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: Jun 9, 2010
Posted on: July 11, 2010 6:34 pm

Sad moment

I've been on vacation in Holland for three weeks and I'm leaving tomorrow. Very sad moment here. People popping fireworks that they spent money on. It's like a f-cked up ending of a movie.

Having said that, the Dutch have a strong soccer infrastructure, and play such with an aggresive style, but congratulations to Iniesta for setting an example of what a professional diver, I mean soccer player, to all the future soccer players of Spain.

The referee ended Van Bommel's playing style within 3 minutes after Van Bommel tackled a Spanish player aggressively, and gave 9 total players yellow cards, some of them deserved, but it obviously played to the advantage of Spain's style of "playing soccer".

Robben has two of the best chances of the match. The first one, Arjen gets unlucky and the goalie can thank his toe for saving what would have essentially, in my opinion, ended the match. Robben's second chance, Puyol's attempt at a literal "windmill" tackle on Robben, another show of Spain's style of "playing soccer", might possibly haunt Arjen forever.

If Holland makes it to penalty's there's still a chance, but Iniesta gets some room, takes the ball nicely on the foot, gets a wicked bounce, and scores. Beautiful goal. But the game should have ended differently.

Since: Jan 14, 2007
Posted on: July 11, 2010 6:31 pm

A great World Cup

Great...It's soccer.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2010 6:29 pm

A great World Cup

I'm not defending diving in general, or Spain, HOWEVER, the diving didn't start in earnest until after the center referee lost control of the match by allowing the Netherlands to resort to thuggery without appropriate penalties.  The CLEAR turning point was the boot to the chest that didn't get the sendoff it deserved after a series of hits that should have been carded.  From that point on, Spain just tried to do whatever they could to force him to make a call.  It was an ugly game, and I didn't see any evidence that the center was favoring one side or the other, he just had a horrible game and we had to either suffer through it or turn it off.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2010 6:23 pm

Every sport has its dirty laundry

There's holding on every play in the NFL, traveling/palming the ball on nearly every possession in the NBA, PEDs in baseball and cycling, holding and thuggery in the NHL, etc. etc.  Soccer is a contact sport, and the speed of the game and frequency of collisions makes it nearly impossible to make correct split-second decisions about whether a defender is going for the ball or the body.  Or going for the ball but missing badly.  It's not realistic to expect the calls on the field to get much better without more on-field referees.  HOWEVER, a great idea I've heard is to use instant replay after the game to penalize diving.  Accumulating yellow cards leads to suspension from games, so it could act as a deterrent to know that getting away with it on the field in one game could still come back to bite you with a suspension in the next.  Go out and referee some U14 and higher soccer games and you'll have a different opinion on how challenging it is to get the calls correct when there's contact.

Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: July 11, 2010 6:14 pm

A great World Cup

yep its official. their is a worst ref than the usa match. that england jacka$$ ref ought to be banned for life
cheeky!  the spain cheekies! thanks to an english yellow loving idiot who should be ashamed of how he made the last game a joke with their yellow card happy handouts.  the only way spain scores if the cheeky english idiot makes it 10 vs 11. thanks england for supplying yet another joke that fifa will ignore
spain ought to be ashamed of themselves. fake falling at its finest. yeah the cheeky english ref fell for it! congratulations for that. 
would have loved to seen the cheeky spainards in  penalty kicks. the cheeky ref couldnt hand them the win then

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2010 5:49 pm

A great World Cup

I hope I never hear a vuvuzela on an ESPN sound bite again for the rest of my life. I don't think I could've stood it to watch an entire game.

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