Saturday, June 17, 2006

More great American commentary

The highlight of the day, of course, was the unbelievably partisan commentary on the USA-Italy battle. The game featured three red cards, and each one of them was completely justified, and in keeping with the directives handed down to referees for the tournament. However, to hear Marcela Balboa, Eric Wynalda (who himself has been red carded at a World Cup) and co. speak, the referee had an anti-US nightmare. Perhaps they mistook him for the fellow Dubya has been searching for since 2001.

When Pablo Mastroeni launched a two footed, studs showing lunge on Andrea Pirlo, and was dismissed, Balboa explained that this was just a normal tackle that was mistimed, and should have received a talking-to, or a yellow at best.

When Eddie Pope, already on a yellow, chopped down Gilardino from behind, or perhaps the side, Balboa suggested that a good referee would have not shown the second yellow, because he knew the player already had a yellow card. That is to say, a foul is only a foul if you have not previously committed a foul. Imagine that - once you're on a yellow card, you get a free vicious foul before you get a second yellow. Only an American commentator could think that one up.

Some other great comments from today's round of games:

  • "Appiah had a big play on the goal!" - a reference to Appiah's contribution to the move that led to Ghana's first goal
  • "Jankulovsky on the shot that's blocked!"
  • "When you get scored on early, it's difficult to get your bearings straight" - a reference to the USA's struggle to recover after going 1-0 down inside 5 minutes against the Czech Republic
  • "Teams who get the first score are 27-2-2 at this World Cup" - says ESPN at the start of the 25th match of the tournament. Think about those numbers for a second.

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