Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The last straw

By now, the whole world knows about Zinedine Zidane's ignominious exit from the world stage. I was going to write a long diatribe about how I felt he was being treated too harshly until I ran into this piece by Paul Zimmerman of Sports Illustrated. Read it and you'll know how I feel about that incident.

And while on this topic, watching the Italians moan and roll around in agony every time a French defender even breathed near them was nauseating. It was sickening to watch them roll around as if their very life was at risk and then, miraculously, get up a few minutes later.

I propose a simple solution to this acting. Keep 6 stretchers within 10 yards of the field - at the 4 corners and on either side of the halfline. As soon as a player starts rolling around, send in the stretcher. The player has until the stretcher reaches him to recover. If he does not, then he HAS to be carried off the field no matter how fit he suddenly feels and cannot come back in until 5 minutes have elapsed. His team will play on with 10 members for that duration. If this is strictly enforced it will be interesting to see how many cry-babies will still roll around in feigned agony.

I have lost interest in football (with apologies to SM the Elder) and will continue to avidly follow the American version (gridiron football) where sometimes even broken bones do not stop a player from continuing to play (just ask Gary Stills and Bryan Cox, who continued to play with multiple fractures without crying about it). At least, there, when a player is hurt there is some justification for halting the game.

1 comment:

Buck said...

Thanks for pointing me to Dr Z's piece on l'affaire Zidane...

...I felt very sorry for the great Frenchman that this had to come to pass. Yet, in a sense, this is not unlike what our favorite Bulls used to do in their hey-day, whether it was Scottie advising Karl Malone that the mailman does not deliver on Sundays or Rodman's brave ability to get his 6'8" frame under the skin of mighty 7 footers like Shaq...

...given that Zidane, while not a flopper (full credit to him for this) but most certainly a hot-head with past record of quite literally butting heads when provoked, it was but inevitable that the Italians (or someone else) would put a player with the express task of needling him...

...I do not think that Zidane has tarnished his reputation or his career by his action - however, I think the Italians were fully within their rights to deploy the full breadth of the rules to get their premier opponent off the field...

...FIFA has some thinking to do - a good start would be to fire Sepp Blatter for being such a loose- and foul-mouth himself.

...and I agree, inspite of being a late convert to the gridiron, I much rather watch most American sports today...including Baseball over cricket!