even if they'd won, they couldn't win
We watched the USA/Mexico World Cup qualifier game this morning. It was frustrating and not just because Mexico lost 2-0. What was bothering me was the way the announcers were talking about the game. They were biased, which isn't surprising, but they were also making judgemental comments about Mexico's style of play. They seemed to think it was unsportsmanlike and they never missed the opportunity to say, or imply when they weren't flat-out saying, that Mexico was always looking for opportunities to foul, fake being fouled, and even to incite the US team to foul them. In the first half Claudio Reyna, on the US team, fouled Marquez on the Mexican team and got yellow carded. The two announcer guys then had this exchange:
Announcer #1: I'm gonna tell you what; Marquez sold that wonderfully. He sucked him in with the right foot, Claudio dragged him with the left foot, and there took him down and got his yellow card.
Announcer #2: Yeah...Marquez stayed down, too, for good effect. Getting the yellow, so the captain [Reyna] gets in the referee's book.
WTF? It was an obvious foul, but what the announcers choose to say is that Reyna was somehow tricked into it? That he was inexorably drawn to foul Marquez, against his will? This was just one of many, many similar comments. I mean, I know the announcers wanted USA to win the match, but there was no need to demonize Mexico's team in the process. I don't tend to throw accusations of racism around, but the racism the announcers showed during the game was unarguably blatant and disgusting.
Oh, and after we finished watching the game, Francisco went to ESPN.com to see what they said about it, and the first thing their article said was, "The US National Team qualified in style for the 2006 FIFA World Cup with a comprehensive 2-0 victory over a lethargic Mexico." Right, LETHARGIC.
Dear Mexican team,
All that running around you did during the game, and the kicking, and the defending of your goal? It's too bad you didn't do that with just a touch more enthusiasm, to avoid being deemed lethargic. I guess you were all too busy thinking longingly about napping against trees with your sombreros pulled down over your faces to concentrate on playing in a spirited fashion. Or maybe you're afraid to play too enthusiastically, lest you be compared to Speedy Gonzalez, that wacky cartoon mouse. Whatever; I look forward to watching you in the World Cup, and hopefully you'll get the opportunity to kick the USA's asses when it really counts.
The only good thing about that ESPN article was a quote from Mexico's coach, Richard Lavolpe:
"The US is a small team. They play like my sister, my aunt, and my grandmother."
Touche, Mr. Lavolpe. Touche.
Yesterday we took a walk and watched The Return of the King, thus finishing our most recent biannual watching of the LOTR series. Extended versions, of course. Those movies will never get old for me--never ever ever.
It's hot here in the office now and I need to move to lower, cooler, ground. Have a great rest of the weekend!
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