Friday, July 2, 2010

In Defense of Cheating

Conveniently, this handball doesn't exist on FIFA.com. Ghana kicks a penalty kick for some reason, but they won't show you what it's for...
I find myself holding an odd appreciation for Luis Suarez's game-saving blatant handball at the tail end of today's Ghana-Uruguay matchup. It's a rather cold calculation, but Suarez faced two possible outcomes. He could let the ball sail past him, ensuring his side's defeat. Or he could commit an obvious foul, get ejected (and probably suspended for the remainder of the tournament), and give his team a non-zero probability of staying in the tournament. The situation isn't that much different from Hack-a-Shaq, or an NFL cornerback who commits pass interference on a long throw to stop a sure touchdown. This isn't middle school kickball; this is the freakin' World Cup. If you're not going to play to win the game under these circumstances, when will you?
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