This is Alexi Lalas. If you’re watching the World Cup this summer, you’re going to see a lot of him on ESPN.
And if that’s the only photo you’ve ever seen of Alexi Lalas, you’re probably thinking: He seems nice! Even, dare you think, clean cut.
But stare into that face once more. Give it a good look.
Behind that layer of stubble is an undeniable truth: Alexi Lalas is a man of the 1990s.
Or to be more specific: This man WAS the 1990s.
WARNING: WHAT FOLLOWS ARE GRAPHIC IMAGES OF THE 1990s, AND MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ANYONE WHO OCCASIONALLY LONGS FOR A BARENAKED LADIES REUNION TOUR.
1. Let’s start with that hair, shall we?
2. That extremely 1990s hair — hair that flows like the river bends.
3. Can you even tell the difference between Alexi Lalas and the lead singer in the Spin Doctors? CAN YOU EVEN TELL WHICH IS WHICH??
4. And what about that beard?
5. That majestic mane of a beard.
6. With hair like that, and a beard like that — and a denim-inspired jersey like THIS — who was to stop Alexi Lalas from owning the 1990s?
7. Who was to stop him from, say, dressing as General George Custer for a photo shoot before a friendly vs. England?
There are dozens of famous generals who fought the British. Custer wasn’t one of them. But who cares? It was 1993!
8. From playing tennis too close to the net while wearing a bandana and short shorts?
9. Or from pointing to the stars and doing something TRULY BIG?
10. Like jamming with Poison?
11. Or even from joining a band and going on tour with Hootie & The Blowfish?
That’s right: HOOTIE.
12. [lowers shades]
An actual thing Hootie’s drummer later said about Alexi Lalas: “The seriousness is in his heart.” If that’s not the title of a lost ’90s pop album, what is?
13. Are you prepared to deal with this unstoppably ’90s backwards hat/sunglasses combination?
14. Or that jersey — that probably-ripped-from-an-episode-of-Guts team called the GOAL BLASTERS?
15. Can you handle this? Because it’s time to face the facts: Of all the things from the 1990s, Alexi Lalas is the undisputed champion of 90’s-iestness.
16. Alexi Lalas is the ’90s, and we are Alexi Lalas.
17. So Alexi, put that hand down. Let us salute YOU. Long may the ’90s run.
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