Blog Entry

A great World Cup

Posted on: July 11, 2010 5:02 pm
When South Africa was awarded the World Cup there were vocal and legitimate concerns from around the world wondering if the country could indeed pull it off. South Africa was still reeling from decades of apartheid. Significant portions of it were poor and crime-ridden. There were debates if the billions of dollars needed for stadiums would be better spent on the country's infrastructure and social programs.

In the days before the games visiting journalists were issued dire warnings about potential holdups and extreme crime.

Then, the World Cup began and, mostly, in the end it was a rousing success.

The games were entertaining and while the country remains plagued by social ills like poverty the country still did itself proud.

Off the field, a nation that was once the scourge of the planet and stood for ugly oppresion welcomed the world as a free nation. That means something. That stands for something.

On the field, the United States had close losses, there was the anarchy on the French team, the Italian crash, and of course Diego Maradona, the Ozzie Guillen of the World Cup.

The tense Netherlands-Spain final game came down to the last seconds and there was, of course, the annoying vuvuzela.

The flopping in soccer is so disgraceful it makes the NBA flopping look good but let's not allow one dumb thing to ruin a solid World Cup.

Not bad. Not bad at all for a country some didn't think could make this work in the first place.

Category: Soccer
Tags: World Cup

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2010 9:24 am

A great World Cup

Were you watching the same game I was?  The Flying Dutchmen kicked one Spainard right in the windpipe.  That guy was lucky he didn't get a straight red, he had no chance to play the ball and stuck his foot right in the Spain guy's ribs.  The Dutch manager said he thought the ref did a poor job of controlling the game.  Well, the only other option would have been to start handing out reds in the first half to the Dutch and that might have been worse.  I actually thought the ref did a fairly decent job not handing out reds and showing some restraint when the Dutch should have been a man or 2 down for most of the game.  For the Dutch to then surround the ref and the linesman when the winning score was clearly onside shows they lost their composure, and that's too bad b/c they had a great run to the final.

It was obvious the Dutch strategy was play very phyiscal, get Spain out of their finesse passing game and hope for a break.  It almost worked, if Robben chips that shot over Casillas instead of trying to blast it we are all watching a cloud of smoke grow over Amsterdam instead of a fiesta in the Plaza de Colon in Madrid.  Overall kudos to both teams, they both gave max effort and made it a memorable final.

Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: July 12, 2010 9:12 am

A great World Cup

That was a funny post, problem is that some people will take it seriously:

There are no skills and the strategy in soccer. The whole joke was 2 hours long and the only thing that happend was a crappy cheap goal. It is a game played by little skinny poorly educated guys that can jog for a little while. Americans are bored with a sport we all mastered at age 7. For the last time....AMERICANS PLAY SPORTS THAT ARE CHALLENGING. IF OUR BEST ATHLETES PLAYED SOCCER.......AMERICA WOULD NEVER LOSE.........EVER. If the best American athletes played soccer there would be some great games.  USA 32-Brazil 1. USA 80-Spain 1. If Americans 'mastered' the sport at age 7 then surely they'd have won the World Cup by now, for starters.

When you write 'Americans play sports that are challenging', you must mean 'Americans play sports that we invented, or put enough timeouts in to catch our breath'.

Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: July 12, 2010 5:54 am

A great World Cup

there was no way in hell fifa was going to allow holland to win. NONE!
well stated!

im not sure why fifa, the media and all the tv anouncers are so threatened by having holland become champions. obviously it was very threatening and they were never going to allow it. that was the biggest bullsh!t reffing i have ever seen. it was disgraceful to know that this ref is not allowed in other countries for his past crap of reffing________________________the english ref....Howard Webb was booted out of Euro 2008 and received death threats for his abysmal performance in the Austria - Poland game. How did he get both this and the CL finals?? He also has the record for most cards in a Premier league game. What a joke.

how was this guy picked to do a world cup final???

The Top 10 Douche Bags in Football

No.1 Howard Webb 

holland thugs? spain - JOKERS! flopping faking jokers!  cheeky champions at best! give the trophy to webb. god almighty the english sure made this a world cup to remember

Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2010 1:04 am

A great World Cup

This game was a bore - because one team - the Netherlands resorted to all types of 'foul play'.  Had the officials taken control early and Red Carded Von Bomel and/or the de John when he kicked a guy in the chest, the game would have then been played as a soccer game and not a bunch of people brawling, holding, faking, complaining, arguing etc.  Soccer is really quite exciting. 

They should resort to enforcing the rules and trusting in the excitement of the pure sport.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2010 12:41 am

A great World Cup -

The Finals game officiating was overall terrible but here's my breakdown:  
  1. I knew it was going to be a terribly officiated game when Webb gave yellow cards on a couple of trips for what should have been just regular play faults.  After that, he had to card EVERYTHING and DID!  Terrible!  They should have had the Japanese guy officiate the finals...he was by far the best.
  2. de Jong should have been red carded for that flying kick to Xabi Alonso's chest that put him out of the game for a short while.  To me, that was Webb's biggest failure...but he obviously didn't want the game to be decided so early but you simply can't let someone get away with that.  It lead to a completely messy disaster.  The only thing I give Webb credit for is not deciding the game with a bad call.  When it came down to it, both teams had to win it themselves and play through the bad/missed calls. Spain did...the Netherlands not so much.  Their constant complaining got them in serious trouble and showed that they weren't disciplined enough to be champions.  Both teams had their chances but the longer the game went on the more of advantage Spain had.  Robben was a beast but Casillas was better today.
  3. I think it was Snejder that clearly cleated one of the Spanish players on the hamstring (I can't remember which one) and then took a DIVE himself as though he was the one that got hurt.  That was the most cowardly and despicable act in football I've seen in a long time.  I like the Netherlands to...they were my favorite during the 90's when Edwin van der Sar was their goalie but that made me lose quite a bit of respect for them after this match along with their constant diving throughout the World Cup.
  4. There were missed calls on both sides during the entire match.  You can't tell me that he was throwing the game.   He was just terrible.  Some people are just bitter because the team they cheered for didn't win.
  5. Spain was the best team this year and their suffocating defense proved it.  Spain also forced teams to play strong defense to even have a chance to win because of their precision passing to set up scores.  Stupid Americans only want to see long ball where a guy breaks away and scores 20 goals.  If you don't like the style don't watch it.  Go watch the NBA so you can have your conveyor belt of scoring.
  6. Casillas was an absolute beast this entire world cup.  Iniesta was also a beast.  I don't care what anyone says about the guy as far as 'flopping'...he didn't get the calls when he did flop, and his size was one of the reasons he was easily pushed around. However, the guy slipped by defenders and his dribbling was impecable.  He beat 2 or 3 guys at a time once every game either on offense or defense.  He was Spain's best player in the tournament other then the goalie in my opinion and he deserved that scoring chance that won his nation it's first world cup.
  7. The Vuvuzela's have GOT to go or I will not be watching World Cup matches again.  I could barely tolerate that shit this time around but I will refuse to watch another bee hive fest.  They should never hold another cup in S. Africa ever again as long as those things are allowed. Ridiculous.

Since: Jul 11, 2010
Posted on: July 11, 2010 11:37 pm

A great World Cup

It's hard for me to see where the Dutch have any justification to complain about the officiating.  De Jong pulled one of the most obvious bush-league stunts I've seen in the 28th minute and anyone who claims it didn't deserve a Red Card has no credibility whatsoever. 

How do you think the Netherlands would have fared playing a man short for over 60 minutes of the match against the open style of the Spanish?  The Dutch were only able to hold Spain in check by playing up in their shirts and mugging them, something that would have been impossible to do when down a man, especially for an extended period of time.  In my book, Webb was influenced by the overwhelming criticism of the referees during the World Cup and didn't want to be put on the spot for "handing the Championship to Spain" by making Holland play a man down from such an early point of the match.  It was a well intentioned attempt to let the players on the pitch determine the winner with their play, but it led to both teams thinking they could get away with anything short of homicide and a very very ugly match.

Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2010 11:23 pm

A great World Cup

There are no skills and the strategy in soccer. The whole joke was 2 hours long and the only thing that happend was a crappy cheap goal. It is a game played by little skinny poorly educated guys that can jog for a little while. Americans are bored with a sport we all mastered at age 7. For the last time....AMERICANS PLAY SPORTS THAT ARE CHALLENGING. IF OUR BEST ATHLETES PLAYED SOCCER.......AMERICA WOULD NEVER LOSE.........EVER. If the best American athletes played soccer there would be some great games.  USA 32-Brazil 1. USA 80-Spain 1.

Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: July 11, 2010 10:07 pm

A great World Cup

Maybe, but the indoor leagues in the US don't register a blip on the sports radar, while MLS for whatever faults it has, appears to be far more popular. Don't get me wrong I tend to agree with your perception of the American sports fan, but I think there's something inherent with soccer itself that will relegate itself to being on the fringes of mainstream popularity in the States.

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2010 9:31 pm

A great World Cup

There was diving, yes, as usual; thuggery, yes (Netherlands' red card could have come early in the first half).

And, truth be told, it was an incredibly boring game--like a lot of Super Bowls.

But the best team won--nobody can argue with that; and the final goal was elegant enough (if not spectacular).  Overall, a reasonable success.

Since: Jun 9, 2010
Posted on: July 11, 2010 9:28 pm

A great World Cup

he should have sent off that Dutch player with a red card for the flying kung fu kick 29 minutes in and forced them to play the final 60 minutes down a man. Do you really think Spain wouldn't have won the game easily if that had happened?

He was going for the ball, at least. He got a yellow card, but I can't say I agree with De Jong's style of play. Iniesta made a swan dive, then stood up and tripped Van Bommel on purpose which should have gotten him a red card, if the ref had seen it.

Also, if you think Robben is a flopper...Iniesta was a disgrace this match.

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