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"Oh, Toledo, Bless Him!": Fleming Flexes on the Farcical Follies

Richard Fleming let's head referee Balderama Toledo have it in his farcical managing of the game Friday night. Good!

Baldomero Toledo:  "O, bless him!"
Baldomero Toledo: "O, bless him!"
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Most referees realize that they are never the main attraction--but someone didn't tell Baldomero Toledo.  I say let Richard Fleming deliver that memo.  His dignified rant over Toledo's shenanigans was legendary.

Just do a quick Google search and you'll see all the ink that's been spilled (or at least pixels that have been typed) over his conduct during MLS matches. Colorado Rapids fans have a history with him, for he refereed the 2010 MLS Cup--the game that provided the star over the logo!

His performance last night was as awful as the weather.  And, yes, I used the word 'performance.'  The inconsistency he shows during his matches is legendary.  Even last night, when we thought more cards would come out, it was as if someone told him, "Hey, your reputation says that you'll deal out cards like The Gambler, so let's back off."  But the microcosm of it all was how he dealt with the San Jose keeper, David Bingham.

The whole ordeal was downright farcical.  He should have given that yellow at the 60th minute.  But he gave it (finally) in extra time??  That did it for Fleming, who kept his cool. Even the laid back (almost sleepy) Jamie Smith had to chuckle.  Bingham's constant delays were met all game with Toledo tapping his pocket as if to say, "You're about to see yellow."  But like a parent who always threatens but never follows through, Bingham showed little if any concern over Toledo.  And when Toledo showed it in stoppage time, Fleming pointed out that few referees add stoppage time to stoppage time.  It clearly gave San Jose an advantage to waste time when time was running out.

Numerous times, Fleming used the term "Bless him" in regards to Toledo (when many were using alternative expressions).  You'd think that Fleming hailed from the South rather than England.  (For those of you who don't know, Southerners tend to say, "Bless his/her heart," usually followed by some insult or awareness of shortcoming.  For example, "Bless their heart, they don't know their head from a hole in the ground!")  And Fleming was all over that.

If anyone can locate a soundbite of the last ten minutes of Friday night's game, please let me know. If you didn't have a chance to catch the call, it'll be worth your time.

Fans (and I'm sure coaches and players) have been calling for Toledo's head to get him out of MLS, but to no avail. If last night was any indication of his competency, this should have been dealt with years ago.

I'm not holding out much hope.