In the time it has taken for the Falcons to put their fans on a roller coaster of emotion, the Hawks to become the most entertaining bad team in a long time and the Bulldogs to…well never mind that…the Ezequiel Barco saga has grown and faded and grown again.
If you are new to the sport, then welcome to the pit of chaos that is international transfers.
Not every transfer will unfold into an Iliad-like saga but #BarcoWatch certainly has been an interesting opening act for new fans. It really is fascinating if this is your first dive into these types of sagas. It is unlike just about anything in American sports short of maybe that holdout where Terrell Owens did sit-ups in his agent’s driveway.
Honestly, it is one of the best parts of the sport and its international aspect: players can come from anywhere and culture and history of a country along with quirkiness in a federation or club can turn a situation on its ear.
This weekend it was reported that Barco was scouted and chased by Atlanta as early as Summer of 2017 but things were not completed obviously.
That is how things go sometimes though; a chase for a player can be a bit like roadrunner and coyote with (occasionally) fewer anvils. It takes a few conversations and maybe a window or two before the ACME catapult can get calibrated properly and not send an inquiring team careening into a boulder.
We saw that as the season ended and Atlanta renewed their push for Barco, laying the groundwork for a young exciting player that was asked to be a big part of a Copa Sudamericana and probably caused a perplexing jump in viewership for Fox Deportes in Atlanta. Shortly after slotting home the winning penalty and demolishing a top Brazilian side, the deal got a bit pear-shaped and there were doubts that Atlanta would even get back to the negotiating table, much less get a deal done.
That being said, it sounds like Atlanta is closing in on a deal to put this particular saga to an end.
Understand that not every saga and chase will be like the Barco one. There will be some simple and quiet developments like Asad or Walkes having their loans run out and no deal being reached. In those cases, we knew the deals were temporary and we only heard updates when an impasse was reached as opposed to the hourly updates we get in the Barco Saga.
Even the Carmona/Colo-Colo saga has a flair of will he/won’t he that just can’t be pinpointed and sometimes you just have to take a step back and let things unfold. It makes many people fidgety to not have updates every time someone sneezes – especially in 2018 when information is updated every second – but not every epic gets a play-by-play.
Still, a saga like this fits a club like Atlanta. A club with international dreams getting an international saga.