Posted by Andy “Mr Football” Bell
The Socceroos did kick goals against Serbia. They were also awarded penalties all over the field and did not tie the game.
If that annoys or bamboozles you read on…in a moment.
Firstly, it was great to see a gutsy performance from Australia. The lesson of this World Cup is that a “bit of ticker” (USA, NZ) does wonders.
Now onto matters vocabularian…
I am loving, yes LOVING, the World Cup apart from one VERY irritating element. I can’t take it any more. I’m sorry but I just can’t remain silent.
Yes, it’s going to be a rant.
Every four years the World Cup comes along and legions of experts mangle the lingo – the language of football. For us soccer folk, it sticks in the craw, but we generally tolerate those who only take an interest in the “beautiful game” when the Socceroos are going well.
They talk with self-appointed expertise, often and loudly. Well, in the words of that well known football aficionado Donna Summer ……
Let’s begin at the beginning. People talk about the rules of the game. They are actually the laws of the game. OK, a bit pedantic, but right IS right !
We then get free kicks called penalties, have players kicking goals and passes called crosses. It’s slipshod, pure and simple.
As the Socceroos get slowly sucked down by a maelstrom of nationalistic clap-trap, sycophantic media coverage and product placement it becomes more than a little annoying.
Take this example. I heard an Australian fan in South Africa reacting thusly to THE Harry Kewell incident in the Ghana game: “It was a penalty, but it wasn’t deliberate’.
Sorry mate, paying thousands of dollars to travel to Rustenberg, decking yourself out in the Chinese manufactured garments of green and gold and wrapping yourself in an Aussie flag doesn’t buy knowledge. It does leave you – in the words of my paternal grandmother – wearing “fur coat and no knickers”.
Ahem. Law 12 states a direct free kick or penalty should be awarded if a player “handles the ball deliberately“. The handball thing is about the second thing you learn when you first start kicking a football after … kicking a football. It’s bloody basic.
The point I make is a simple one: when jumping on board bandwagons be sure to consult the manual or you will be found out.
Except for this. If you are tut-tutting or shaking your head, consider this. If I talked about Will Minson scoring a goal or Brian Lake taking a great defensive catch, you might think I was not that serious about my AFL and my resurgent Bulldogs.
Learning the lingo is about respect. Mistakes are made with vocab, but the effort is always appreciated.
Now to one of the greatest days of my football watching life…a mere 40 years ago and “I was there”.