couch with a beer, Napoleon.
Walsh: Mohawk, Tupac, Mirror, Sweats, Mi Cocina, Napoleon.
Victorine: Mohawk, B.I.G., Mispronouncing a word, Sweats, Grand Emporium, Ray.
Coaching Staff: Mullet, Tupac, Mirror, Khakis, Grand Emporium, Hoosiers.
Rookies: Mullet, Tupac, Mispronouncing a word, Khakis, Couch, Napoleon.
Jimmy Conrad is a defender for Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards. He contributes regularly to ESPN.com.