June 21, 2014

the world cup - an anatomy of fouling

It's that time again! World Cup time! So far Germany is kicking Arsch, let's hope that the game against Ghana will turn out the same! The US has also managed to hold their own as of now, although they're set to play Portugal soon and that might crush the microcosm of a dream we had coming into this thing. But I believe, baby!

In honor of the time-honored tradition I've decided to write a bit about the many multi-faceted delicacies that go with fouling when playing the beautiful game. You know what I mean: The rolling on the floor, clutching one's extremities, wailing like a banshee fouling that soccer has become so famous for. So without further ado, here goes!

The Log

I've named it as such due to the apparent "I seem to have tripped over a log, and it was completely the log's fault" mindset that players often have while another's body is sliding horizontally in front of them. Most of the time there would seem to be quite a lot of time (and distance) for the mind to process that said "log" is coming in, and that it would be wise to jump over or out of the way, but that simply doesn't happen.

The Theatre Major

You can probably guess what this is. While jogging along comfortably with an opponent on your left, and said opponent's hand swings in a slightly over exaggerated manner, it's time for your college major to shine through. That would mean suddenly clutching your face while weeping tears of blood, falling in a tumultuous tumble to your knees and calling God's angels to come save your poor soul. Which is fitting for what just happened… duh. Spain and Italy are famously notorious for these bad boys.

The Other Woman

Not all silly fouling is the "victim's" doing. Sometimes it's the villain that's to blame. That's where the Other Woman comes in: Suddenly sliding in at an insanely awkward angle to cripple or otherwise permanently handicap your nemesis… but wait! I was only aiming for the ball that he was dribbling so slowly! How could I possibly handle that temptation?! Come on, baby, you know I'd never do anything so despicable! Anyhoo, you get the gist. The refs usually don't appreciate Mexican soap operas, however.

The Delayer

These happen quite a lot, which makes soccer all the more entertaining. What? Ronaldo kind of kicked you in the ankle bone? Wait, it's been three seconds already, how do I get the foul! That's right folks, The Delayer is here to help ya out. The name basically says it all, which is when a player acts like he's having a stroke but it's waaaayyy outside the margin of pain that most people tend to experience… i.e. 0-3 seconds. Delayers often evolve into Theatre Majors, since a certain amount of hamminess is required to convince an inexperienced ref that something sinister just occurred.

The Whole Enchilada

These would be ACTUAL fouls, which can be both sadistically fascinating and horrifically unbelievable at the same time. Enchiladas include: Head-butting, nut kicking, face punching, ref swearing, etc. etc. At least one juicy one comes along every World Cup year. (See 2006 headbutt as prime example)

Hope that was a good overview of one of the less sophisticated joys of the great game of Fußball, until next time! Oh, and GO USA & DEUTSCHLAND!!!!!!