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This is the archive for June 2008

The joy of the offside rule

Why do stupid people exist? All they do is fuck things up and piss me off. Right now, they're all in a rage about the Dutch destruction of Italy in last night's European Cup match. Specifically, they're angry that the Netherlands' first goal was allowed. Ruud van Nistelrooy appeared to be offside when he tapped the ball into the back of the Italian net, but closer examination revealed that one of Italy's defenders, Christian Pannucci, was in front of him when the goal was scored, albeit behind the goal line and therefore not of the field of play.

The Thickos (many of whom are probably Italian) are now protesting that Panucci, as a result of being off the pitch, couldn't be considered active, so van Nistelrooy must have been offside.

While this is an interesting interpretation of the laws of the game, it's also complete shit. Panucci fell over and went off the field of play. If he wanted to get up and get back on the pitch, he could. Therefore, he's active. It's not rocket science, is it? If we say defenders can play the opposition offside by simply stepping off the pitch, they'll all be doing it. Before we know it, the full of extent of tactics and strategy will be boiled down to an oversized round of The Hokey Cokey.

Come to think of it, that sounds like fun.Italy practise their new offside trap

Euro Dilemma

The first game of the European Cup kicks off tomorrow, with join hosts Switzerland taking on the Czech Republic. England, of course, won't be taking part, having failed to qualify under the disastrous reign of ex-manager Steve McClaren. As such, I'm left wondering whether to bother watching the tournament at all.

At least if one of the other home nations (Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, or Scotland) had qualified, I could have dusted off the trusty old 'British' affiliation (you know, the one that lets us accept Andy Murray as one of our own, now that Tim Henman isn't a viable option anymore). However, predictably, they were all knocked out in the qualifying stages too.

So, if I'm going to follow the Cup at all, I'll have to choose a team to support, and rather than just pick one out of the metaphorical hat, I'd actually like to apply some logic to the process. Unfortunately, most of my knowledge of the participating countries is based purely on stereotypes, some of which are probably borderline racist.

Should I go with the Germans? No, too cold and calculating. And despite the passing of 60-odd years since WWII, backing the old enemy still makes you a bit of traitor in this country. What about Greece, the surprise champions last time round? No, simply because I'd like to see someone different win it this year. Also, it seems unlikely that they'll be able to repeat that miraculous feat of four years ago. Sweden? Sadly, another no, thanks mainly to the fact they created IKEA. Not that there's anything wrong with IKEA, but there most certainly is with The Sims 2 IKEA Home Stuff. Russia? No thanks; I've watched the Bond movies, and they can't be trusted. Spain? Too greasy. Italy? Too hairy. France? Too garlicy. Croatia? Too, erm... Croatian.

Maybe I'll just sit this one out, and wait for the World Cup.