More About Football.

I took Thursday off. I am taking a comp day for working over the weekend. On Thursday at 10:00 AM EST the USA plays Ghana in their third World Cup game. If the USA wins that game and Italy wins their game, we advance to round two. It’s going to be a heckuva day.

Here’s the deal: the USA lost their first game (and badly) against the Czech Republic. Italy beat Ghana 2 – 0. This weekend, the Czech Republic lost against Ghana 2 – 0. (People are calling their loss the biggest upset of the World Cup.) USA tied with Italy on Saturday. Granted, our point came from an own goal from Italy but we played really well and we played with only 9 men on the field since the ref was handing out red cards like the hookers at Hunts Point hand out blowjobs. The good news about the Czech Republic losing against Ghana is the USA is back in the running. The US team has to beat Ghana, which could be difficult as they are blazing fast. If we beat Ghana and Italy beats the Czech Republic, we’ll advance to round two. But that’s not the most exciting part about all of this, the most exciting part, and the reason I took off work, is the USA/Ghana game takes place at the exact same time (10 AM EST) as the Italy/Czech Republic game. I guess the idea is to not influence one another. I am a little confused. Why does Italy have to beat the Czech Republic? This has been explained to me over and over again and I just can’t get it straight.

My goal is to find a bar on Thursday with at least two TVs. I’m going to sit my ass down and watch them both. Oh, and I won’t be at work. And after the week I had, I really, really need it.

23 Comments

  1. well, in group play a win = 3 points, a tie = 1 point and a loss = no points. With Ghana beating the Czech Rep., now Italy has 4 pts, Czech and Ghana 3 pts, and we have 1 pt. So if we have any hope of moving on, we need to hope that Italy beats C.R. giving them 7 pts and winning the group outright, and we beat Ghana giving us 4 pts and then Czech Rep. and Ghana will only have 3 pts still. That way we will definitely move on. If Italy ties Czech Rep, and we defeat Ghana, both the US and the C.R. will have 4 pts, and we lost to the C.R. so we wouldn’t move on.

    Finally, if the Czech republic beats Italy, we have to hope they pound them because the tiebreak for group play is goal differential, which is the ratio of goals against and goals scored for each team. Our 3-0 loss to the C.R. pretty much makes it impossible for us to rely on that as a tiebreak in our favor…

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  2. to expand a bit further on that last paragraph, C.R. would have 6 points if they beat Italy, and we would be tied with Italy with 4 pts each.

    To successfully win on the goal differential tiebreak, we would have to overcome our -3 goal differential and Italy’s +2 goal differential. So we’d have to make up 5 goals over Italy…

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  3. That’s exactly right. The goal differential part makes it a little more complicated for the US – it’s not simply winning but goals.
    Since I want Italy to move on I have to hope that they beat or tie the Czech Republic and that Ghana doesn’t win. So I guess I can root for the US in this one game!

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  4. Nora, you gonna watch it somewhere? I must find a place willing to watch both at the same time.

    I guess I’ll either have to run for the first half and then hit a bar or not run at all and just hit the bar. Either way, I do believe a pint will be in order that day and most likely that pint will take place before noon. ;]

    Thanks, texas pete.

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  5. I spent the whole day Saturday walking through Chelsea and the Village – everywhere you went there were TONS of people crowded in little bars watching games. I was sitting in Little Italy at a restaurant eating dinner when the Italy/USA game was on. The roar that came up the street everytime a foul/point/anything happened. All of the waiters at our restaurant kept coming out and updating the street on the score and the happenings. It was a pretty cool experience.

    I know hardly anything about this game, but it is REALLY addicting!

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  6. Texas Pete, so what you’re saying is we simply must win against Ghana and Italy must kick the crap out of TCR. Because I don’t think CR will score a massive number of points against Italy.

    Maddie, it’s highly addictive. Also, you were here and didn’t write?! YOU!

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  7. I have really enjoyed watching the games, but there is one thing that just gets under my skin: the histrionics of the players who get fouled/tackled. I don’t know how many times I saw guys clutch their knees or ankles, writhe in pain and cry until they were CARRIED off the field on a stretcher, only to see them sprint back on two minutes later. WTF?

    I know that part of the gamesmanship of playing the ref is to sell the foul, but there’s got to be a line between selling the foul and looking like a complete idiot. I mean really, can you imagine any of these guys in roller derby, for example? They’d be laughed out of the rink!

    And the only time i EVER saw a stretcher used at a rugby match was for my teammate who broke his damned neck. Even the guy who dislocated his ankle and shattered both bones in his lower leg managed to hop off the field between two teammates.

    I know that a lot of these players are tough, and that the game is demanding. So why ruin it by acting like a total wuss?

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  8. if we beat ghana and italy beats C.R., we don’t need to worry about how many goals are scored in either match.

    That whole mess is only important if C.R. beats Italy… Then we’d need C.R. to kick the crap out of Italy and make up that 5 goal differential… and it would help if we actually found our offense and scored a few ourselves. Technically we didn’t score against Italy either, Italy did us a favor and put one in their own net…

    Which is why it would be much much much better for us if Italy just beats C.R.

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  9. mihow ~ you know, I was thinking of you guys while walking around, like how I should have probably mentioned that I was going since you know those areas really well and could be a really good source of info (as you have been in the past!). I kept an eye out just in case you and tobyjoe walked by. It was really the first time in a while that we went all through the neighborhoods, down Bleecker St. and all that. It was only for the day – I’m dying to go back. When I go in Oct. I’ll have to remember to tell you.

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  10. Charlie, I’m right there with you on the whole dramatics thing… I know it’s part of the game, but it really frustrates the crap out of me most of the time…

    Actually, one of the coolest things about the end of that Italy/US game that I noticed was that by the 80th minute or so, both teams were trying so hard just to win and were so focused, that the players were actually trying harder to keep their feet and control of the ball in situations where earlier in the match they might have just gone down and held their legs like they were dying in an attempt to get a free kick. Essentially, they dispensed of the bullshit because it was a do or die situation.

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  11. Then there are players such as McBride who get punch in the face (blood and all) and take it in stride. Not only did he get bashed in the face, but he continued to play moments later.

    I love that guy. He’s hot.

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  12. In “The Thinking Fan’s Guide to the World Cup” Dave Eggers makes the arguement that soccer will never catch on in the US as it has in other countries because of the dramatics on the field (flopping for fouls). Based on some reactions, maybe he’s right! I think it makes being a fan more fun – it gives you more ammo against the opposing team and gives you something to whine about for your own side.

    They draw fouls in hockey too – maybe not with such flair – but it’s done.

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  13. Nora, I agree. It doesn’t really bother me enough to bitch about it. I mean, I do bitch but it’s while the game is on (as you suggested) and usually I do it against the other team. :] I might complain about it from time to time, but I also find it wildly comic and I guess in the end, I kinda might miss it if it were gone.

    But, come on, WWF is HUGE here, talk about dramatics!

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  14. Nora, in hockey they created a penalty for the obvious dive. I would like to see a 5 or 10 minute banishment for anyone down for more than say 30 seconds. Give the team the ability to substitute if they choose to or play short for a meaningful period of time. Just one fan’s thoughts.

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  15. now hold on a minute… i love football. soccer. I used to play. I’m glad its finally getting to the point where matches are televised on a regular basis so I can acutally watch them once in a while.

    But sometimes the art of drawing a foul is taken to a ridiculous level, where for every contact a fall is taken. I feel at that point it interrupts the flow of the game and thats when it gets frustrating for me. However, its always going to be part of the game, as is incidental contact. Football is not a true contact sport, yet contact occurs and is let go often in favor of a more competitive and exciting game.

    And there is a penalty given for an obvious dive. But with cleats and skin in such close quarters, its often a hard call to make.

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  16. OK I’ll give a little on the contact and the fact that players fall down. It’s the deathbed scenario of displaying such excruciating and disabling pain that is forgotten in a moment of magical healing. Somehow, it makes them seem like a bunch of girlie men to quote a great American, or is he in fact and more appropriate to this situation a great German? Soccer players represent the most unethical behavior in all of sports. There isn’t another sport that even comes close to the gamesmanship displayed.

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  17. I have been amazed at how friendly players are with one another. They are always helping each other up after a collision. They are always patting each other on the back. They are always kind. Opposing teams seem to compliment one another often. I guess that’s what you were saying in your last sentence, right Scbob? That’s indisputable. I genuinely dig that. I often comment about as much each time we watch a game.

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  18. yes! they also exchange jerseys after the match!

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  19. Plus, they don’t spend their time juicing themselves. They’re actually healthy, athletes and not a bunch of fat, beer drinking, steroid popping Neanderthals!

    OK, that was unfair of me, but still.

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  20. It’s part of the opera of soccer. If that doesn’t appeal to you – oh, well. I guess as in many things, there is the American way and there is everyone else’s way.

    Hey Michele – on Thursday morning I’ll be stuck in a van with my co-workers for four hours on the way to an event. Ugh. What a piece of crap!

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  21. oh, btw scbob, i think he’s actually austrian…

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  22. aimee, I knew that but it fit the German setting of the world cup better and I was trying to draw out Jonathan.

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