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.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Life After Death

I woke up this morning in pain. No, nothing emotional, I mean physical pain - my neck and shoulders have seized up on me like a well cooked lamb shank. I can barely look left or right and it hurts to yawn. Well, I'm lying a bit... about the emotional part.

What Nobody Is Talking About
The freekick in the 120th minute that led to the most frantic 20 seconds in tens of millions of people's sporting lives was a dive. Yep. Watch the replay. It happens at 119:32 of game time and the 2:59:59 mark of the ESPN3 replay. It's as blatant a dive as you will ever see. That is, if the replay was ever shown. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The Bitter Brits
After the game Coach Tabarez was asked if he felt Luis Suarez cheated on the goal-line saving handball. He was asked this because a very bitter Simon Burnton from the English tabloid The Guardian, wrote that Uruguay "have cheated their way to victory." He's right, we cheated and ironically tied 23 to 23. *Holds hand up to ear* Oh wait, I'm getting word from my assistant that fouls committed don't decide the game and if they did the match would have had to go to fouls-committed-penalty-kicks which is a brutal kicking game similar to this.

The definition by which Mr. Burnton defines cheating appears to be when a player breaks the rules of the game. He implied this later with "They have cheated their way to victory. Within the rules of the game we all love. But cheating all the same." Interestingly enough there are even gradations of this rule that the English never break. Yellow cards and red cards are a difficult to understand gradation of fouls. Lets try to understand this better. In the Fifa handbook section 11.2.34 it reads; "Any foul that is judged to be a straight red-card but doesn't produce the desired effect as decided upon by blog writers who love this game dearly will be deemed a Super-Red-Card and thence considered Super-Cheating as opposed to just Regular-Cheating. See Regular-Cheating section 10.3.72."

Section 10.3.72; Any foul that breaks up the flow of play on a counter-attack or when a player pulls a jersey to prevent a cross or slide tackling because said defender is simply less skilled is considered only Regular-Cheating. Regular-Cheating can only occur when the scoring chance isn't extremely obvious by blog writers who love this game dearly. If the scoring chance is Super-Obvious (sect 11.2.35, Super-Obvious Scoring Chance) then the foul shall be deemed Super-Cheating, see sect. 11.2.34.

To section 11.2.35!

Sect 11.2.35 - If a Super-Obvious Scoring Chance occurs during the game, two penalty kicks shall be awarded with the possibility of a third penalty kick awarded should blog writers who love this game dearly deem the first two misses still unjust to the original rules applied. If deemed appropriate, the player who prevented the Super-Obvious Scoring Chance will be asked who his best friend is on the team, and that player will also be given a straight red card.

There it is! The cheating!! The Portuguese referee only awarded one red-card and only awarded one penalty kick! What a disgrace. The replay shows that after Gyan missed the first penalty, Benquerenca asked Luis Suarez who his best friend was on the team and Suarez refused! What a cheater! I am told that Luis Suarez also cheated by celebrating the missed PK but I can't find that in the rule book. Surely it's there.

Sorry I'm Not Sorry
Let the record show that England cheated less than the USA, 12 to 14 on fouls committed. England however lost to Algeria 14 to 13 on cheating and in a real heart breaking cheat fest lost to Slovenia by cheating 20 times to Slovenia's 19 cheats. All this cheating led them out of the group stages where they were robbed. Against Germany, who cheated 7 times, Germany was still oddly awarded the victory even though England only cheated 6 times! Now I understand the bitterness. Considering how much England contribute to the game we all love dearly, this was a devastating mistake by the officials. Hopefully Sepp Blatter will institute Cheat Technology and overturn Germany's victory.

Other Game Notes
Jorge Fucile is apparently Iron Man. Late in the first half he was undercut on a jumping header and landed pretty much directly on his neck. When he laid motionless for 10 seconds I got text-messages that read, "He just died on the field" and "I think he's dead". Not only did he come back to play the rest of the 1st half, albeit a bit woozy, but he played the whole second half and played well. Respect.
I'll tone down the irony with the handball in just a moment but I think it's ironic that on the replay, if you watch closely, Fucile jumps to try and head it, misses it and then punches at it frantically and still misses. We may have to consult the rule book again about players who are seen to attempt Super-Cheating on Super-Obvious Goal Scoring Chances but fail. On second thought, I'll spare you.
When Ghiggia, the Uruguayan who shocked Brasil and the world in 1950, was asked to reflect on his goal he said, "despite the joy we had, it was sad to see the stands. People were crying and desperate." I'm not sad yet, kind of not at all actually, but I will safely assume that I'll feel sad eventually.
Uruguay will face the Netherlands without Fucile (accumulated a second yellow on one of 10 absurdly terrible calls by the referee) Godin and Lugano. That's three of our four starters in the back line. We also face the LowLands without Luis Suarez (coughCHEATER!) who I hope mails a picture of his erect penis to Simon Burnton in his free time. It goes without saying that Luis was in stunning form, ask South Korea, and that Forlan has benefited from his form. And vice versa.

I won't spend to much time on this but it goes without saying that a great steak dinner is made better with a cold beer and a great dessert afterward. Beating Ghana was the steak dinner, Brasil losing was the cold beer and Argentina getting absolutely embarrassed this morning was the sweetest of desserts. MMMMMhmmm it's tasty. Life is good.

Until Tuesday