ATH: A few little observations . . .
. . . with more to come later
a) my dream final is in place! i don't believe i could have picked it to shape up better than this . . . and it's more than a couple of faves wending through the brackets . . . a change here and there in group standings could have altered everything . . . but had you asked me what final i would most like to see a month ago, this would be it . . .
b) i already imagine that there will be no way, no want, to pick a winner . . . i am simply going to sit back and enjoy my two favorite teams (yes, in addition to the US) play what i hope to be more brilliant soccer . . .
c) Spain simply dominated
d) American commentators are blisteringly shallow, especially the columnist types . . . one of those blind spots has to do with coaches shifting lineups in order to adjust to the opposition, often not for punishment or for slumps . . . so, i'll say again, Torres is not at top form, BUT he changes the game . . . against Paraguay i believe his play in the first half created a pattern for Paraguay, and when Spain shifted they found a wide open situation that led to the winner . . . today was the opposite, Spain set up so that Villa was focused on, and allowed Puyol and others, subs included (Torres too), to be free . . . you saw the two should have beens in the final minutes . . . that all came from knowing Germany's likely response, especially in light of missing Muller . . . i am sure Torres would like to find the goal as much as anyone, but he's an incredible workhorse who changes the dynamic of the game, and i think commentators have just been stupid about this, as if he had no value at all except by scoring . . . so enough of that rant, at least until sunday when we show our ass again with our unknowing view of the game . . .
e) those same commentators need to brush up on the stunningly simple offside rule . . . today there was a round of mea culpas after yesterday's game when everyone insisted Holland's second goal was offside -- it wasn't, and a correct reading of the rule would have made that obvious . . . you won't see it mentioned as "controversial" in the foreign press, or in today's American press once they realized how goofy they were . . .
f) which finally brings me around to my final comment of this initial post -- that i think Germany suffered more from the loss of Muller than anyone, me included, thought would be the case . . .
g) i will be sky-high until, through and long after sunday's game . . .
more, later notes:
g) i forgot to point out the New York Times' inability to grasp that Holland has been in the final twice before -- they repeat ad infinitum that it was once, in 1974 . . . . wondering if the NYT was around in 1978 or did they take a hiatus?
h) and the Times twice today has confused Ronaldo and Ronaldinho . . . hard to do on so many levels . . . except i guess similarity of spelling . . .
i) the three most talked about 'hand of God" offenders are all out of the cup -- Suarez, Maradona and Henry . . .
more later, later notes:
j) still much debate about the Suarez handball and how to handle that . . . a lot of the debate has to do with whether it was cheating . . . well, i, like many others, think that it IS cheating in a way, but aren;t most things called for fouls? there are accidental things that happen where still the fair thing to do is to award a kick -- caught by offside trap (in which case i'm not sure which side is the 'honest' side), legitimate charges on the ball in which momentum just takes a toll . . . what i see as the Suarez difference is that it transcended cheating -- it was theft, depriving a nation, a continent, of their fair right to play . . .
k) and if a ball is put in the net, and can be called out for a handball . . . why can't you call one in that was prevented by a handball . . .
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