Monday, July 10, 2006


Zinedine Zidane deserved his red card. Anyone who head-butts another player deserves to be removed from the game. It was stupid, and a terrible way for him to end his career. He was obviously provoked (he was exchanging words with the 'victim', who had just been tugging on and grabbing Zidane's injured shoulder - injured on a non-call earlier in the game).

Otherwise, most of the game was stellar. There wasn't very much diving, or embellishment, and there was lots of great soccer being played. It was an excellent world cup final. I never like seeing a game decided on penalites, but since that option existed, both teams seemed to be playing for them, not taking too many chances in the extra time.

If I could change one thing about soccer, and the way the games are called, it would be this: Something needs to be done to disuade players from embellishing or faking injuries. If a player is tackled (or otherwise) and begins rolling around on the field, grimacing in pain (nearly crying), clutching his ankle, or shin, and the play is stopped to attend to him, that player should have to leave the field for a minimum amount of time, 5 minutes, maybe even 10, or else be substituted. That way, the player can assess if it's worth causing his team to be shorthanded for a period of time by causing the game to be interruped for his 'injury', or if he should just grow some balls, get back on his feet and be a man and keep playing. As a player, I've got no problem at all doing the sportsmanlike thing and stopping the game if one of my opponents is hurt, but if that same player is up and running a minute later it just seems suspect. There just don't seem to be any 'Ryan Smith's' in soccer, a player who gets his teeth knocked out and somehow keeps playing in the game - or a guy like Shanahan who limps to his bench on a broken ankle so that one of his teamates can come on in his place. I love the game of soccer, but I can't stand watching a player rolling around on the floor holding his foot because someone else touched it. I play soccer and the tackles/challenges are just as fierce in my league, but someone people stay on their feet, or somehow find their feet a few moments after being knocked down.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to add to your frustration dave, and blend in mine, due to the fact that FIGO headbutted someone in the Portugal/Netherlands game and NOTHING HAPPENED!!! No red card. Just a weak yellow. I hate Figo. I hate Portugal. What a cheap, cheap team and how gloriously glad I was to see them go down to france.
But yeah, that sucked for Zidane. he doesn't seem to be 'that' kinda player. oh well. cheers dave. drop me a line sometime.

12:16 p.m.  

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