Something Great

Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Found on Page 15b

I watched the highlights of the shootout again last night along with numerous SportsCenter showings and I began to feel this weird emotion - empathy. Not only is Terry crying (which I hadn't seen first time around) but his face and body language is one of complete devastation. "Oh wow," I thought. A twinge of sadness hit me and then I remembered all the mean things I wrote and long story short I just wanted to come out on record as saying I feel bad for the guy. Nobody deserved to be blamed, except maybe Anelka, and it sucks that a hero rarely emerges from PKs as opposed to the much likely goat. Consider this a retraction of any blame on Terry.


Jake said...

Its interesting how much the champs league final shows just how much this game, perhaps more than any other, is a game of inches:
Hypothetically let's say:
1)JT slips but miraculously the penalty goes in! He's hailed as a hero, not only does he make the clearance that saves the day off giggs' effort but he knocks home the final penalty despite the pouring rain and shoddy pitch! and Christiano Ronaldo, for all his brilliance has failed, his cockiness overcoming his ability as the only player to miss in the shootout.
2) Drogba's shot goes in, instead of off the post, the game doesn't go to extra time, he never sees red, he's hailed as a premier striker able to come alive and in one instant change a match despite being hawked by the best central defensive combo in england, Chelsea fans are sad to see him go instead of booking his plane ticket to Italy.
3) Lampard's brilliant turn in the box yields its just rewards, not only would he have touchingly won the cup almost singlehandedly for his mother, it would silence any critics that continue to question his place as a premier midfielder and his place in the England squad.

If any of those 3 things happen the story lines coming out of the final are completely different, which is why as hard as it may be to feel empathy for a club like the yankees , i mean er chelsea, that is one tough loss to swallow.

Jim said...

Yeah, he was pretty broken up. Apparently his teammates said he sat in the dressing room completely inconsolable for hours afterward.

Jake makes an excellent point - this will have to go down in history as one of the most gutting losses of all time. What a difference an inch makes, and also in how we perceive the players. Juan and I talked about this after the match, coming to the realization that there's a bizarre double standard at work and we're not sure exactly how to explain it. When I see Terry completely unable to compose himself and visibly displaying emotion after his miss, I feel genuinely bad for the guy. Yet were it Ronaldo who had made the crucial miss, I would probably have greeted his sorrow with mockery and the derisive: "be a man." (Upon seeing his tears of joy and relief, I think I muttered something like "what a little bitch.") Admittedly, Terry may be better at working the media for the betterment of his image, but there's no concrete evidence that Ronaldo doesn't care just as much about the game. I think it's like A-Rod, but worse, because A-Rod is sort of goofy looking and not the dude every woman in Europe (and now America too, I heard the girls in my office talking about him) lusts after.

Anyway, after doing all this self-examination and admission of bias, I came to the conclusion that I still think John Terry is a decent hard-working fellow and that I don't like Ronaldo because he's a whiny, diving, pretty boy. So yeah.

I'm definitely ready to make Anelka the goat. Also, you have to love his sense of timing; get a load of this: He'll be lucky if his teammates don't tie him up and throw him in the Thames, let alone allow him to play the lone striker next year.

Jim said...

Oh, I see Juan has already linked that story. Can you think of anything more likely to enrage the Chelsea fans, players, and management? Maybe if he confessed that he was the one responsible for Pat Lampard's death. But that's about it.

Ben said...

I must respond first to Jake's comment about soccer is a game of inches more so than any other sport. First, and foremost, baseball is, and always will be. No need to explain, just watch the ball hit a bat.

But on to Terry. It is a shame he missed, but the truth is, there are always losers. Take France last year, take AC Milan in 2005. Yes, Chelsea outplayed them. Yes, they had golden opportunities. And yes, it was Mr. Chelsea. Mr. I want to take it, who took it and missed. That's horrible, and if I was a Chelsea fan, I'd care. But, I'm not.

Alas, if it was me, I'd be unbelievably depressed.

But here's the way I look it. Any game that goes to PK's (or as a passerby at the bar mentioned, sudden death overtime in American Football) is a crapshoot. You know going into it that it's the perfect solution, but it's the best you can do. It sucks and I refuse to acknowledge that the losing team is worse than the winning team if it comes down to PKs (not to mention the absurdity of saying one team is better than another because of one game).

Man U is the winner, the won the double this year, and yes, they played better soccer throughout the season, earning both. But Chelsea could've had the treble as well this year, it was within their grasps. I refuse to believe there is any measurable difference between the two clubs.

One last tangent, that needs to be mentioned. If you haven't scrutinized the celebrations, do it. Everyone on Man U starts running to Van Der Saar and starts celebrating as a team. Everyone. Except one d-bag. I don't care who you are, soccer is completely and utterly a team sport. Too good to celebrate with your own team? You didn't even make your pk. They had to pick your ass up. That's frustrating for me to watch a guy as gifted as that, act like a little bitch. Crying, making himself the center of attention. It's crap like that that make me not like him at all, and only gawk at his gifts, while deriding who he is.

Phew, that felt good.