About That World Cup Muff — Enough! | Bleader

Monday, June 14, 2010

About That World Cup Muff — Enough!

Posted By on 06.14.10 at 08:30 AM

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Goalkeeper Robert Green made the sort of horrendous misplay that I'd never seen before outside the ranks of terrified AYSO eight-year-olds assigned the net for the first time time in their lives; but will English soccer fans who witnessed it divide their lives into two eras: before and after?

Not likely. Green let a ball kicked right at him slither through his hands and into the goal Saturday, allowing the U.S. to tie England 1-1 in the two nations' opening match of the World Cup. But so what? Unless England stumbles against Algeria and Slovenia — in which case it will get what's coming to it — it should move into the second round of the Cup despite the tie. Opening matches commonly end in ties. It was mainly in the minds of the media that this match was an epochal showdown. The drumbeaters hearkened back to an unlikely 1-0 American victory over England in the 1950 World Cup. They hearkened back to the Revolutionary War. Strangely, the War of 1812 got a pass in the pregame buildup, and so did all the wars in which — inconveniently for sporting drama — the two countries fought on the same side.

Here's what George Vecsey of the New York Times had to say: "Green's blunder will be remembered as long as Bill Buckner's immortal misplay of a grounder is remembered in Boston — going on 24 years in October."

If the Red Sox had won that game they'd have won the World Series. Despite Green's flub, England didn't lose the match let alone the World Cup. It was opening day. If England reaches Stage 2, the flub will be a footnote.

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