June 16, 2014

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 15 comments

Favourite part of the world cup thus far : BBC commentatorJonathan Pearce's complete failure to understand the goalline technology after it was used to confirm the second goal in France's 3-0 win over Honduras.

And the internet's reaction to it.

Former TV commentator Richard Keys also had a meltdown, claiming it wasn't a goal and how he'd told us the technology wouldn't work. Then four hours later he stated he had "got us another angle" and the ball was in.

Clearly the heat is not just getting to the players.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:00 AM on June 16, 2014

Yeah, that was really weird how everyone got confused for a minute by the GLT video explanation. It seemed pretty obvious when I watched it what they were explaining, but seeing the Honduras players go nuts and then the coach having to have it explained to him made me realize that they were simply grasping at straws, for which I can't really blame them. I'm sure there are cases where I've ignored obvious information when cheering for one of my teams, but in hindsight should have realized afterwards.

The commentators, however? That's just silly ignorance on their part.

posted by grum@work at 11:47 AM on June 16, 2014

Not on the goal line technology front, but were Honduras so cynical/negative in their play in qualifying (I missed both of their U.S. games in the hex)? Or is this just a matter of playing the only way they thought they could be successful against France?

posted by holden at 12:33 PM on June 16, 2014

Portugal are absolutely imploding here.

Potentially good news for the USA.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:37 PM on June 16, 2014

Couple of observations from the Portugal-Germany game.

Raul Meireles has become Brian Wilson's soccer doppelganger. Apparently I'm not the only one to have tumbled to this.

Pepe really is a pantomime villain (as he's often referred to in the Guardian's MBM), but is more villain-y with the shaved head rather than what he has going on now. Perhaps if his head was still shaven, he would not have made the head-to-head contact with Muller that was guaranteed to result in a sending off. Love the weird situation that (a) head butting is relatively common in soccer as a form of aggression, and (b) is an automatic sending off, whether Zidane level or love tap.

I was initially thinking a draw would be the best result for the U.S. (as would be the case in a hypothetical group where every team is of relatively equal talent), but let's face it -- Germany are going to run away with this group, so the more points Ghana and Portugal drop, the better.

posted by holden at 12:47 PM on June 16, 2014

head butting is relatively common in soccer as a form of aggression, and (b) is an automatic sending off, whether Zidane level or love tap.

Would that have been a straight red for anyone? I don't think it helped that Pepe shoved the ref in the dust up after the penalty kick call.

posted by yerfatma at 12:54 PM on June 16, 2014

I don't know, I have a hard time recalling a headbutting of any level of force and that the ref or one of his assistants saw that did not result in a sending off. I mean, dude got a red card for this.

But yes, being Pepe did not help his cause.

posted by holden at 12:57 PM on June 16, 2014

Not sure why Ronaldo (who came into the WC nursing some injuries) is still in this game, but that's good for the U.S.

posted by holden at 01:08 PM on June 16, 2014

That's the second time ESPN's color man has labeled a player "just about onside" in a position that everyone else so far in the tournament has been called offside. I'm not calling shenanigans (One for each team; neither resulted in a goal.) but just amused at the terminology.

posted by bender at 01:16 PM on June 16, 2014

The Portugese coach really should be raked over the coals for leaving Ronaldo in there when it was 3-0. Portugal wasn't going to score 3 goals, and Ronaldo has the opportunity to get injured (or draw a red card in frustration, like when he rushed the ref after his teammate didn't get a penalty shot).

Sometimes people lose sight of the big picture during the game.

posted by grum@work at 02:08 PM on June 16, 2014

I was calling for Bento to take Ronaldo off too. As it is, leaving him on meant he didn't have to play the last 25 minutes with 9 men, after Coentrao's injury. So there's that.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has a played called ONAZI. Appropriately he's a right winger.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 02:44 PM on June 16, 2014

Good sport, that Donovan kid is...

posted by grum@work at 03:22 PM on June 16, 2014

I've been watching the BBC's excellent tactical camera for the whole of the first half of the Nigeria-Iran game, which means I'm uniquely positioned to be able to tell you that, so far, it's a very boring game.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:07 PM on June 16, 2014

Loved the Donovan commercial. It seemed like he only gave himself 24 hours to be mad and then moved on. You gotta love that.

posted by rcade at 09:21 PM on June 16, 2014

The "head butting is relatively common in soccer as a form of aggression" conversation came up in the office. We talked about how each sport has it own form of aggression. Basketball is the elbow. Hockey is drop the gloves. Football is remove the helmet. etc.

One thing I have been laughing about in the whole Muller-Pepe incident, is Muller goes down in agony for a slight hand to the face (watched replay and even tactical camera and appears no foul called for this contact) but jumps up ready to fight when head butted.

posted by prof at 10:32 AM on June 17, 2014

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