We Was Robbed, We Was

It turns out the worst thing about this edition of the World Cup is not the vuvuzelas–and by the way, if you're suffering from that affliction, various hucksters and hustlers are offering cures.

The worst thing turns out to be a referee who takes away a goal–a great goal, a game-deciding goal, an end-of-game goal–with no plausible explanation. Wait–forget "plausible." The referee in the U.S.-Slovenia game nullified the Americans' go-ahead goal with no explanation at all. It kind of makes you miss Jim Joyce, the umpire who blew a big call earlier this month but was man enough to admit it and cry about it, too. 

But the really damaging part of the bad call at the Cup is the impression it leaves among Americans who aren't really soccer fans but were watching the game out of curiosity or some sort of patriotic fetish.  Imagine them watching Friday morning's contest and seeing it so arbitrarily and so wrongly decided, based on what looks like the referee's whim. Why would they come back to watch again?

4 Comments

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4 Responses to We Was Robbed, We Was

  1. Apparently we’re supposed to shrug it off. No, actually, I think we’re supposed to be charmed by the absurdity of it. All part of the beauty of the sport, obvious to the rest of the world and invisible to dumb Yanks. “It was dreadful officiating, an abomination – but that’s football sometimes, now isn’t it?” If that’s football I say give me the real thing, the one played on Sundays in the fall, the one with helmets, steroid-fed behemoths, blizzards of beer and truck commercials AND a scintilla of officiating accountability.
    Well, at least England fell flat on their arse against Algeria, so we don’t have to rely on anyone else to advance.

  2. jb

    I listened om the radio and told a friend of mine that the headlines will read: “we was robbed” It was a great game for us Yankees and it really was spoiled by a bad call.

  3. Eamon

    Thankfully, noone anywhere in the world, except maybe in Slovenia, is saying it should be shrugged off. But for good or ill (I lean to the latter) FIFA does not allow calls to be taken back or reviewed.
    Unfortunately too many people in America take the reactionary stand that we don’t need the real football (yes, the one that uses the feet more than a handful of times during the game) cause we have our own and we don’t need to be like Europe. Sports is very personal I know, and noone “needs” any particular sport, and personally I will take non-stop action for 90 minutes over 60 minutes of touch and go spread out over 3-4 hours of commercials any day.

  4. Dan

    It is kind of amusing to hear people say they don’t like soccer because there’s not enough action and then hear them say that they prefer American football with is routine of 10 seconds of play and 45 seconds of chest-beating, standing around, and lining up for the next 10 seconds of play. Of course, when people here are talking about action, they really mean 1) big, fast guys belting each other and 2) scoring. And it’s true that the international version of football is relatively lacking in raw violence and big point totals. For my money, the ball-type game that might be the perfect blend of force, skill, and speed is rugby. But for us Yanks, that’s even more arcane than soccer. In the end, I try to remember the dictum “there’s no arguing with taste.”

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