A Family Affair: The Idiosyncratic Eight Liga MX Liguilla Teams

Family gatherings are special for many reasons. Time away from those you hold dear can be tough. The times when everyone can come together are some of our most treasured moments. It's also a time to remember that insanity abounds. The peculiarities of family know no bounds.

The Liguilla is in many ways a coming together of a diverse bunch. These eight characters now meet again to decide one victor. How exactly it is going to go down is anyone's guess, but it will surely be entertaining.

Cruz Azul  -- The two-year-old nephew

In any room, no one is getting more attention than the two year old. He's a whirlwind. He's had a great run through the baby stages, where everyone loved marveling at his wry smile or the way he turned any common object into a fascinating plaything. But now he's trouble. He's grabbing at all kind of stuff he shouldn't be grabbing at. He's equally as likely to be throwing a full blown tantrum as laughing hysterically to something not bordering on funny. He's dangerous in that he could quickly ruin your day and with decisive action, but he is also a danger to himself. The Liguilla is an antique shop full of precious collectibles and Cruz Azul is storming in wearing Osh Kosh B'gosh.  

Toluca -- The mother-in-law 

You may have ideas about the way things should be done. They might be right and the most sound way of approaching a situation. However, this is completely irrelevant when the mother-in-law enters the room. Things will now be going differently. Your pace and your style are out the window. Her approach is the one that will take center stage and you will be conforming. Through years of fine honing her craft, the mother-in-law is relentless in taking you down once she has you in her court. She is to be feared. Toluca might not win it all, but you will have to beat her at her game. Good luck with that.

Pumas - The second cousin, twice removed

He was the shining example. He was the guy your mother always pointed to. "Look at your cousin, he just got another promotion. You don't see him with a new job every few months."  You resented him for all his success or at least how he was portrayed. That was all until he spent a year in prison for tax evasion. Recently released, he's back with the family again. He's clearly a changed man, but how much so has yet to be determined. After their time away, time will tell if Pumas can re-assimilate themselves with playoff success.  

Santos - The emotionally unstable sister

This sister is the best. She's caring. She's beautiful. She's smart. She has unlimited potential. She's also a touch crazy. The emotional rollercoaster that is life with her makes things challenging for even the most committed. One minute she's remarking about the lovely weather and the next she's sobbing about missed opportunities. Minutes later she cheerfully checks to see if anyone is up for a leisurely stroll through the park. The ups and downs are dramatic. Santos stormed to a high Libertadores seeding only to flame out in dreadful fashion. The high's are high, but the question remains as to when the sobbing mess will rear its head again.

America - The crotchety grandfather

Sitting back in his oversized recliner, he doesn't strike you as someone of strength. It's unclear the last time he moved other than for the occasional scratch. You can get him rambling on about the glory days or the war but that just results in a misty-eyed retelling of days gone by. The present always seems much more bleak. But the strength is still there below the surface of wispy gray hairs and overly-weighty sweaters. Just walk in talking a call on a Bluetooth headset or casually bring up the neighbor's dog and watch the man's blood boil. As America smashes the ear piece beneath his loafers, his pent up power becomes quite apparent.

Pachuca - The drunken cousin

It's 10:00 AM on a Tuesday, but that's not stopping the drunken cousin from justifying a quick drink. Not that that really makes you want to send him away. He's always entertaining. He brings life to any room, it's just that he also brings the potential for spontaneous vomit. There's no telling the way the night will go when drunken cousin is along. He could get all depressing and whiny or he could lead you to a night of fantastic revelry. Either way, just don't trust him. When Pachuca asks to borrow your credit card for quick second, get out of there; he will burn you.  

Tijuana - The sister's new boyfriend 

It was a bit of a stretch for your sister to bring her new boyfriend to the family holiday gathering. She's only known him for a few weeks and he doesn't exactly seem like a catch. Until recently, he was a shut-in who was unable to leave his house without suffering from a crippling meltdown. But now he sits at the dinner table trying to make small talk with the family, as if he truly belongs. There's no need to get too worked up about him taking the last tamale, though; guests with a negative goal differential eventually put their foot in their mouth.

Leon - The younger brother 

The little brother dwarfed you so quickly. He was the smarter one, the better looking one, and the one with the more infectious personality. Full of potential and already more successful, your younger brother could do no wrong. That was until he got kicked out of school for storming the court at the basketball game naked and crane-kicking the adorable mascot in the head. Needless to say, he's not in the best place right now and has gone through several psychological evaluations. He's a bit of a mess at the moment, but you know the potential is still there. Leon could easily pull themselves back together and live up to their potential, once again. 



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