Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

What a Beautiful Game?

This is pretty apt... while I begin writing this post on the absurd Portugal-Netherlands match there is a very loud domestic disturbance across the street in the Section 8 housing strip by my apartment complex. It resembles the amount of maturity and character displayed in the 1-0 atrocity "won" by the Portugal side.

The match, in which an incredible 16 yellow cards and 2 red cards were issued, definitely did not live up to the World Cup motto, "A Time to Make Friends" (also auspiciously resembling the legalized prostitution complex of the German frontier). The easy way out would be to criticize the referee, and in true European fashion, the FIFA president did just that after the match on Portugal television. Pretty shameless on his part, in my opinion.

I am a fairly big international soccer fan, I think as evidenced by as much time I've spent blogging about it the past couple of weeks, but this has overall been a poor display of futbol and has cemented again why I only pay attention to it every few months/four years.

1. Soccer players are the weakest bunch of pansies on the planet. You breathe on them and it's enough to roll around on the carpet, clutching a hammy and grimacing like they just received a slug in the stomach. Take today's match. Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world. He gets spiked in the thigh early on (definitely a rough foul and worthy of the card given). This spike does draw a small amount of blood. He ends up falling down and laying on the ground on three different occasions before leaving the game. Compare this to a football player like, say, Lofa Tatupu who finishes the NFC Championship Game with a concussion.

2. The acting and drama is sub-NBA. The flopping, gesturing, and complaining is one of the many reasons the NBA is my least favorite by far of the major sports, and it is no small coincidence that it also includes Manu Ginobili, who brought the Argentinian soccer flair to basketball. This is connected to #1, but does every offensive drive have to end with either the attacker or defender on the ground complaining? Does every breath of air have to knock a striker to his kneeds, clutching said hammy? It's ridiculous, happens every thirty seconds, and gets old quickly. Today's game again was filled with this crap. The players decided to work the ref and try and draw cards on one another, and were ultimately successful in making it a terrible game. Figo especially should be punched in the groin for his antics.

3. Time wasting. Imagine if an NFL team was up by ten with five minutes to go and started each possession running the ball back lateraling to one another and taking time off. We would tear them apart for being morons. Soccer players are worse. Stop the damn clock when someone gets injured or there's a dead ball. It's the only way to avoid this crap. This match must have been the fourth/fifth in a row where the goalie got a yellow card for taking five minutes to enact a friggin' goal kick. The only comparison I can think is the step in-out of the batter box/pitcher mound in baseball. It's a "veteran"move and it's lame.

The ref wasn't to blame for the Portgual/Netherlands match deteriorating, at least not fully. The players and coaches took it upon themselves to make plays as stupid as five year olds bunch balling. They got out of hand, attacked each other, violently went for the ball from behind, and deserved most every foul given. Yellow cards are supposed to curtail the behavior, and the ref was working at regaining control through their use. Unfortunately, the maturity level of the teams involved was such that nothing was going to get between them and their "fun". There was no winner. I hope England, as badly as they played today, beats the tar out of Portugal. I hope soccer tries to take back it's game, works at opening it back up for attackers to have space, for goalies to make saves, for this game to actually be beautiful. So far this World Cup has been nothing but mediocre and ugly.

On the plus side, the Netherlands did sub in a man named Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink. That's a beautiful name.

posted by Gavin @ 10:47 PM  4 comments


At 2:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but seeing an American comment on Football is like watching an Iranian talking about Baseball. Please, do spare us the trouble...

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Gavin said...

I'd like to read that Iranian's blog. I bet it's pretty amusing.

At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Luisarturo said...

Very good article here Gavin. I'm surprised of the way you saw this game, because you are right in everything you said there.

It was the most atrocious game of football I've ever seen. And being a dutch fan I must say that it was frustrating.

I also hope that England destroy this bastards who were making all kinds of lame plays and making the game dirty. Netherlands, as you said, fell for it and also started playing nastily. Portugal was mocking for eliminating the dutch 2 years ago in Euro Portugal 2004.

Just a lame performance, of a lame sport.

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Gavin said...

Thanks. I've tried all day today to find some translated Dutch articles for their response to the match but haven't. Any assistance on that would be appreciated.


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