Monday, July 12, 2010

World Cup Togetherness

If you recorded the game and haven't seen it yet, stop reading now.

Yesterday's World Cup final was one of the ugliest matches I've ever witnessed. And I've seen plenty, I started refereeing as soon as I was old enough to work (ok, technically earlier than that, but only by a season) and played in many leagues until I went to college. The Netherlands, in particular, should be ashamed of how ungentlemanly they played (but Spain wasn't doing a whole lot better). Who really wants to set the record for most cards shown in a single championship game? And they blew the record out of the water with 14 yellow cards. It was set in 1986 at six. It was not a pretty game.

I hear that Netherland coaches, players, and fans are very unhappy with the way the ref called the game. Truth be told, he did them a kindness. He should have shown a red card for that crazy high kick in the 28th minute. They should have been playing a man down most of the game. They got lucky. And the ref kind of made up for giving them an advantage there by not issuing a deserved caution to Spain in the second half. Otherwise, every card was earned and deserved, in my once-professional opinion. A really disgusting game.

But, Spain finally got their goal (with some unbecoming gloating that is not in the spirit of the game), proving Paul the oracular octopus right yet again. I was semi cheering for Spain, but I would have been happy with a deserving victory either way. Ugly game aside, I do think Spain deserved their win. Maybe both teams will learn something and play better the next time they face each other.

Nothing brings the world together like the World Cup.

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