The Tipping Point

We’ve heard it before…

“We’re getting closer!”

“This is our year!”

“We’re going to bring number 19 home this season!”

I’ve been thinking (as I’m apt to do from time to time) about Liverpool (as I’m apt to do a great deal of the time), our recent success and the likelihood of future conquests. It’s only after much careful consideration (and maybe a few Guinness) that I’ve come to this grand conclusion:

We are as close as we’ve ever been in the past 17 years to recapturing greatness and the mantle of English Champions.

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we will. It simply means that we’re closer than we were last year.

And the year before that.

And the year before that. And so on and so on.

I honestly believe that we’re a very good team, on the cusp of becoming a great team. With a lot of hard work, the right attitude and a pinch of luck, we could realistically challenge United and Chelsea for the title this season. But it’s going to take something that’s been missing for so long, an extra ingredient, that X-factor that champion’s possess and runner up’s do not, to push us over the edge.

What’s going to do it for Liverpool?

A few more players? A quicker start to the season? A certain formation or starting XI? Or, is the Tipping Point something less tangible? Something plainly visible, but new and unique to Liverpool?

I believe I have the answer…

Rafa’s goatee.

ianrush.jpgNot since Ian Rush’s porn mustache has Liverpool had facial hair capable us leading us to The Promised Land. Nary a beard, ‘stache or Van Dyke have graced the face of any Liverpool great since the Welshman left Anfield.

But Rafa is wise and cunning and has realized that the right type of whiskers will give us the edge we’ve been lacking and restore Liverpool to greatness.

One need only look to television for proof of how facial hair is a force to be reckoned with. In ‘Knight Rider’, Michael Knight’s mortal enemy was Garthe Knight, who gave Michael and KITT all the trouble they could handle.

Was it coincidence that Garthe looked just like Michael (shockingly), except for some sweet upper lip music?

Who do you think looks more bad-ass?


… or …


It’s alright. You can say it. We all already know.

It’s Garthe. The mustache and Flavor Saver seal the deal, although the spread collar and necklace threaten to undermine it. But the greatness of the facial hair overcomes such hurdles, just like Rafa’s goatee will help Liverpool become champions in the face of any and all adversity.

Allow me to state my case…

Exhibit A

Firstly, a picture of a clean shaven gaffer…


Now, the bearded gaffer…


Rumor has it, that much like a certain Texan lawman, Rafa’s facial hair is magical and can cure scurvy, shrink prostates and even be used as a viable alternative to fossil fuels. 

But, you’re not sold. In fact, both those looks show intensity, so they’re probably too close to call.

Moving on…

Exhibit B

Another shot of Rafa looking intense (or intense-ish at the least). Actually, it’s probably more of a “You looking at me?” moment.


Here’s Goateed Rafa, rubbing his hands together like maniacal super-villan who’s plotting an extraordinary caper. And you know what? He’s going to pull it off flawlessly.


Obviously, Goateed Rafa is more evil and should be feared. This is precisely the type of manager other clubs do not want to come up against.

Exhibit C

How about when Rafa is smiling?

The whisker-less Benitez looks to be a kind man with a gentle soul who enjoys rainbows and puppy dogs.


Bearded Benitez looks to be genuinely happy, but why? Because you don’t see the two Mancs he just shanked with the very pen he used to sign Fernando Torres.  


This is precisely the type of manager I trust to pry the Premier League trophy from the cold, dead hands of our opponents.

Shrewd move, Rafa. Just imagine the silverware we could win if you keep the full beard next off-season.

(And, by the way, if you haven’t read Malcom Gladwell’s ‘The Tipping Point’, I highly recommend it. ‘Blink’ too.)


11 Responses to “The Tipping Point”

  1. 1 Ace Cowboy July 18, 2007 at 9:36 am

    You know why I hate Rafa’s goatee? No longer does he look like Buster Bluth. He just ruined a great lookalike joke that people loved to love. Screw you, Benitez.

    But I agree, I think the goat will absolutely lead to the title. Confirmed.

  2. 2 lingeringbursitis July 18, 2007 at 10:51 am

    Facial hair wins things. It’s a fact. No wonder hockey players love the playoff beard so much.

    Also: Arjen Robben is gone! Arjen Robben is gone! Buggering off to Real Madrid! He was always such a thorn in our side, and Jose’s managed to alienate a talented player and force him out the door. When will Mourinho learn? [Hopefully never]

  3. 3 nate July 18, 2007 at 11:08 am

    This is the year for Rafa’s heel turn. And it’s going to be a blast. First, the “rant” following the Champions League final, then the bigger clearout of squad players than usual, and now, the goatee, which sadly, was grown too late to be included on the new list of the seven modern wonders of the world.

    It’s gonna be a good season.

  4. 4 Ace Cowboy July 18, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Heel turn? Classic. Great usage.

  5. 5 mike July 18, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Speaking as a person-of-goatee myself, I’d say it certainly can’t hurt.

    Even better, though, are the additions of Torres, Benayoun and Babel. I see Torres and Kuyt getting 40-45 goals between them, with the combination of Benayoun and Gerrard giving them plenty of chances by creating havoc just behind them. If Babel turns out to be anywhere close to as good as advertised (i.e., Henry v2.0), we should be set for a while up front.

    We’ve been rock solid on defense for the past several years–now it’s time to open up the offense and turn some draws into wins and losses into draws.

  6. 6 d, dc July 19, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    “Not since Ian Rush’s porn mustache has Liverpool had facial hair capable us leading us to The Promised Land. Nary a beard, ’stache or Van Dyke have graced the face of any Liverpool great since the Welshman left Anfield.”

    Wither Jerzy Dudek? (or Neil Ruddock…)

  7. 7 beingsven July 19, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    I like Jerzy and he has some spectacular moments, but I wouldn’t classify him as a ‘Liverpool Great’.

    And Razor? *chuckle*

  8. 8 lingeringbursitis July 19, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    He didn’t have a stache, but Johnston had some sweet greasy Jheri curls

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