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A picture’s thousand words not always enough

FeaturesA picture’s thousand words not always enough

by Colin Hyde

I saw a clip on social media with a security officer savaging a fellow who appeared to be completely unarmed and docile, and the immediate response that provoked was that the officer should be fired, immediately, and then taken to a quick court where the judge would order he spend some time in jail. It was the ultimate chaans, the kind of behavior that justifies hatred for the security forces in some quarters, if the clip’s thousand words told the entire story. It might not.

There was a talented, popular baseball player who did the unthinkable and filthy act of spitting on an umpire. That didn’t ruin his career; he would be voted into baseball’s Hall of Fame when he hung up his cap, gloves, and bat, but his popularity took a huge dive. Aashna in sportskeeda, said Alomar (Roberto Alomar is the player’s name) said that the umpire used a racist epithet, something bad about his mother, and the umpire said the only time he used profanity was after he was spat on.

Last year there was a clip in the news with an officer getting absolutely cussed out, abused by a fellow in a boat. I don’t know when freedom of speech gave license to people to absolutely berate police officers, but I can say certainly that no one disrespected officers that way in the days of Cassasola and Tablada.

From the clip it would seem the officer has an anger problem. If he has a record of being chaansi, that would kind of excuse people for believing the absolute worst. Chaansi officers should not be tolerated in the force. One bad aapl does spoil the whole barrel, and that clip says that fellow is real rotten. But he can’t be damned until we know what provoked him to that horrific behavior. Everyone deserves to have their side of the story told. We would be malicious or naïve if we didn’t follow the story to its entirety, to find out all that happened there. There’s a chance, albeit slim, that his deserved penance isn’t as severe as he was severe. But what we saw did look very vicious.

Penalty shootout – when volleyball and basketball players star in football

It’s pretty disappointing to see handball dominate a football match, which happens whenever there is a penalty shootout to break a tie. Agh, the penalty shootout has been a feature since the European and Copa America championships entered the knockout rounds.

In my memory, three World Cups have been decided by the shootout lottery. And that’s so not football. Brazil won the 1994 World Cup when Italy’s Roberto Baggio sent a penalty over the crossbar in a shootout. Justice was served in that one. Brazil was the better team. France lost two World Cups in penalty shootouts, and in both instances they were better than their opponents. In the 2006 World Cup, Italy was just holding on, but won the shootout. In the last World Cup, Argentina only had a chance because Pogba, Kante, and 2022 Ballon d’Or winner, Benzema were injured. France was still better than Argentina, until the daam flu swept through and weakened them before the final match. Okay, I have bias for Les Bleus, ever since they featured Tigana and the Caribbean’s Trésor on a team led by Michel Platini.

I guess there is no less disappointing way to decide a match that is tied. Considering the facts on the field, I think the celebrations for the penalty winners should be far less wild. Fans can do what they want. Some are drunk, and all are biased. The players who “win” should have a little get-together, then they should all make their way over to the ones who lost the shootout and acknowledge them. You didn’t win a football game.

It might be the eyes

This week, France’s Mbappe, who has been poor in the Euro’s, maybe because he suffered a broken nose and has to wear a mask, said the reason why he doesn’t go on his splendid runs for the French national team anymore is because there is no one on the field who will find him, since Paul Pogba became injury-prone and then used drugs to speed up his healing, and got banned.

I watched Serena Williams play a lot, and her major asset was her serve, really dominant. She had a couple weaknesses, one of them hitting volleys right where her opponent was waiting. Some players never do that. Serena did it many times, thus losing points that were as good as won.

British striker Ivan Toney struck a penalty in sudden death against Switzerland that has everyone talking. No one has ever kicked a penalty the way he did, definitely not in such a tense moment. England great, Rio Ferdinand, said after the match that he needed to have a talk with him.

Tom Parsons said in the Express: “The Brentford man walked up to the ball and dispatched his kick while he kept his eyes firmly on the goal. Ferdinand watched the strike back alongside Gary Lineker, Frank Lampard and Micah Richards in the BBC studio as the four ex-England players analysed the match and gave their take on the penalties. Lineker exclaimed: ‘Ivan Toney, how can he not look at the ball, one step as well’? And Ferdinand replied: ‘That is mad. I need to chat to him about that, that’s mad.’”

There are physical attributes and cerebral attributes that come together to make a player, and the best players have the greatest of these gifts. I don’t have all the facts, but the media said this Toney complained that he wasn’t given enough credit by the media for his role in a dramatic last-minute goal that saved England from elimination from the tournament. You know, sometimes a man needs good friends. Friends should have stepped up for Toney, so he didn’t have to toot his own horn. But after watching him kick that penalty, maybe mouthing off is what Toney does.

One physical attribute that isn’t discussed enough is the shape of the eyes and how it is set in the face. Some players have such poor peripheral vision you’d think they wore blinders. The only explanation I have for Serena is that she had tunnel vision. Toney must have extraordinary peripheral vision, and that includes vertically, specifically down. Ferdinand said that he must be mad.

You see Novak Djokovic playing at Wimbledon a little over a month after tearing his meniscus and having surgery? Maybe surgeons could start a business shaving off cheek bones and resetting eyes, so these goalies will stop scaring the daylights out of footballers who have to face them at the penalty spot. If the ball striker can see the ball, the goal, and the goalkeeper at the same time, advantage over for basketball and volleyball players on grass.

A couple notes to wind up here. If you wonder why the tackling in the Copa America is much fiercer than it is in the European Cup, the main reason for that is the fields at the Copa are 70 yards wide, while the fields in the Euros are 74 yards wide. If you follow boxing, you will know that ring size is always up for discussion before big matches. Brawlers love a small ring, boxers love a bigger ring.

I’ll end with a poke at these Americans who got dumped at Copa America. They are talking about firing their coach because they didn’t make the knockout rounds. But this coach, Gregg Matthew Berhalter, this brother had the boring Americans actually playing ball.

I listened to some famous ex-footballers from the international arena chew him out because he blamed their early exit on a player who got a red card 20 minutes into their match against Panama. The young man, Tim Weah, who earned the red card, which was egregious under any circumstance, and compounded ten times because of what he got it for, losing his cool and punching an opponent, apologized for letting his team and country down. You have to accept it when a man apologizes. But that one is really hard to forgive.

Bah, the international experts said everyone who has played has at least once lost their cool on the field and done something stupid. I don’t think so, definitely not in a game that was so consequential. They said Berhalter blamed their getting knocked out on Weah’s red card, and he was way out of line to do that. I guess Berhalter’s pain was too much and it spilled out of his mouth. I forgive him for saying what all of the media should have been saying. I understand not wanting to increase Weah’s pain for his gross error, but the milk that was spilled there can’t be swept under the rug. Brother, a coach doesn’t get blamed for losing when his team plays 10 against 11 for 70 minutes. I should add that the pundits were disrespectful of Panama. They were wrong there too. Panama plays good football.

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