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Slakr: Do Americans Ruin The World Cup for Americans?

Slakr‘s celebrating England’s victory from New York, but is left fuming at the inane commentary of ESPN/ABC’s World Cup pundits. Never has Mark Lawrenson been so appealing.

Did you know that Miloslav Klose was the first player to score for the host nation of a World Cup in their opening game on his birthday? Do you care? Can Americans ever get beyond stupid statistics? Good Lord. Coincidentally, Miloslav Klose is also the first man named Miloslav Klose to score in two World Cups. And the first man to one to do so without a handlebar moustache or carrying a basket full of pigeons. Why give us statistics that don’t matter for shit? And thats hardly the worst of it.

Anyone watching today’s games would have been appalled. England has no player named Michael Beckham. Really they don’t. Henrik Larsson was not fabulous for Barcelona against Chelsea in the final of the Champion’s League. Peter Crouch cannot put his arms around a defender when he’s in front of him. Gerrard is a world-class player, even if he does blaze the occasional shot over the bar. Comparing a Gerrard shot from 30 yards to a Beckham cross from 45 yards is just stupid. And then there was the backpass.

The only good thing you can say for this group of idiots is that they didn’t say anything wrong when the indirect free kick was given. They didn’t say anything at all. Maybe they were giving us some other useless stat. More likely, the morons were just too confused at the idea of a free kick inside the penalty area. “Hold on!” you could could almost hear them say. “Don’t they have to put it on that white spot, and take a shot at the goaltender?”

And I thought that people had stopped beating up on Beanpole Peter? Anyone that watched the game this morning that wasn’t employed by ABC or ESPN seemed to thing that Peter Crouch was plenty involved in the game. Had the referee not called for a foul every time he won the ball, he would have been a lot more influential. But he was certainly a constant presence in the game. 6 of England’s first 9 fouls were called on Crouch (a useful stat that I don’t remember them mentioning). But complaints about referees are for another post.

Yesterday was no better. Every single time the German back-line pushed out, the pundits wondered why they were “playing offside” against a fast forward like Wanchope. I don’t know if they expected the back line to sit unmoving inside the area?

And whenever there hasn’t been a goal in 5 minutes, they constantly wonder why both teams are sitting back and relaxing. England blazed two shots over the bar, and were accused of sitting back. Sweden just bombarded Shaka Hislop’s goal, but were accused of the same thing. 10 man Trinadad and Tobago were defending deep and trying to hit on the attack, a common strategy for an overmatched team (and especially common when you go down a man). Anyone that has watched a football game knew exactly what the strategy was. Anyone except for those being payed to tell us what was happening.

Sadly, this means that watching football in a pub is no longer an option for me. I need somewhere where I can throw things in anger. And I need a mute button.