Monday, June 21, 2010

22 comments MMQB World Cup Review: Peter King Is Outraged (And It Is Not About Bad Coffee) Edition

Peter has been vexed by the officiating at the World Cup. He's pretty freaking pissed off and isn't taking this shit anymore. He is now aware the United States isn't the only country that has bad officiating. Since it seems like Peter thinks every minor problem in the world happens to him, whether it be while traveling or booking a hotel, I am sure he believes himself to be the blame. He should take heart, because bad officiating is everywhere, but that doesn't make Peter feel any better.

(Note: I didn't read that I wasn't the only one calling Peter King "an ugly American" until I was catching up on reading of the Big Lead late on Sunday, I hate being late on a Peter King-related post. As I was writing this post, I was wondering if I was the only one who thought Peter was being a jackass. Apparently I am not. I need to hire an intern to brief me on articles on sports everyday, so I can stay caught up. Feel free to submit resumes to me.)

Hope you're enjoying that monster suite in the Michelangelo Hotel, Sepp Blatter, and the luxurious massages and, I assume, the caviar and nightly champagne.

Peter assumes Sepp Blatter gets this because he gets caviar and nightly champagne as well. It's not good champagne or caviar, clearly the hotel skimped on the caviar this year. What beasts these foreigners can be.

Your sport's burning.

The United States were the "victim" of a terrible call, but I have to love how terrible calls occur all the time in sports, but because it happens to the U.S. the sport of soccer is burning. It was a terrible call, but I am pretty sure the bad call didn't cause the U.S. to give up two goals early in the game to Slovenia.

I may not be as outraged about the outcome of Friday's crucial World Cup game between America and Slovenia were I not American.

Well, naturally. I am sure Serbia sports journalists aren't writing articles today about how the sport of soccer is burning and the entire officiating crew for soccer everywhere are corrupt and incompetent. No disrespect to Slovenia or to let the officials off the hook, but the United States soccer team needs to worry more about playing better defense early in games and less about the officiating.

Because it wasn't just the United States that got robbed here Friday, it was also the slogan FIFA shoves down the world's throats every year.

"Fair Play.''

Because the United States got robbed, the entire world got robbed. I am pretty sure it is this attitude that causes everyone to hate us. Even George W. Bush is reading this thinking, "We don't even care about soccer in the U.S. but once every four years, what if this happened to a country that really, really cares about soccer? Let's take a more worldview of this bad call. There's no need to make enemies among the world's nations."

There's so much unfair about the outcome 2-2 draw between the United States and Slovenia in a game that should be in the books today as a 3-2 win for the U.S. -- that it's hard to know where to start.

(Peter King stomps his feet and refuses to finish his green beans or drink all of his milk)

But in the case of an earlier hero, midfielder Michael Bradley, Slovenian Aleksander Radosavljevic did his best Ray Lewis imitation, practically dragging Bradley down just feet from the goal. As the ball fell to earth, American sub Maurice Edu pounced on it, flicking it hard into the net for what appeared to be the winning goal.

Peter King may have a point that this was a bad call, though no one knows what the call was. I will absolutely give him that. For me, as a person who is seen as negative by some while I like to call myself more logical, I see this call as a complete non-issue if the United States had taken care of business and not let Slovenia jump all over them in the beginning of the game. Yes, the call was bad, but the call didn't cost the United States the game if the United States hadn't let Slovenia jump out to a 2-0 lead.

Poor defense in the beginning of the game, just like against England, cost the United States this game. This poor officiating call just made the comeback the Americans had seem futile and frustrating.

But in his first World Cup game, referee Koman Coulibaly

I am sure he has officiated a soccer game before this one. So this may be his first World Cup game, but this doesn't mean he is incompetent. Peter doesn't think his soccer columns for the World Cup stink and he is incompetent just because these are the first soccer columns he has written does he?

from the landlocked West African country of Mali, ran into the fray and blew off the goal.

"Your country is landlocked, asshole! That means not only are you a shitty soccer official, but you can't even go to the ocean when you want to. I'm Peter King, and I live in Boston. We have tons of water and dogs, in fact, I can go swimming in the water with a bunch of dogs if I want to. WHY DOES THIS CAVIAR TASTE INFERIOR?"

But Coulibaly, who, according to several U.S. players was all but mute during the game (a rarity in world-class games, they say), didn't inform either side what call he made.

Obviously the heads of state of Mali had an agreement with the heads of state for Slovenia to screw over the United States.

Of course, the official could also have been mute because he didn't speak English.

"Who knows what it was?'' said the man of the match, Landon Donovan of the United States. "I am not sure how much English he spoke, or if he spoke English.

Doesn't Coulibaly know everywhere an American citizen goes, there has to be someone there who speaks English? English is the language of the Gods, dammit!

I am not excusing the poor call in this situation. It was a terrible call and there is a reason to believe the U.S. got jobbed here. It feels like to me this is a situation where it is easier to blame the factors the United States can't control, like the bad officiating, than blame the poor start they got off to as to why they tied with Serbia. All the credit in the world goes to the soccer team for the comeback, I don't want to take that away from them, but they wouldn't have had to come back nor worry about the bad call if they had been in control of the game originally.

Here, millions of people staring at TVs around the world are still asking, "What's the call?''

This is my big question. I don't like this rule at all. Of course it can easily be seen as a situation where people who pay attention to soccer once every four years are questioning rules that may make sense to someone who loves and enjoys soccer year-around. This idea of not specifying the call may make sense to those who watch soccer year-round.

Why? Why is this just blindly accepted?

(cheap shot alert) Probably for the same reason the idea that Peter King is an expert on football or even good at covering football is blindly accepted because he has covered the sport for so long and knows so many people in the NFL. His experience and relationships don't mean he is good at covering the NFL, but it is pretty widely assumed these credentials make him good at it.

FIFA uses a referee -- in a game of vital importance in determining who moves on in the biggest tournament in any sport in the world -- whose highest previous assignment was the African Cup. That's got to be the equivalent of a Mid-American Conference ref being assigned the Super Bowl.

It could be. Peter has admittedly not covered soccer very much over the past many years. I don't know if this means the referee was incompetent or not, nor does Peter know this for sure.

Coaches coach for four years to get to the World Cup. Players train for four years to get to the World Cup. And they have their fate decided by some wordless man handed an assignment he had no business having.

Peter King has no idea if this official deserved this assignment or not. He's just being an ugly American right now.

But FIFA deserves equal blame, for putting a system in place that allows incompetent officiating to skate free. So what if we never see this official again? The damage is done. He was in far over his head, and he blew the call that decided the game.

FIFA is to blame for this. If they mandated officials to say why they make a call, there wouldn't be a problem.

He can disappear now, and in all nations but America, the story will blow over.

Please. As soon as the NFL or another sport American actually gives a shit about ramps up, hell possibly after the World Cup is over, this story will be forgotten.

My fervent hope is America won't let FIFA forget about this -- that you, the readers and followers of this sport and the viewers of this sacred game -- will rise up and pound FIFA with protests. Write to FIFA president Sepp Blatter. Demand accountability. You've invested your time and energy, and you've cheated your boss today by sneaking over to the lounge where you work to watch this very important event in your life, and you've come away feeling angry and empty. Which you should.

So don't just sit there. Do something. Write to Blatter. Tell him you want accountability. Here's the address:

Sepp Blatter
Box 85
8030 Zurich, Switzerland

No sportswriter does outrage or indignation better than Peter King. He's all about taking moral stands against the Mariott, BP, and now FIFA. I'm not saying he is always wrong, but he loves to start handing out email addresses and see if he can get others to be as outraged as he is.

The least FIFA should do is demand its officials make public their calls.

I 100% agree with this. I don't agree with how Peter is acting like a child. A player for Brazil got a red card in a game yesterday for hitting a Ivory Coast player in the face and has to sit out the next game. Granted, Brazil has already qualified, but that was a terrible call too. Things like this unfortunately happen.

Secondly, FIFA should be forced to make the referee of each match available to a pool reporter to explain any controversial calls.

I don't agree with this at all. I am pretty sure officials and referees in the United States aren't required to be available to a pool of reporters to explain a call. Maybe the head of officiating will speak, but the individual official isn't always available.

It can't be. But yes, it is. Coulibaly was born on the Fourth of July.

He was born on Independence Day and now he is threatening the very future of our nation's independence from bad officiating? Oh the irony!

In the postgame press conference, I asked the coach of Slovenia, Matjaz Kek, how he felt about the call that erased the American goal.

I asked the question in English, it was translated to Kek, and he answered, and it was translated by a young fellow who sounded like he was eating lunch when he regurgitated the answer -- in halting, struggling English.

Peter King has this "ugly, judgmental American" act down pretty well doesn't he? Peter doesn't speak a single syllable of Slovene, but he feels free to mock the Slovenian interpreter (I am assuming this) who has taken it upon himself to learn some English and get a job as a translator. This translator is the one who is ignorant and non-learned for not speaking clear and concise English, not Peter King, who isn't bilingual at all.

I am afraid Peter isn't being a great ambassador in South Africa. Mocking South African names for sounding like English words (because the world revolves around the United States of course) and throwing a little hissy fit here when the translator isn't speaking perfect English.

"I will not pass any judgment on refereeing,'' Kek said. (Maybe.) "I believe the referee hasn't had an impact on the final result.''


Is blaming the officiating just something residents of Boston like to do? (I'm talking about what Bill Simmons does from time-to-time as well) The refereeing stunk, but it wasn't a 0-0 game. Many other things, besides the refereeing had an impact on the final result of the game as well.

So I asked Bob Bradley in the American press conference: "Isn't something like this a bit of an outrage in a game of this importance?''

I could see Bradley thinking about how to answer this question. When he did, he said, "In the midst of a game, it's rare that a referee will give you an answer. When you're involved in the game long enough, there are moments when you're frustrated ... That's the way the game works. And you move on.''

So there you go. A referee rarely gives reasoning in the middle of a game, so there shouldn't be outrage for his silence...possibly for his call, but not the lack of an explanation during the game.

But there was a general sense of resignation among the U.S. players. Sad, really. Like, There's nothing we can do about this incompetence, and we better zip our lips or we might pay with vengeful officiating in future games.

That's the kind of thinking that needs to change.

FIFA should have someone explain the call after the game, but overall with his comments here I think Peter King is giving a great example of why other countries hate the United States. As I have stated 100 times, it was a bad call (whatever the call was), but there's no reason to question the referees credentials when Peter doesn't know his credentials or mock a translator from Slovenia for not having perfect English. Bad calls have happened in this World Cup, just like they happen in all sports.

Quote of the Week

"I hope we don't see his face again in any game anymore.''

-- South Africa coach Carlos Parreira, on referee Massimo Busacca, who gave South African goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune a red card late in the 3-0 loss to Uruguay.

So the United States aren't the people getting screwed over by bad officiating? Where's Peter's outrage at this official's ability to work the World Cup like he has outrage for Koman Coulibaly? It sounds to me like this official shouldn't be on the same continent as the World Cup.

Busacca's got quite a storied history. Reffing a game in Qatar last year, he relieved himself on the field because he said he couldn't hold it.

I don't know how many times a referee gets questioned publicly in soccer, but this referee has quite a history. Here, here, here, and here. Perhaps if Peter is really worried about the officiating, and thinks FIFA should improve the officiating, he could start with complaining about Busacca who is apparently considered a top referee.

Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week

Before I left for this trip, an infectious-disease doctor in Boston told me not to eat salads or drink tap water in South Africa, and be cautious about all meats, and make sure if I ate meat, it was well-cooked. I got shots and/or medication for typhoid, hepatitis and tetanus. When I told the infectious-disease doctor I would not be doing anything particularly outdoorsy, like hanging around with lions or giraffes, he let me go without malaria or yellow fever shots. These are some of the things I've done here:

a. Eaten raw springbok, tender meat from the brown and white gazelle that is so famous in southern Africa. At an African restaurant, I saw some on the buffet line, and I mean, how often are you in South Africa with what the waiter raved about being the national meat of the country? I had to try it, and it was terrific. Sort of like tuna tartare.

b. Fed a giraffe.

c. Let a lion cub take my fist in his mouth, rub it with his sandpapery tongue and try to bite it with dull new teeth. A couple of cubs, actually. This happened Thursday at Lion Park northwest of Johannesburg, where you drive through a large nature preserve and you can see all sorts of native animals in their natural habitat. The cubs (see photo) were quite playful. At one point, one of them locked its teeth around my watch and tried to bite it free of the strap. The dried cub slobber is still on the bottom of the silver face.

d. Eaten a lot of salad. Sorry, doc. The lettuce looks so good, and the grape tomatoes are twice the size of the ones I usually see.

e. As for the bottled water, I've been pretty good 90 percent of the time drinking only that. But three or four times I've had lemon water from pitchers in restaurants. No problem.

When Peter comes down with yellow fever or malaria, he is going to be the first one to point the blame somewhere else. I can hear him say, "Malaria and yellow fever shots should be mandatory for people visiting South Africa!" Why a person would go to South Africa and not get a malaria shot is beyond me. If you do an internet search of "South Africa" and "malaria" it comes back with 2.8 million hits. So if I went to South Africa without a malaria shot, I would sure as hell make sure I obeyed my doctor and didn't do anything he requested I don't do.

Haven't heard enough complaining from Peter yet? How about some complaining about the coffee?

The coffee is not good as a whole. I've had lattes in nine places in nearly two weeks, and the only one worth a darn is a double latte from Mugg & Bean, a trendy coffee chain throughout the country. It's got dark and strong espresso, and the milk is fine. I'd call it midway between the Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks lattes, but when you've had some of the swill I've tried around the country, believe me, the Mugg & Bean latte is terrific.

Peter is such a joy. He gets to go to the World Cup, for free most likely, and get great access but he still manages to find something menial to complain about like the coffee.

3. I think if you're like me, you must be wondering why Tim Howard gave up such a soft goal to start the game. Turns out, as he said, he never saw it. "Lost sight of it,'' he said afterward, and I buy it. There had to be some reason why he froze on a ball he would have a chance to deflect over the goal.

Look for Peter to get the background of the stadiums in South Africa designed so a goalkeeper or any soccer player can't lose the ball...because it's just not fair that Tim Howard lost sight of the ball. Everything has to be fair or Peter will complain until we can hear no more complaining.

Either that or Peter will take his anger out on the sun and start a write-in campaign to have South African officials publicly explain why the sun is so bright in their country.

d. And no, if I was there, I wouldn't be cheering for Manny Ramirez, who quit on the team more than once.

This is a new morally outraged Peter King we are seeing. I don't know if I like it or not.

e. Pretty strange to come halfway across the world to be in the best health club you've ever seen, but that's the case with the Virgin Health Club in our neighborhood here.

So there is something nice about the free trip to South Africa? It is good to hear the bad coffee, stupid foreigners, bad English, funny names when used in the English language, bad officiating, and mediocre beer haven't ruined Peter's once-in-a-lifetime trip completely. I am glad to hear the health club is top notch, because Peter expects only the best. I'm glad my country is being partially represented by such a person.


Fred Trigger said...

Your point about what might have happened had that bad call gone against a team that is not the US is a good one. I'm pretty sure if that call happened to a South American team, that ref would more than likely have a hit put out on him. Think of the soccer players from the past few world cups that have been murdered because of poor play. South America takes soccer very, very seriously.

Fred Trigger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bengoodfella said...

Andres Esdobar was killed because he scored a goal in his own goal. I believe if the ref had done that to a non-American team then he would be under threat of some harm. It was a bad call, not the end of the world.

ivn said...

FIFA uses a referee -- in a game of vital importance in determining who moves on in the biggest tournament in any sport in the world -- whose highest previous assignment was the African Cup. That's got to be the equivalent of a Mid-American Conference ref being assigned the Super Bowl.

African Cup of Nations. It's the African equivalent of the Euro Cup, the competition to determine the best team in Africa. so no, Pete, it would be more like a Big East referee being assigned to the Rose Bowl. or something. stop with the bizarre American football references.

d. And no, if I was there, I wouldn't be cheering for Manny Ramirez, who quit on the team more than once.

"Wahhh he helped the Red Sox win two World Series! he won the 2004 World Series MVP! but how dare he question his commitment to a team that spent five years trying to get rid of him!"

wow I love the attitude of these fairweather Red Sox fans.

"I will not pass any judgment on refereeing,'' Kek said. (Maybe.) "I believe the referee hasn't had an impact on the final result.''


obviously the Slovenia coach is going to say something similar to that, but if the US had played half was well in the first half as they did in the second half it would not have come down to that call. not that it wasn't a horrible one.

Doesn't Coulibaly know everywhere an American citizen goes, there has to be someone there who speaks English? English is the language of the Gods, dammit!

in all fairness I think it would make sense that the game official for an international tournament should be multilingual. there are four teams competing in the World Cup whose primary language is English.

I may not be as outraged about the outcome of Friday's crucial World Cup game between America and Slovenia were I not American.

well duh, it was the second game of a group match. there have been calls blown at far higher levels. just ask an Englishman how he feels about Diego Maradona. most Germans who can remember will still kick up a fuss about England's goal in the 1966 final. shit, America even got screwed in the quarterfinals in 2002 when the referee missed a pretty blatant handball by Torsten Frings (but that was before Peter King was getting paid to pretend to care about soccer).

how can Peter do those five things and get out of it unscathed? life just isn't fair.

and I can't believe the ignorance of some of the writers American outlets are sending to South Africa. Jemele Hill has accused a coach (Maradona perhaps) of allegedly hitting on her and complained about the call against Slovenia. Peter has shown a lack of knowledge of any international soccer event that isn't the World Cup, talked out of his ass about how Rooney is "the real deal" (the next big play Rooney makes in this tournament will be his first), and has fed a goddamn giraffe. this week he basically mentioned two non-US players in his column (Leo Messi and Kaka, who just about everyone knows about). Uruguay and Chile are in his "fine five." I wonder if he can name anyone who plays for them.

FormerPhD said...

Here's where Peter's research kind of gets shoddy:

1. Coulibaly's officiating at the African Cup final back in 2005 (I think) was suspicious and just as controversial. He awarded a team (Ghana?) a penalty kick towards the end of the game. The consensus is that there was no foul and it would have allowed a different team to qualify for the WC (they missed the PK and didn't advance).

Peter didn't say "he shouldn't be officiating because he's not skilled enough to do so," which would be a valid point, but seriously? "You're from a small landlocked country, you suck"? Here's a thought: they're playing the WC in Africa for the first time EVER, maybe they'd try to get the continent involved with the sport.

Ichiro? He's from a tiny island, he can't be good a baseball?!

2. An even worse call than this in US soccer history? 2002 against Germany (handball). That was in the knockout stages and helped Germany defeat the US. No one really remembers this, so no one will remember Coulibaly if the US advances (which it should). Even if they don't advance, people should be more pissed at the US not being able to beat Algeria (although they should be pissed about the call and rightfully so).

3. Shitty officiating is kind of the norm, it seems, in this WC. As he mentioned, the SA goalkeeper got a redcard. Today a really iffy red card was handed out to Switzerland in the 31st minute and playing with 10 men, lost 1-0. That call will likely cost Switzerland more than Coulibaly's call will cost the US.

Do I think Peter is somewhat right? Absolutely. The fact that it's now Monday and no one still knows what the call is; the fact that with the win the US would essentially be locked into moving on; the fact that the officiating for that game was atrocious. For the record, the whole "the US shouldn't have let in 2 goals" is kind of crap because it doesn't matter if they did or not because they scored three goals of their own. Should they have played better? Yes, but it's blatantly obvious the officiating cost them the game.

Basically, Peter only sees the problem as it effects the US and not the entire sport of soccer. FIFA refs are making NBA officials seem competent.

4. Peter was very calm and level headed when discussing Jim Joyce's bad call, so what's with the complete lack of restraint with Coulibaly's call?

5. BP is only worth about 9 billion... the cost of the oil spill so far is 2 billion; BP may not last very long in order for Peter to promote justice.

Also, is Peter also going to avoid Exxon and Mobile too? Someone needs to follow Peter around.

6. In the same column where he espouses about the "native" food he's eaten in SA he bitches about the coffee. Hey dipshit, maybe they don't like coffee down there.

It's mindblowing to me that people like Peter exist. People in foreign countries speak a different language? NO WAY. They eat different food too? NO WAY.

ivn said...

Coulibaly's officiating at the African Cup final back in 2005 (I think) was suspicious and just as controversial. He awarded a team (Ghana?) a penalty kick towards the end of the game. The consensus is that there was no foul and it would have allowed a different team to qualify for the WC (they missed the PK and didn't advance).

it was a 2005 World Cup qualifier between Egypt and Cameroon.

apparently the guy was also the fourth official for the New Zealand-Italy game where the Italians got a tie off a penalty after De Rossi dove in the box.

Thilo said...

1. I think, well, I know the U.S. controls its own destiny heading into Wednesday's 10 a.m. EDT match against Algeria, which tied England 0-0 on Friday night. A win, and the U.S. is in, no matter what happens in the England-Slovenia match. In case tiebreakers are needed, however, here's how it works:

a. Goal difference in all three group games.
b. Most goals, total, in three group games.
c. Number of points in matches between the tied teams.
d. Goal difference in matches between tied teams.
e. Most goals scored in matches between tied teams.
f. Drawing of lots by the FIFA Organizing Committee.

2. I think you must think I'm kidding about that last tiebreaker. But you can look it up. True fact.

This is coming from the SI's main NFL writer. As a reminder, the last tiebreaking step for every NFL tiebreaker (2 clubs or 3 clubs, divisional or wildcard) is a coin toss.

The lots can only be drawn if:
a) The teams involved played each other to a draw AND
b) The teams involved scored the same number of goals AND
c) The teams involved allowed the same number of goals.

How, exactly, would Peter suggest we break ties between two or more teams that played each other to a draw, scored equal goals, and allowed equal goals. Saves/shots on goal ratio? Fewer Yellow Cards? No matter what you use at that point, the selection is pretty much arbitrary.

HH said...

Peter: all referees at the World Cup, for the first time this year, have to pass a basic English competency test. I can imagine that for many of them, who are learning a foreign language late in their lives [like my parents did when they immigrated] this doesn't exactly come naturally. And not that I think that a referee owes a player an explanation of a call - I just think it helps the flow of the game if you give guidance as to why a call is made, in the "I'll let you feel for the defender with your arm, but I won't let you push him" sense. I think it helps the game and keeps it friendly. Of course, if the referee lacks the confidence in his English [and why wouldn't he? Peter King hates official translators, I can't imagine what he'd think of a novice learner], he probably feels uncomfortable trying to explain something to native speakers. I'm not surprised he didn't speak. [I'm not advocating excluding non-english speakers, of course. It'd be pointless, given how many players and coaches don't speak it either, and it would exclude many qualified refs to happen to speak other languages.]

Also, a ref in the world cup who's also reffed the African Cup is like a ref in the Sweet 16 who also reffed in the SEC Tournament. That is, not at all stunning.

HH said...

Also: Isn't the final tiebreaker in the NFL a coin toss?

Magnakai Haaskivi said...

Massimo Busacca has, generally, been among the best referees in the world for quite awhile now. The red card against Khune - while unfortunate - was correct; his foul did prevent a player from scoring, and the laws require a red card for that. It seems excessive, but it's correct.

As far as relieving himself on the field...I hadn't heard of that, but I think he's mixing up Jens Lehmann's incident. It's easy to do; Peter's got all these wacky European names to keep track of, or something.

Busacca did give a bunch of Young Boys fans the finger, though (which, frankly, was pretty funny).

Matthew Cleary said...

Excellent article. Peter King is more awful than he has ever been. Andres Escobar was murdered in Colombia after an own goal (not sure of any other South American players that have been murdered). Colombia is a mediocre soccer nation and his murder was due more to the lawlessness at the time and the fact that some drug barons lost a lot of money on the match as opposed to a fervent passion for the game. I wouldn't be surprised if the ref has been emailed some threats from yahoos here in the States. If the USA advances it is a non-issue and if they don't they only have themselves to blame for losing to Algeria and falling behind Slovenia. Just like the Raiders blew a 13-3 lead before the tuck rule call.

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, I don't think Peter has a lot of respect for soccer in Africa so he would consider them to be a mid-major conference and not a major conference like the Big East. Of course he doesn't really know enough about soccer to even make a comparison like that. I agree with you that if the Americans had played well all game then it wouldn't have come to that call. It didn't happen though.

I think all officials should be multi-lingual but I don't think they should all know English. Besides my point about that is null and void because Bradley says the referees never really explain their calls anyway. I think I should follow Grant Wahl if I want good soccer coverage.

Rich, with the idea the US should have not allowed more than 2 goals I am trying to say that the US had something to do with the game ending in a tie also. I know they did "score" three goals, but this isn't a case where the US played well and got screwed over. They dug themselves a hole and then worked hard to get out of it. The officiating is terrible, or at least it seems that way. I am a little surprised at how many controversial plays and calls there have been.

Maybe it is the spirit of international competition that gets Peter riled up, I don't know. He didn't get very riled up a/b the Jim Joyce call though he also wasn't covering the event.

I can't get enough of Peter's bitching about the coffee. I think it is hilarious. He is on a free vacation and he still finds something to complain about. I also enjoy how he publicly tells everyone he doesn't get malaria shots. It's just great.

That's what I like about you Rulebook, you always bring up something I completely missed. It appears at a certain point some sort of criteria being used will be arbitrary and there isn't too many ways around it.

HH, I 100% agree the call should be explained. I don't understand that rule nor do I (in my limited soccer experience) like it. I think at some point there needs to be an explanation or reason for a call to be made. I don't actually blame the ref, though it was a bad call, but I blame FIFA for not discussing exactly what the call was.

Magnakai, Busacca may be a good referee, I don't doubt that because he seems to get prominent assignments, but I did a quick internet search and it seemed like people didn't like him. Of course that could be every referee and I did find that he was considered one of the best. I did not find the urinating incident though. I didn't want to look too closely, but I couldn't find a link for that.

Matthew, I think Peter is a little over his head on this one honestly. I don't know why SI decided he should cover the World Cup. I'm excited to see the "30 for 30" on Escobar when I get around to watching it. I think the US should advance and Peter's prediction we will be talking about this for months will be wrong.

The Casey said...

It does seem that the officiating, in the games I've seen, hasn't been very good. And I do watch EPL about as often as I watch the NFL (1-2 games a week). US shouldn't have allowed 2 1st-half goals, and getting the tie should be applauded. But that game should have been 3-2.

Also, if you're traveling to another country for a month or so, and your doctor wants to give you shots that could save your life, why would you stop him? PK's done everything short of fucking a hyena to pick up a disease, but hey, he's from Boston. Nothing bad ever happens to those guys.

Also, if it really was Maradona hitting on Jemele, she should have starfucked the shit out of that.

Bengoodfella said...

Casey, I haven't watched enough soccer in the past to know if the officiating sucks or not, but it hasn't looked very good. Based on how much complaining there has been among teams, I am assuming this isn't usual. It was a great comeback by the US though.

I think fucking a hyena might have actually ended up being safer than eating the lettuce and putting his hand in a lion's mouth.

I would hope Maradona has better taste than JemeHill.

Fred Trigger said...

I did a quick google search and there has been more than one soccer player killed. Not sure if it had to do with the game or not. Actually, most recently a Paraguay player got shot in the head in a bar without explanation. I believe he somehow survived.

Bengoodfella said...

Soccer players are used to strong blows to their head from various objects, so maybe he just headed the bullet into the ceiling?

Matthew Cleary said...

The Paraguay player was shot in Mexico City. He plays for America, the Mexican team based there. It was over a dispute in a bar, not performance. But still, your original point stands but I am sure Scott Norwood had his share of death threats as well. I think soccer players have had worse luck due to being in places with higher crime and violence rates compared to US cities as opposed to soccer fans taking their sport more seriously than NFL/MLB/NBA fans.

Bengoodfella said...

Throw in some of these countries have high crime and violence, an obsession with soccer, and gambling money on the games...I don't know if I could handle being a soccer player in a country obsessed with soccer. I would prefer to sit the bench and never have the chance to screw up majorly.

Matthew Cleary said...

What really makes me angry about Peter King talking about how one blown call being the end of soccer as we know it is that he has no perspective. The dive that Italy took against New Zealand leading to a penalty shot and a subsequent draw as well as the red card against the Swiss which forced the Swiss to go ten men against Chile and contributed to a 1-0 loss were pretty bad calls as well. Almost every game has a questionable booking or call, it is the nature of the game. The worst thing about Peter King being the standard bearer against bad officiating is that wasn't he the biggest supporter of Ed Hochuli after he cost the Chargers that game against the Broncos and then on the next Monday night blew several key calls in the Saints/Vikings game, notably the Reggie Bush fumble with the clear face mask violation and then a fumble by the Vikings that was erroneously called down by contact? I seem to remember King going out of his way to support Hochuli. One of the worst calls I remember was when the Big 12 referees threw a flag in the Miami/Ohio State championship game. I was at the University of Miami School of Law at the time and as upset I was about the call I didn't whine because the Canes could only blame themselves for losing to a mediocre team with an awful quarterback. Ken Dorsey didn't come out the next day and cry about it. The United States put the ref in position to alter the outcome of the game by playing so bad against Slovenia in the first half. The fact is that with the States advancing today it becomes a non issue but the whiners like King and Eric Wynalda look foolish when they cry about match fixing and how the referee was paid for or he was somehow incompetent because he was from Mali and not a more developed country. Also Michael Bradley is one of the biggest crybabies in all sports. He got a three match ban for whining and crying to referee Jorge Larrienda(sp) after the 3-0 victory against Egypt to reach the Confederation Cup final, marring one of the biggest wins in US soccer history. I think it is hard for world fans to take the US seriously with the amount of whining and crying over a bad call in a sport known for bad calls.

Bengoodfella said...

Matthew, that's a good perspective and I think similarly. I know others don't and that is fine. I remember that OSU-Miami game and Miami was loaded and it was a LATE call. I can't believe you insulted Craig Krenzel like that though (I think that was the QB for OSU). He was an All-Star! Clearly, I am joking.

I recall PK supporting Hochuli as well. There's nothing wrong w/ that, but I can't accurately explain (other than national pride) his response to the call against the US, as bad as it was, to how he wasn't worked up over the Hochuli calls. Maybe he is supposed to be more neutral in the NFL, I don't know, but it was still a bad call in those instances by Hochuli.

It's all a non-issue now, but I didn't like some of the whining that went on. FIFA should probably change some the rules they have a/b officials having to explain calls, but similar things have happened before to other nations and apparently the officiating sucks in soccer. I hate to be a nation of whiners, but given the other nations that have acted like asses in some situations during this World Cup, I think we may be in the clear of being the biggest whiners.

Matthew Cleary said...

I think soccer might also be a sport that involves a lot of whining because goals are so hard to come by and an early red card will wreck the next 90 minutes for a team. In football when the refs blow a fumble or an out of bounds play then you almost always can make up for it. Even after the disputed flag in the Miami/OSU game which would have ended it Miami still couldn't punch it in from the one on their last possession. The USA doesn't have the worst whiners, Wayne Rooney cries so much he makes Sidney Crosby look tough by comparison. Michael Bradley of the USA is a notorious crybaby but I don't think anyone else stands out the way Rooney does for England or some of the Italians that dive all over the pitch. Peter King and Eric Wynalda hardly speak for all Americans but I still don't see King's role in the World Cup coverage. Is he an everyman cheerleader for the USA while Grant Wahl is the serious commentator?

Bengoodfella said...

I don't get his role either. I think Peter King was sent down to do his MMQB-thing that everyone seems to enjoy. So I would say you are right, that he is supposed to be the everyman commentator and bring back the kind of stories he gets for MMQB. I guess that is his role, to be the everyman.

I think there is more whining for the reasons you stated. I haven't seen this much flopping since Duke's last basketball game.