Friday, July 2, 2010

Are The Soccer Gods Chortling?

Has there even been an ending to match as happened today?  Have many teams in any sport ever last so cruelly?

I was technically a neutral, but really everyone ends up rooting for a team during these matches.  Today, I imagine most people were rooting for Ghana, which I'll be perfectly honest in saying I don't understand if you are a USA supporter how you could support Ghana.

People were trying to beat the whole last African team standing theme to death, and while it made for great theater because it seemed that about 83,000 of the 84,000+ inside Soccer City Stadium were cheering for the Black Stars, it was irrelevant to me.  Let's face it, Ghana aren't a particularly great team, they cruelly beat the USA (though maybe deserved on the day), and did so by finishing the game with a level of time wasting and injury faking that simply disgusts me.

So I wanted Ghana to receive their just rewards, and maybe the soccer gods are laughing right now.  But damn, that is traumatizing.  As it is I'm pretty horrified of penalty shootouts and I'm not even English!  Players have missed plenty of decisive penalties before, but has it ever happened on the last kick of the game, with the World Cup semis on the line, then seeing your team lose in the subsequent PK shootout, which, by the way, had to be a forgone conclusion after that miss silenced pretty much an entire continent of fans?

It was damn thrilling drama.  This World Cup has only had a few great performances (and even calling those great is a stretch), but it sure hasn't been short of the amazing and dramatic.  Wow, a perfect encapsulation of why football is beautiful and cruel, inspiring and tragic all at once.

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