Sunday, July 09, 2006

American Soccer: An incomplete response to the Sports Chic

First of all the headbutt by Zidane was stupid, immature, may have gave the game to those grass-diving pansies the Italians, and absolutely hilarious. I really want to know what set Zidane off because there is no way someone jogging away from the play would just turn around and head butt another man in the chest for no reason. Right?

Anyway, for my first post on the Sports Chic I just wanted to give an answer to the Chic's five gripes below.

1) The stretcher factor. From what I understand, if you lay down for a while they bring out the stretcher. Not to necessarily because the player needs it, but just to get the player off the field as fast as possible regardless of what the injury is.

2) The "no one can touch anyone" factor. This World Cup had some terrible officiating. Sometimes you couldn't even breath on an opposing player without the ref calling a foul (of course the diving didn't help either). Other times, people could be slamming people to the turf and nothing would happen. The gripe shouldn't be the crazy non-fouls but the inconsistent officiating.

3) The *yawn* factor. Well, the net is huge but the holes they've got to shoot it through are pretty small. Can't be easy to shoot a goal while surrounded by defenders and trying to find a spot the goalie can't get to easily. Your alternatives are shooting it through everybody from the outside or trying to get a perfect pass to a perfectly placed defender in order to get the goalie out of position. Combine that with the difficulty of getting a shot at all and relatively few rebounds it's pretty damn hard to get a score in soccer.

4) The "no golden goal" factor. Well if there was a golden goal rule people would complain that it takes away any chance for the other team to come back in the allotted play time. One can argue that you get a set amount of time to prove yourself out on the field and that time should be played. Probably less annoying than sudden death in the NFL since both teams get their chances, but it's the same idea.

Also, having a golden goal tends to make each team become more defensive minded, not attacking for fear of losing on a quick counter attack. Ironically, this means that more games end up going to PKs because there's less scoring in the overtime periods. I can't imagine anyone wants that.

5) The anti-climactic factor. Yep, I hate games decided by PKs too. It's more shocking to see someone miss a PK than hit it. But after 120 minutes, I can't imagine another way to decide the game.

1 comment:

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