Category: Sports, Weekend

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2 Responses to “New Yorker: Cheating at the Beautiful Game”

  1. IrvingCrane says:

    Sensational!! “virtually a fist fight.”

  2. rlerner says:

    What is most remarkable about this piece is how even in an article about soccer, the New Yorker retains form.
    1. It intellectualizes the subject, relying on an academic study which is interesting, informative but ultimately misses the point. There is a huge difference between defensive strategic fouling and diving. Strategic fouling is penalized and the “cost”, a penalty kick or card, figures into the outcome of the match. Diving rarely does, and as seen in the opening match in Brazil, can distort the outcome.
    2. It suffers from a lack of actual participatory experience, as point one illustrates. It is similarly reflected in the article’s failure to recognize and discuss the fact know to anyone who has participated in any sort of organized sport: strategic fouling and sadly fakery are aspects of all sports.
    3. It presumes a “moral” position without being up front about it, in this case that reduced physical contact in soccer, favoring offensive “ballet” , over defensive prowess, reflected for instance in proficient slide tackling, is universally more highly prized and desirable. This is not at all the case in fact. As the comment by Mr. Crane reflects, there is a substantial body of followers of the game who lament the current trend to penalize all contact.
    4. Ultimately, despite prodigious effort, the article misses the main point, largely because of 1-3 above: The problem with “cheating” in professional soccer today is diving and exaggeration of injury, and the frequent inability of officials to recognize and penalize it. It demeans the game and those who participate in that way. Defensive tackling and time wasting, on the other hand, identified, penalized and “figured-in” to the outcome and so do not.
    Roger Lerner