Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Begging to Differ

There are 2 things often written or said about this World Cup:

1. The Refereeing is Bad
2. Brazil isn't playing well

While the Refs are showing a lot of yellows and reds, I have no reason to think that collectively, they're doing a bad job. Every soccer game ever played comes with the requisite controversial calls.. that's nothing new. Every team in every sport in every game has grounds to complain about something with how their games are officiated. And, on top of that, FIFA mentioned they were going to crack down on rough play; so, the giving of additional cards is something we could have expected. In 2002, South Korea got breaks in their Round of 16 and Quarterfinal games.

Brazil have given up 1 goal in 4 games. Granted, their competition wasn't top-notch, but whose was. When some entity is at the top, people always expect the world. Brazil has oddles of all-universe players, and when their interplay is anything less than watching ballet, they're accused of underperforming. Nike shows clips of Ronaldinho and his cronies dancing with the ball, and we expect that their competition is going to be the Washington Generals, to their Harlem Globetrotters.