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.
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?
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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