Oh how I love the smell of crackpot ethnographic posturing in the morning.
Today, it’s none other than Kartik Krishnaiyer playing the part of soccer’s Bernard Lewis with his post, entitled, “Mexican Qualification for South Africa Borders on Illegitimate.”
Far be it from me to defend Mexico much, but that is complete nonsense. Mexico qualified for the World Cup because they fired an incompetent letch of a coach and replaced him with an experienced, talented countryman who was able to rally the troops and get them back to the level they typically play at.
As I have said time and time again. If you’re going to accuse a major sporting body of rank corruption, it really helps if you present a single scintilla of evidence to go with the claims. Isn’t MLS and the *Talk network of sites ostensibly a major and serious player in the coverage of soccer in the United States. They do that reputation a disservice when they just throw accusations out there like that without any evidence. Is it the worst offense against writing that I have seen this year? Uh no. Not even close. But let me put it this way, there is no way nonsense like this would end up on the flagship EPLTalk site, one which I read every day. I expect better, frankly.
Kartik throws so much shit up against the wall that it’s hard to unravel the legitimate points from the nonsense. So far I agree with this:
- Concacaf refs are bad
- Blanco is unsporting
- Refs can be easily intimidated by crowd at Azteca
Okay, none of those points are hard to argue with. But there is just no evidence to point to a Warner/Mexico conspiracy to advance Mexico through to the final round of qualifying.
Oh those dishonest and sneaky Mexicans. I don’t even know where to start here. First of all, lots of teams in soccer dive. Italy dives. England dives. Spain dives. Americans dive. EVERYONE dives. It’s not culture that encourages soccer players to dive, it’s bad refereeing and a lack of a serious disincentive to do so. The problems aren’t cultural, they’re technical.
OMG! An MLSTalk article says that American soccer needs to be like England! I can’t believe it. That theory has never been postulated before. Allow me to pause to reel my tongue off the floor as I recover from the shock of this news.
I guess there is something about lots of goals and attacking flair that American fans just will not stand for. Entertainment? Not for us, Americans. Give us generic, honest white-guys pounding the ball up and down route 1. That’s the recipe to selling this game! “Give me Wolynec or give me death,” I say.
Do you want to know what contradicts our “national fabric?” It’s incompetence, not Mexicans. It’s not the “condition of being Mexican” that makes Blanco dive, it’s the fact referees and an inflexible rulebook practically begs him and other players to do so.
You want to fix diving – fix the rulebook. Sure Blanco is a jerk, but Blanco is a jerk not because he’s Mexican, but because the rulebook and feckless referees allow him to be. Further, discrediting this gibberish of an article is its complete ignorance of Blanco’s biggest issue – his continued propensity to violence on and off the field. If you want to hang Blanco for something, hang him for that, not diving.
It does no one any good to go around blaming unsporting play on the national character of Mexicans. Athletes are athletes and thus they will try and gain an edge, whether it’s through stealing signs, flopping in the lane, or gouging in the pile after a fumble. It’s up to our rulemakers and sports leadership to ensure that they make the risk/reward formula ensure players think twice before cheating.
Muttering on about how cheating in inherent in the character of Mexicans and all the other “Latins”* does no one any good whatsoever.
*And I use “Latin” in the traditional English commentator way, which can be defined as any player:
- Whose name ends in a vowel
- Who has ever had a tan
- Who is from anywhere outside of England, Scotland, Scandinavia, or Germany