Over the past couple of decades, North America is slowly coming around to realizing why soccer is called the beautiful game. It has a wonderful assortment of qualities some of which are even diametrically opposed. It can be fast and chaotic or it can be calm and well orchestrated. A game can be won by the best skilled team or by the most determined.
In many ways it is very similar to other team sports, with the one exception being it is still regarded as the only sport played with your feet and not your hands, goalies notwithstanding of course. So it was really strange this past week, when not once, but twice the soccer world turned its focus away the feet or hands and discussed a different part of the body. The penis. Before we get into the those two incidents, oddly enough, it actually has happened one other time before.
There is an old adage that says “Soccer is not a matter of life or death, it is much more important.” I get that. I understand how sports in general can fill fans and players with an abundance of passion that drives people to do things they normally wouldn’t. But what kind of nutty passion would drive a player to even conceive such an idea. We have seen different goal celebrations in basketball, football and even in soccer. Some take of their jersey and twirl it around, some slide on the field and on some pretty girls, one player even shines the others shoes. But how far would one go to celebrate their teammates’ goal. Trust me, I don’t believe there is a single spectacular goal out there, even if it wins you the World Cup, that is worth this kind of celebration.
Awkward! After a nice goal by Seville’s Jose Antonio Reyes in 2001, teammate Francisco Gallardo felt it was necessary to give him a… what… a nip? A kiss? A love bite? right on his third leg… in front of thousands of fans…. and who know how many more watching on tv. Not sure how comfortable Reyes felt about it, but as far as we know, nothing like that has happened again.
Speaking of awkward and uncomfortable moments, that brings us to this past week’s game between Salford City and Bradford Park Avenue of the National North Football League in England. The final score was… well, that really doesn’t matter. The game was… well, that really doesn’t matter either. The one interesting fact about this game is that Salford’s keeper Sam Crocombe got red carded in the 87th minute for, well, for watering the grass… without a water bottle.
87' – We can confirm that Crocombe has been sent off for urinating during the game. We are not joking. #greenarmy (1-2)
— Bradford Park Avenue (@BPAFCOfficial) October 28, 2017
That’s right, he tried his best to hold it in, but when he couldn’t any longer he went to the side of the stands and drained his lizard. The linesman had to alert the referee and the official had not choice but to send him packing. Although technically a “yellow” card may have been more appropriate right? Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Now I know I am soon approaching the age where bladder control may begin to be difficult, so I may be a bit more understanding of the situation than one particular fan at the game. Apparently this person felt the act was deserving of way more than a red card so he filed a grievance with the police. Now that’s taking your footy seriously.
You have been waiting for it, haven’t you? Whenever there is mention of a man’s “manhood” and sports, there is usually some video of a poor schmuck getting hit in the groin. It makes all men laugh and groan at the same time. You are correct that this last video does involve a man getting hit in the junk but at first glance, nothing even really looks wrong. But it becomes completely cringeworthy when you hear that his privies got cut on that play.
That excruciating incident happened to Argentine soccer player Mariano Bittolo. If you were wondering what he saw as he peeked into his shorts on that last second of the video, it was blood. Apparently his teammates cleats slid down his groin and he needed 10… count’em TEN stitches on his goal post. Ouch indeed! So next time a soccer player is writhing on the ground in agony, make sure he doesn’t require stitches on his flag before yelling at him for faking it.
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