World Cup

Follow Up On My 'Donovan Goal' Piece

| by The Volokh Conspiracy

By David Post

Here’s the goal, if, like me, you want to watch it over (and over) again ... 

In reference to some of the comments on my earlier posting about the game , I’ll just say this: If you come to soccer with the mindset that the goal of sports is to create a playing field in which all elements of randomness have been removed — soccer ain’t really for you. Yes, the linesman made a terrible call to deprive the US of a goal. Yes, it sucked, and was unfair, and I and every other soccer fan wish that the refs didn’t make so many mistakes.

But they do, just like the players do, and for the same reason: they are human beings. It’s just part of the game. It’s cruel, but you get over it — it took the players about 1.35 seconds to get over it, because they have to get their heads right back into the game. Fans, too. To let it sour a great moment like Donovan’s goal is really too bad.

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This judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

There is, as he put it over at Sam’s Posts, “really nothing in sports comparable to that last-gasp goal in soccer. After playing for so long, doing everything except scoring, the swing in emotions is indescribable. And for it to happen to the US team, in a decisive World Cup game! Even if they didn’t play the best soccer, team USA treated us to the two most dramatic examples of soccer matches in the last two games: a two-goal comeback, and a last-minute game-winner. We’re all lucky to have witnessed it.”

[And not to get ahead of ourselves or anything, but don’t look now: the US plays Ghana in the Round of 16, and then, if it wins, the winner of Uruguay-S. Korea. Tough games, but definitely winnable by the US — not the hardest route one could face to getting into a World Cup semifinal by any means . . .]