Friday, July 2, 2010
Before we know it, the World Cup will be packed up and bubble wrapped for another four years, and I don't want to miss the chance for one last swift corner kick to the sport's unprotected gonads.
Especially not before other summertime events overtake people's give-a-shit-sports-meter. Things like: how Lebron is going to afford penthouses for his whole crew in NYC. Or what does Elin buy FIRST with her 9-figure go-away-and-die money from Tiger.
When I last left commenting on soccer in this space, the United States had merely been robbed of a spectacular game winning goal by a referee who - to this day - only explained his call by shrugging his shoulders and giving a look like the guy who is out of jetski rentals on a Jamaican beach.
If that wasn't stupid enough, more dumb shit went down since then, that further buttressed my contention that this sport just can't survive American style professional fandom.
And we'll even leave OUT, the gutless squids known as the French national team. Stay on strike, Pierre. It's what you guys do best.
Now, where was I?
Ah yes, stupid.
It is patently stupid to have an elimination game, go into 30 minutes of "over-time" and yet, NOT make that OT sudden death. Ridiculous. Ghana's goal, while exciting for a brief moment, came so early in extra time, that what should have been a jubilant moment for all time in that nation, instead got the ol' wet blanket of "hey, wait, still almost half a game left here, fellas!"
It is also patently stupid to have a single referee attempt to administer to a field that large, and with 22 guys running around, and have him be the only guy to rule on goal-line scoring plays. One guy, can't do this job. Period. And FIFA's bullheadedness on refusing to use instant replay in any capacity for World Cup games, remains just one notch below the BCS on the global sports stupid index.
It is stupid, how players act to fake injury. It's insulting on every level. The Ghana guy who lay on the ground against us for like a minute, and stopped play. Only then to get carried off on a stretcher, and then POP! "I'm fine!" Haha! Soccer commentators say sternly, they have to "clean this up." Well, I've been hearing that forever. It's not going to be cleaned up. Not when you have (see above) 1 dude running the whole game from endline to endline! I hope that guy's village in Ghana gets overtaken by a severe strain of bovine herpes powerful enough to make fruit break out in open sores. You dick.
Finally, it is stupid to make huge pronouncements and judgements on results in a single tournament that - most of the time - hinges on nothing but pure luck. The Brits are in a snit, because of the 2nd half pounding by Germany. But they also got hosed on a horrible call, and against the Yanks their goalie went all Bill Buckner on them and cost the team a win.
Yet I've been reading about British soccer bellyaching, and it's completely absurd. Forget about the no-goal vs. Germany. Go back to the US game, and make that a win. Then England is top-dog in the group, they get the easier draw, and if they beat Ghana 1-nil, then lose to The Netherlands 1-nil, every Nigel in the UK can say: "Eh, chap. Good effort by the Three Lions, all-in-all, eh?"
Meanwhile, I was amused to read about how our coach, ol' Coach Bradley, was in limbo because a) Had they not made it out of group play, he surely would have been fired. Yet, b) because they actually won their group, it made the decision harder. And because they only lost to Ghana 2-1 in OT, you can't really make an easy call.
Or something like that.
Stupid. Just stupid. Fact of the matter, is Bradley is 1 goal either way of being either Rodney Dangerfield in "Ladybugs" or... um... or... the Greatest Coach In World Cup History! (Whomever that is. Help me here, people.)
All of it, is just unacceptably stupid to American sports fans. We wouldn't stand for any of this, and we don't. We change rules, we add refs, we bolt cameras in places they need to be bolted so we can make sure a championship isn't handed out on a ref's whoopsie.
And our coaches, hell, even incompetent boobs like Jim Zorn get 32 full games to prove they suck. Prove it! And he wasn't one-touchdown either way of looking awesome or stupid. He proved it.
But in the end, I have no problem with this event every 4 years. It remains a colorful, multi-national trainwreck that kind of wins you over as a casual fan.
But like the fat chick slumpbuster you brought home in college. When it's over, you just say: "Now, get out."