Sunday, June 13, 2010

Best World Cup Headline (So Far) As Brit Tabloids Feast Mercilessly on Goalkeeper: “HAND OF CLOD”

This is a clever take on Dieguito Maradona’s hand ball goal which knocked England out of the 1986 World Cup and went viral throughout the world (before the advent of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter) as “The Hand of God.” Here is today’s winning headline, followed by a pretty funny one from, believe or not, Matt Drudge:

And the video of the goal. You decide:

Poor Robert Green. The guy is taking it all in with characteristic British stoicism, knowing this is something that he’ll carry for the the rest of his life. One feels for the guy, when he says: “I’m 30, I'm a man, and you have hardships in life and prepare for them. I’m strong enough to move on. At a younger point in my life it would have affected me more.”

England’s coach has a decision to make, which is pretty straightforward but not simple: Don’t bench Green for the next game. These things happen, and benching a starter for failing on a single play, especially one that has gained such notoriety, risks burning him as a professional forever. It’s not even good for the team’s psyche. They know this better than anyone, and from their perspective benching Green is a slap on their failure to pick him up by not scoring the go-ahead goal. They had more than a half of football to do it.

So if England’s coach Fabio Capello is a man of honor and character he will not bench Robert Green. Besides, Green’s reserve David James, 39, has problems of his own: The British fans have dubbed him “Calamitous James” for precisely the same type of failure committed by Green against the United States. The News of the World described the game as “Shock ‘N’ Draw.” And the Sunday Times observed laconically that Clint Dempsey’s goal was “one disastrous spill the Yanks won’t complain about.”

Heh. Gotta love the World Cup!

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