June 20, 2006

World Cup and NBA Finals

Both of these events are going on right now, though the NBA finals could be over by the time you read this. I haven't watched much of either, though I've actually caught more of World Cup, unfortunately, due to the televisions in front of the treadmill.

There's a strange sort of symmetry between these two events, and neither side comes out looking good. On the one hand, every time Dwyane Wade (yes that's how he spells his first name) drives the lane, the officials call a foul, even when he isn't touched, at least in one game-critical instance this week when ABC tried in vain to find a camera angle showing contact. The officiaing has been out of control according to most observers, where stars get special treatment, and fouls are called with little rhyme or reason. You would think the NBA could do better for its showcase event.

On the other hand, there's World Cup soccer. An article I read mentioned what I'm about to say, and it's all I can think about when I watch now. These guys can't go 2 minutes without someone taking a dive. Any incidental contact is cause for the contacted party to act like he was hit by a car. Sometimes the ref calls a foul, other times he lets it go, but it happens all the time. No sport featuring this little scoring and falling down on purpose as a major part of the game will ever go mainstream in America.

One sport features terrible officiating on fouls, and the other features players who, rather than play through and try to score, would rather fake an injury or a trip. Neither is appealing to watch when that part of the game takes over.

A quick aside on soccer: I've watched it, I've played it, I've known people who love it, but I will never, ever get it. Ninety minutes with that little meaningful action just doesn't get me going. Why Christians decided this was their sport is beyond me. Sure, wrestling has its occasional 1-0 or 1-1 boring match, but it's over in 10 minutes or less and you go on to the next thing.

1 comment:

LIZ said...

I concur with most of your "dramatic" acts in soccer, but there are teams that are worse than others. Venezuela and Portugal just live for time on the ground and overblown hand gestures. The grimacing face should also get rated by player at the end of each game. But in contrast I saw a good, clean, strong game today between Brazil and France...check it out.