Sunday, June 25, 2006

Well. That was a complete travesty.

It was the silliest thing. I walked down to the Marathon today to meet Lisa in hopes of catching the Portugal v Netherlands game. Well, I'm not sure what they were broadcasting--it looked like the World Cup, but that was no soccer match. Apparently, I got dosed with the same bad batch of acid that Zach took for Italy v USA. It must be loose on the streets of P-Town.

Oh, there were some great moments, but not in the run of play itself: Cristiano Ronaldo weeping as he repairs injured to the bench in fears his World Cup is over (I want to dislike him, but with a scene like that, how can I?). Bad kids Deco, his Barca teammate Van Bronckhurst, and Boulahrouz, sitting together watching the match, presumably talking about what a horse's ass the referee was. I'd give a lot to know what went on in that conversation.

And "Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink" is officially my new favorite name of the World Cup.

As you have already figured out, I have nothing substantive to say about any of this. I did not witness any substantive soccer today. (I mean, I could also write about England v Ecuador but that carries with it the occupational hazard of death by boredom.) Of course, there are calls for the ref's head, some of them from me in the course of the match. But you can't pin this whole disgrace on him. The players were fouling and diving like crazy. Twenty-two grown men flopping around like little kids who just figured out that their babysitter's a soft touch and it's easy to get their friends in trouble.

I went into this one as a neutral, but I'm pleased to see Portugal progress and I look forward to seeing them play England--and hope for better sportsmanship all around.

And if you missed it all, relive the Mad Hatter's Tea Party of a football match at the archived liveblogs at the World Cup Blog or the Guardian.


beerick said...

wooo! Interesting game the portugal v netherlands was...I had no idea they hated each other so much. What always is amazing to me is how much a bad ref can turn a relatively amicable though competitive game into a tooth and nails blood match. The foot drag on the keeper, the gridiron tackle after the foul, the four red cards, none of them straight. We joked that they'd be adding 10 minutes of extra time to the half. That or any given yellow card would be a red card.

As far as favorite cup name goes, you have the right team but every time I hear Van der Vaart announced by the German announcers it sounds like thunder fart. Really, I didn't capture it but I really regret that as I'm typing.

And I kept flashing to Italy v USA. also, and English fan at one of the afterbars said that it was the dirtiest game he'd ever seen (shortly thereafter ammending to be the dirtiest world cup game).

Lynda said...

Yeah, I was telling Derek it was dirtier and crazier than US v Italy. Now I am watching it again, because I guess I am a complete masochist. He is an Oranj fan and still seems to think they are going to do it on tape, despite having followed the game online earlier today and my reminders that Portugal is the victor.

And I was saying at the end, "They're going to add, what, twenty minutes of stoppage time?"

I wonder how much the heat had to do with the flaring tempers as well--everyone, including the ref, looked like they were suffering.

Idler said...

No one was without sin in this game, and Holland certainly committed some bad fouls. Nevertheless, I come out of this having nothing but contempt for Portugal. The Dutch fouls were, when all is said and done, nothing out of the ordinary until they became utterly exasperated by full-bore Portuguese cheating. I had been rooting for Portugal to redeem their past World Cup performance, and was especially rooting for Figo in what will be his last appearance. Now I've lost all respect for Figo.

Some Portugal supporters made much of Dutch diving, but this happened later in the game, when clearly this is what worked with this ref, and threatened to allow the Portuguese to manipulate him to Dutch disadvantage. I'm reminded of the 1998 World Cup game between Argentina and Holland where Van der Saar made the most of a headbutt from Ariel Ortega. Sure, he overacted, but it was a headbutt and the referee had been rewarding Argentina all day for their "teatro."

It makes me sick when skilled teams cheat with such gusto. Being England-born, I would have rooted for an English victory anyway, but now I'm rooting for a Portugal humiliation.