Monday, June 14, 2010

Flopping like a dead (or at least stunned) fish

Monday Weigh In: Checking in at 205.5 pounds this week, down an impressive two pounds from last week. Really happy with my workouts this week (including doing four and a third miles on the treadmill on Saturday) as I seem to have broken through to that next level on my fitness. Meaning that workouts that would kill me a few weeks ago are relatively easy now. I’ll keep upping the intensity and focusing on my diet as I edge close to that first goal of being under 200 pounds.

World Cup Update: My new favorite team for the Cup is Ghana due to their fans unfurling a banner that read “Sex Machines” during the game on Sunday. Apparently a rap group from Ghana has a hit song called, obviously, “Sex Machine” and this has provided the team with a theme song much like Chelsea Dagger for the Blackhawks or Don’t Stop Believing for the White Sox. However, I mainly like the fact that we can now refer to the team as the Ghana Sex Machines. That is what I love about the World Cup: you always find yourself cheering some small country because they seem to be really cool.

To DJ’s comment on yesterday’s post I really don’t mind ties in soccer and understand the importance of playing for a tie at times. The tie for the US was in effect a win: they stayed even with the best team in their group and stayed in control of their own destiny. Even low scoring doesn’t bother me because I understand that at the top level defenses are very good (though I wish there were more scoring opportunities.) Heck, low scoring makes set plays that much more exciting. What really drives me insane is the flopping which was in full display during the Italy – Paraguay game.

To be honest though I can’t recall anything that I would have called a flop during the US – England game. But in the Italy game today people were hitting the ground left and right. I saw a guy collapse to the ground holding his ankle which had done nothing other than kick the ball. I haven’t seen them break out the magic spray or carry someone off on a stretcher only for them to immediately return to the field like nothing happened. That is the part of the sport that people can’t stand. If you are hurt then you are hurt. Tim Howard got hurt on Saturday because he took a kick in the chest. Stopping the game for him to catch his breath and figure out what happened to his ribs is acceptable. But guys falling to the ground because the other guy touched him is just stupid.

It is interesting that DJ brings up flopping in basketball because that really only became a problem once the European players started to make an impact on the league. I can’t recall flopping being an issue at all in the 80’s. Think about those Celtic or Lakers or Pistons squads. None of those guys flopped. But once the game became more international with players from soccer countries the amount of flopping and trying to draw fouls increased greatly.

I really do enjoy soccer at the highest level. I watched almost all of the Euro Cup in 2008 (unemployment has its benefits) and as these posts indicate I am a huge World Cup fan. I don’t think that I will ever be able to consider myself a knowledgeable fan but I can enjoy the game and the atmosphere. For me that is enough.

1 comment:

ndtriguy said...

The diving done by Italy was horrible. The most egregious was the Daniele De Rossi dive for no reason just because he was right outside the box. There is something that must happen though, karmically. Like I feel if they stayed up they would be able to battle more and get more opportunities. Who knows.

I think the lack scoring forces you to look for different things in your viewing. Things like possession, counterattacks, cohesion turn games into an Art-of-War-type exercise. Playoff hockey and basketball may not appeal to fans who just want to Lebron and Dwight Howard dunk highlights, but I love seeing offensive rebounds, hustle plays and three pointers by random bench guys. I forget my point. - DJ