Some loose ends and a new "For the newbie" section today. Gonna jump around a bit, so if you don't like the story, skip it, if you don't like the soccer, skip it.
First a big Fan Man Dan Congrats to the Butler Bears baseball team for their runner-up finish at the state tournament in Lexington. Welcome back boys from a successful trip.
First, a quick story:
Stopped by the local gian burrito place (Qdoba) on the way into work Saturday. There was a little bit of a line in the burrito-waiting coral they have there.(downtown was pretty busy!)
So anyway, these burritos are monsters right? Like 1300 calories. 1300 calories of cheesy, beany, ricey goodness. So there sits my burrito, behind the counter, awaiting its cheese/sourcream/salsa/wrapping finishing touch when the young lady behind me asks "Do you eat that all at once?" Must have been her first time.
First of all heck and yeah I eat that all at once, I am a man! Secondly, what's it matter to you? But they were nice about it. Then for some reason I felt compelled to explain myself to this total stranger. "This was my lunch AND dinner." Oh, that makes it better.
Why did I attempt to explain this to her? I'll eat this burrito as an appetizer, and throw another on top of it and wash it down with a milkshake thank you. But nah, I wussed out and crafted an explaination for my pig out.
You know who this lady should talk to? Adam Richman from Man vs. Food. THAT guy eats too much, I worry for him.
OK lots of USA talk the past couple days, time to tie up a few loose ends.
-As bad as the official in the USA-Slovenia match up was, and we all know this as fact; a word about the card happy official in the Gremany-Serbia game.
Excerpt from an email from Gunter (who according to his email address sent this in from South Africa!) courtesy my inbox (your comments welcome at email@example.com):
He writes: "Both yellow bookings against Klose were totally unjustified , and as a result of that fiasco , Germany's chances of going through have been severely dented - all as a result of an incompetent referee ..."
Totally agree. On the first, Klose likely didn't even make contact. No idea why a yellow was issued except to say the referee saw something that wasn't there. It put him in a tough spot on the second Klose card, which i happen to agree with as legitimate in a tightly officiated contest. Either way, Germany had a PK chance at a tie, and likely have enough firepower without Klose to get a result from Ghana.
Gunter continues later "...decisions to install a TMO (third match referee) so that when the on field ref is unsure about the level of punishment he should dish out..."
I knind of like this idea, and want to take it a bit further, I would like all red cards reviewed immediately. The player must leave the match while a "TMO" reviews all aspects of the ejection, both yellows if it is a double yellow situation or the infraction responsible for the straight red if that was the route. If an error has been found (like Klose's first yellow Friday) the player returns and the team is not punished by playing a man down for an officials error
"...The problem with (the) present system is that it makes it hard for a fan to lose gracefully when he knows his side has been robbed unfairly"
Fans all over the USA know this very well Gunter, and thanks for your email.
-Austrailian Harry Kewell saw red in the first half of his match against Ghana Saturday as well. I think it was the right ruling. The ball contacted his arm, and he moved his body in that direction to block the shot. The PK seemed harsh enough penalty though as he did not flail at the ball. I understand FIFA rules call for red in this situation however. Ghana has only scored the 2 PK goals on their way to the top of group D and Austrailia, despite the 4 goal drubbing in the opening match, can still make it through with a win over Serbia and a German loss to Ghana.
-The Dutch clinched a spot in the final 16 this morning with a blah 1-0 win over Japan. The Netherlands are supposed to be this compelling offensive team, but I haven't really seen it.
-As for Cameroon and Denmark, a couple of nice Danish goals, a great performance from Dane, Dennis Rommedahl got his team 3 points and into a sweet winner moves on contest with Japan next Thursday.
For the Newbie:
As this is a fan blog, and many folks are looking at soccer for the first time, I wanted to share a quick note about the World Cup format. I will do this from time to time if I start getting too many people asking me the same question. Like this one:
How can this be a tournament if they keep tying?
A.: The tournament is formatted in two stages, the group stage and the knockout stage. In the group stage, 8- 4 team groups play each other team in their group one time in a type of "regular season." You get credit for a tie(1 point), but a lot more credit for a win (3 points).
The top two teams in points in each group advance to a "sweet sixteen" type tournament where ties do not exist. They play overtime, then have a penalty kick shootout to decide a winner. Progresses until a champ is crowned July 11.
Want to talk World Cup? Have a sports or other life observation you'd like to see discussed at WHAS11.com? Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org