It’s been gone for a while but here’s the return of Highs and Lows! This week: a wonder goal, an overdue sacking, and a bee “checking” tire pressure. Enjoy…
Andy Carroll Scores…Again. Andrew Thomas Carroll has finally come good. Heaven and earth are one. Balance is restored. Children, birds, and small, woodland animals can sleep knowing all is right with the world…ok, that’s overstating it a bit, but we at TSF firmly believe in giving credit when credit is due. And credit is definitely overdue for the £35 million pound striker who, up until a week ago, hadn’t scored in 517 minutes. His injury-time header against Blackburn broke Liverpool’s four-game losing streak, and four days later he repeated the feat in the F.A. Cup semi-final against Everton. He’s now scored twice in two matches: both goals were game winners. Sure, he’s not justified that price tag yet, but if his recent performances truly indicate a turning point, there’s still plenty of time left for the young man to silence his critics.
Which way is the restroom? Last week’s crunch match between the Bundesliga’s top two teams, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich ended 1-0 in favor of Dortmund, defending champions and hosts. The victory ensured that Dortmund would remain top and take a crucial step toward retaining their title. Enough about the match though, let’s now devote some time to Emma, the bumblebee mascot of Borussia Dortmund. It was a good week for Emma who got a lot of media attention after she was spotted pretending to relieve herself on the Bayern team bus after the match, quite humiliating for Bayern after the crucial loss. Almost as funny as the joke was Dortmund’s response when asked what Emma was doing. A statement released to Bild said, “Nonsense. Emma is a seven years young smart bee that knows its clothing is unable to open in the front to allow it to do its little business. We admit that the attempt to help the Bayern team by checking the tire pressure on our guests’ wonderful team bus was a bit unsuccessful.” No chance this rivalry will settle down anytime soon then?
The top Drog. The FA Cup final between Tottenham and Chelsea this past Sunday had a lot of goals and a major refereeing error that resulted in a thrilling match (maybe not for the Spurs fans). The first half was dominated by Tottenham until perennial Chelsea savior, Didier Drogba, unleashed a beast of a shot right before half time. In one fluid movement he managed to turn and gain a yard of space on William Gallas before he fired a volley on his “weaker” left foot that Cudicini had no hope of saving. Enjoy the moment of brilliance (1:54-2:00).
Damien Comolli departs. Last week we wrote an article featuring Liverpool’s “moneyball” loving, Billy Beane befriending, statistics-crunching Director of Football: Damien Comolli. Last Thursday, Liverpool confirmed that Comolli had left the club “by mutual consent.” The charming, bilingual Frenchman later said he was leaving “to be closer to his family in France,” but critics suggest other reasons: during his time at the club, Comolli shelled out £120 million on 11 players. Those 11 signings have collectively scored 42 times in 293 appearances between them, and Liverpool are currently in eighth place. As we pointed out last week, those stats just don’t measure up…
How much?! The Russian Football Federation and UEFA seemed adamant that they could outdo each other last week after a series of fines related to racism were imposed. Let’s be clear, we aren’t complimenting their efforts; rather, we are astonished by the hypocrisy displayed by both governing bodies. The RFF fined Zenit St. Petersburg a measly $3400 for racist chants by their fans. This is the same federation that also fined Spartak Moscow’s Emanuel Emenike $17,000 for responding to racist chants directed at him. If they are meant to host the 2018 World Cup, massive improvements must be made. UEFA, meanwhile, matched the lunacy by fining Manchester City $39,200 for delaying the start of the second half against Sporting Lisbon during a Europa League match. This fine came a week after they fined Porto $26,500 for racist abuse from their fans toward Manchester City, coincidentally, in a previous match. It’s fair to say the numbers do the talking…
Death in the Afternoon. Death is nothing new. We come across it every day on television, news, even sometimes in real life. Often, unless it’s someone close to us, we’re so desensitized that we simply carry on with business as usual. But the death of Livorno’s Piermario Morosini last week has hit the soccer world hard. During his club’s Serie B match against Pescara, the 26 year old defender trembled, fell to his knees, tried to stand, then fell to the ground–literally dropping dead on the field. Medics tried unsuccessfully to revive him, and autopsy reports have revealed no underlying health conditions or cardiac problems. All Serie A matches were cancelled out of respect for the player, whose younger sister is now the sole-surviving member of his family.
Athletes often represent everything that is good, triumphant, and heroic about the human body. They are symbols of human life and vitality at its peak. Perhaps this is why the passing of even a relatively unknown footballer like Morosini resonates across the sporting world. Morosini was in the prime of his life. It wasn’t his time. And none of us could simply carry on with “business as usual.” Because not everyone watches Serie B, but we can all recognize death–especially a tragic one–when we see it.