Filed under: WTF...?
I gave up watching professional sports a few years ago. The omnipresent corporate sponsorships, whiny players and owners, and the sheer length of time needed to watch an entire game of any kind always really bothered me. What cinched it for me were the strikes and lockouts, though, so when the baseball strike hit several years ago I happily quit watching and never went back. When the hockey lockout transpired, I proudly gave it up [and I live in Toronto, man. You don't watch hockey here, and you're a social pariah]. I never cared much for pro football, and I’ve never been interested in basketball. I’ll watch golf, but only if it’s a major tournament and only on the last nine holes of the last round.
That being said, I’ve found that I absolutely love the World Cup. I’ve never been a soccer junkie, but I got into watching Arsenal last season [go Gunners!] and now the World Cup is really holding my interest. There’s a TV in my office, so I watch at least one of the games every day. Yesterday, that game was Italy versus Australia. So because I enjoy this game, the world has decided to kick me squarely in the nut sack and hand me another reason to hate pro sports. This time, it’s because I think FIFA’s fixing the games.
I don’t know what they’re saying in the sports pages, because I don’t read them. But Australia absolutely dominated Italy, and for the referee to call a cheap-ass penalty like that and set up a penalty shot with twelve seconds left in the game is ridiculous. It’s more than suspect, too. While I’ve never believed that pro sports as a whole were fixed [with the exception of boxing, and does anyone watchthat anymore?], I’m positive that the referees in the World Cup have been told to give breaks to the big-name teams in order to draw greater ratings. I’m no conspiracy nut, but you don’t have to be Fox Mulder to think that the FIFA officials told their referees to give teams like Italy a break in order to prevent underdogs like Australia or Ghana from going through to the quarters or semis.
Eff you, FIFA. I was enjoying this up until now.
BIG, CLUMSY POSTSCRIPTS: Silver Toad promises to email me a picture of his kidney stone for posting. I await this with a strange anticipation. Also, if you like to read something out of the ordinary and can pull off 800 pages, you’ve gotta pick up Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanah Clarke. I just finished it, and I loved it.
Edit: I edited this because I felt I got off the point with the predictions. I went 1-1 on them, in case you were wondering.
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