The Judgment-Free Soccer Questions Thread

Nick Kaufman

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Schnerres

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For a PK in regulation, why does the kicking team get to select who will take it, instead of the player who was denied the chance? Seems like a pretty big deal in a sport that doesn’t have a lot of scoring
I guess 1)it has always been that way and 2)players would regularly fake an injury (especially with less than half an hour remaining and with the many subs you are allowed nowadays) to get substituted.
 

BrazilianSoxFan

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For a PK in regulation, why does the kicking team get to select who will take it, instead of the player who was denied the chance? Seems like a pretty big deal in a sport that doesn’t have a lot of scoring
Every other foul can be taken by whomever, penalties are no different.

By the way, goalkeepers can also take fouls and penalties. Rogerio Ceni (video below) has the most goals by a GK (131), almost doubling the second place, Chilavert (67).

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuThTrUbyJs
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Where does Kane rank among the biggest non-shootout PK misses in soccer history? I take away shootouts because someone's got to miss eventually so that seems different to me.
 

67YAZ

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The biggest miss is Baggio’s, which decided the 1994 WC final. Baggio was widely seen as the best player in the world at the time and the miss haunted the rest of his playing career. He seems to have found peace in redemption in recent years, working for the Italian FA.

 
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InstaFace

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Yeah, even if that was in a shootout, it's the answer to the spirit of the question if not the letter. Baggio was the 5th taker in the shootout of the World Cup Final, the championship match. He was arguably the best player in the world right then, or at least one of the top few. If it gets saved, you tip your cap and live with it. Blasting it well over goal and into Row G was somehow both tragedy and farce at the same time, was basically my first vivid soccer memory, and has lived on in the game's lore ever since.

(I think he was going for a Panenka and just didn't know how to dial it down enough)
 

DJnVa

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I guess 1)it has always been that way and 2)players would regularly fake an injury (especially with less than half an hour remaining and with the many subs you are allowed nowadays) to get substituted.
In variations of the sport, such as sand soccer (which has world championships, etc.) the fouled player takes the kick.
 

67YAZ

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Why are we trying to (marginally) lower the number of goals scored? Goals are good things.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Good question - most if the high drama misses occurred in shootouts
This one though - the immediate aftermath of the infamous Saurez handball in 2010 WC

View: https://youtu.be/IBDK-HEbIZs

If that’s arguably the most famous then Kane’s is probably worse as given the time left and the score
Thanks. Gyan admits that he cried all night after that game. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-8234635/Asamoah-Gyan-admits-cried-missing-penalty-Ghanas-World-Cup-defeat-Uruguay-2010.html.

He also missed another one in the 2012 African Cup.

Kane's was probably watched by more people but reading up on Gyan - one thing about his miss is that he really had the weight of an entire continent on his shoulders as no African team had ever made it to the semifinals.

The only thing I could think about when I watched Kane miss (was at child's soccer team event) was that I hope he doesn't end up like Donnie Moore. (No one at the event would have gotten this reference.)

Thanks to the other big PK misses mentioned upthread.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Thanks. Gyan admits that he cried all night after that game. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-8234635/Asamoah-Gyan-admits-cried-missing-penalty-Ghanas-World-Cup-defeat-Uruguay-2010.html.

He also missed another one in the 2012 African Cup.

Kane's was probably watched by more people but reading up on Gyan - one thing about his miss is that he really had the weight of an entire continent on his shoulders as no African team had ever made it to the semifinals.

The only thing I could think about when I watched Kane miss (was at child's soccer team event) was that I hope he doesn't end up like Donnie Moore. (No one at the event would have gotten this reference.)

Thanks to the other big PK misses mentioned upthread.
Compounded by the fact the PEN was awarded for arguably the single worst example of sportsmanship I can think of - Saurez sticking his hand up to deliberately deflect the ball over the bar. Not to mention he crowed about it afterward with no shred of decency. As a Liverpool fan I loved watching his skills but man was he ever a dickhead

mind you , I’ve seen lots of arguments that it was no different then a normal foul in the box - or one denying a scoring chance . But, to me this was beyond the pale.
 
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DJnVa

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Another reason: ref has to remember who touches the ball last, if there‘s a hand involved.
Generally, at least under the rules I played, handballs are different. Anyone can take that. I'm talking about when a player was fouled.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Didn't realize that Kane did what people describe as the same thing (make the first PK and then sky the second) in the CL two months earlier (although in this game his team still won): https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/fifa-world-cup/article-11526701/Harry-Kanes-penalty-miss-vs-France-carbon-copy-one-missed-Spurs-just-TWO-months-ago.html

Question: has anyone done research on whether a second PK by the same player has worse results?

mind you , I’ve seen lots of arguments that it was no different then a normal foul in the box - or one denying a scoring chance . But, to me this was beyond the pale.
Interesting. Question 2: why do you say this? People take fouls/penalties all the time in sports if it gives them an advantage. I don't know if I can think of an appropriate analogy given the importance of a goal in soccer, but in basketball, people foul all of the time to make people earn it at the stripe, even in super close games at the end.

TIA.
 

67YAZ

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FWIW a few years ago some Ghanaian friends were busting my chops about how they’ve beat the US twice at the World Cup, so shot back with 2014 and eventually started in on the Suarez handball. Mind you, they all agree that what Suarez did was horrible and he is an evil little man, but when I asked “what if it were the other way around?” All agreed that a Ghanaian player should have done the same thing in spot.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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FWIW a few years ago some Ghanaian friends were busting my chops about how they’ve beat the US twice at the World Cup, so shot back with 2014 and eventually started in on the Suarez handball. Mind you, they all agree that what Suarez did was horrible and he is an evil little man, but when I asked “what if it were the other way around?” All agreed that a Ghanaian player should have done the same thing in spot.
Yeah, we were all celebrating when Acosta committed a tactical foul on Bale that almost certainly prevented a game winning goal for Wales, with the consensus that it was a savvy play, but when you get down to it the plays really seems fairly similar. Both were intentional violations of the rules of the game that were calculated to prevent a late, game winning goal by prohibited means. Sure, a handball feels a bit, I don’t know, sleazier, maybe, than a regular foul? And Suarez was at a later stage and there was more certainty about the Suarez play stopping a goal, but the Suarez play also was punished more severely with a red and a penalty kick, whereas the Acosta play drew a fairly meaningless yellow. Suarez is also an easier target to drag through the mud, given the rest of his actions throughout the years, but the specific rage directed at him for that play seems a little bit of the “our heroic adventurers/their brutish invaders” meme.
 

biff_hardbody

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Compounded by the fact the PEN was awarded for arguably the single worst example of sportsmanship I can think of - Saurez sticking his hand up to deliberately deflect the ball over the bar. Not to mention he crowed about it afterward with no shred of decency. As a Liverpool fan I loved watching his skills but man was he ever a dickhead

mind you , I’ve seen lots of arguments that it was no different then a normal foul in the box - or one denying a scoring chance . But, to me this was beyond the pale.
99 out of 100 folks I played with make the Suarez play in those circumstances. The other wasn't trying to win.
Shameful, but real.
I'm a surprised at such harsh comments toward the Suarez play. Suarez's character aside (which could be the bigger issue), it was a game saving play and I thought well within the bounds of sportsmanship. I don't see what makes it shameful. Suarez did what he had to do to put his team in the best position to win. He paid the price - he got an immediate red and missed the next match, if I remember correctly.

Compared to injuring another team's best player to gain a competitive advantage (e.g. Ramos on Salah in the CL final), Suarez saving a goal registered to me as a pretty intelligent play. Said differently, if my kid made this play, I would compliment them on a smart play.
 

InstaFace

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intentionally breaking the core rules of the sport ("play the ball with anything but your hands") for the sake of trying to win by-any-means-necessary is the very definition of poor sportsmanship. Like, there's no way to define the concept of sportsmanship without mentioning that it's about elevating the fairness of play and respect for the opponent over trying to gain a competitive edge by any means fair or foul. It's "the smart play" if and only if you believe that winning is the only thing that matters, and the ethics of following the rules in sports are (and should be) of zero consequence to anybody except insofar as sometimes there's no advantage to be gained in breaking them (because you'll get caught / punished).

Rules in sport define the sport, there is no contest without having a set of rules to constrain and motivate play. If the first thing you do after setting up the Monopoly board is to surreptitiously grab a bunch of extra money or properties, nobody will want to play with you. Even if you get away with it some of the time. Not only is it unsporting, it rejects the premise that one's behavior ought to be constrained by rules at all - were it not for the fact that you sometimes get punished if you break them.

If my kid stole candy from a store and got away with it, I wouldn't compliment her on "making a smart play". The outcome is not the only thing that matters, or should matter.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I'm a surprised at such harsh comments toward the Suarez play. Suarez's character aside (which could be the bigger issue), it was a game saving play and I thought well within the bounds of sportsmanship. I don't see what makes it shameful. Suarez did what he had to do to put his team in the best position to win. He paid the price - he got an immediate red and missed the next match, if I remember correctly.

Compared to injuring another team's best player to gain a competitive advantage (e.g. Ramos on Salah in the CL final), Suarez saving a goal registered to me as a pretty intelligent play. Said differently, if my kid made this play, I would compliment them on a smart play.
Yeah, the Suarez situation was kind of a perfect storm that I think makes it seem especially unsporting when you take all the circumstance into account. It was late in the game so the consequence of the red card was not felt. Ghana missed the penalty. And then Ghana lost in penalties. But Suarez and Uruguay did pay a price -- Suarez was lost for the semifinals and they lost the game.

Interestingly, there have been calls to reduce the effect of the triple whammy for DOGSO -- penalty, suspension, and missing the rest of the game. Many think it's actually too harsh. Yet on the other end of the spectrum, there were also calls to give refs discretion to award a "penalty goal" in circumstances like the Suarez handball (much in the way that fouling a player on the way to an empty net in hockey can be punished with an awarded goal).

Kind of goes to show that it's very hard to legislate the game so that it's not harsh one way or the other in a particular situation.

I think the biggest problem with the Suarez handball is that the guy who did it likes to bite people and is an asshole. I'm pretty sure I don't believe that Carlos Puyol (or pick your favorite "gentleman of the game") would never do such a thing in the same circumstances. And if they did it probably would be discussed differently.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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intentionally breaking the core rules of the sport ("play the ball with anything but your hands") for the sake of trying to win by-any-means-necessary is the very definition of poor sportsmanship. Like, there's no way to define the concept of sportsmanship without mentioning that it's about elevating the fairness of play and respect for the opponent over trying to gain a competitive edge by any means fair or foul. It's "the smart play" if and only if you believe that winning is the only thing that matters, and the ethics of following the rules in sports are (and should be) of zero consequence to anybody except insofar as sometimes there's no advantage to be gained in breaking them (because you'll get caught / punished).

Rules in sport define the sport, there is no contest without having a set of rules to constrain and motivate play. If the first thing you do after setting up the Monopoly board is to surreptitiously grab a bunch of extra money or properties, nobody will want to play with you. Even if you get away with it some of the time. Not only is it unsporting, it rejects the premise that one's behavior ought to be constrained by rules at all - were it not for the fact that you sometimes get punished if you break them.

If my kid stole candy from a store and got away with it, I wouldn't compliment her on "making a smart play". The outcome is not the only thing that matters, or should matter.
Yeah, I don't agree with this at all. There's no morality here. Stealing is wrong. We punish it because we want to stop it and don't really have a choice.

Sports attempt to legislate a system of consequences for rules infractions. It's a bargain. If you need to pull down a rusher to give your QB a chance to make a play on fourth down and your hope is that he completes the pass so that you get another attempt, you are allowed to make that judgment. If you have a time out left, you can call it when the kicker is lining up his kick. There's no malum in se in sports. Other than deliberately attempting to injure or whatever. There is only malum prohibitum.

The Monopoly example doesn't work either. There is no consequence legislated into the rules of Monopoly for that behavior but DOGSO has a very specific consequence under the laws of the game. Three of them in fact.
 

biff_hardbody

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intentionally breaking the core rules of the sport ("play the ball with anything but your hands") for the sake of trying to win by-any-means-necessary is the very definition of poor sportsmanship. Like, there's no way to define the concept of sportsmanship without mentioning that it's about elevating the fairness of play and respect for the opponent over trying to gain a competitive edge by any means fair or foul. It's "the smart play" if and only if you believe that winning is the only thing that matters, and the ethics of following the rules in sports are (and should be) of zero consequence to anybody except insofar as sometimes there's no advantage to be gained in breaking them (because you'll get caught / punished).

Rules in sport define the sport, there is no contest without having a set of rules to constrain and motivate play. If the first thing you do after setting up the Monopoly board is to surreptitiously grab a bunch of extra money or properties, nobody will want to play with you. Even if you get away with it some of the time. Not only is it unsporting, it rejects the premise that one's behavior ought to be constrained by rules at all - were it not for the fact that you sometimes get punished if you break them.

If my kid stole candy from a store and got away with it, I wouldn't compliment her on "making a smart play". The outcome is not the only thing that matters, or should matter.
I genuinely appreciate your post and find you to be one of the most thoughtful posters I come across on SoSH.

I think we might have a fundamentally different perspective on why sport has rules. Sport doesn't have rules to dictate how it should be played, it has rules to punish ways it should not be played. A soccer team could spend the entire game passing with their hands but they wouldn't play for very long before everyone the entire team would be disqualified. That is because there are consequences for breaking the rules of sport. It is not incumbent on the player to enforce or abide by those rules*. That is the referee's purpose. "If you aren't cheating, you aren't trying" is a maxim for a reason.

With due respect and recognizing it was likely off the cuff, I think your Monopoly example is a bit disingenuous. The purpose of a game of Monopoly between friends is just so unlike a World Cup quarterfinal. By the time a player is in the World Cup quarterfinal, I do not think "sportsmanship", as you've defined it, is a reasonable expectation. To get that far, a player - in my opinion - must have already demonstrated the win by any means necessary mentality.

When I was in (minor league) little league some ~28 years ago, there was a rule that only 9 players got to hit in an inning. I was pitching and getting shelled. The 9th batter was up and there was a runner on 1st and a runner on 3rd. I intentionally walked the hitter. I got heckled by an opposing parent. Was walking that player poor sportsmanship? You might think so. I don't. I played within the rules, used them to my advantage, and accepted the consequence, i.e. hitter got walked.

And I think my example is closer than the Suarez situation to poor sportsmanship because we expect professional athletes to win by any means necessary, whereas little league is closer to a game of Monopoly for fun.

In my mind, there is a larger question in athletics today of how to reconcile the expectation to "win by any means necessary" with the expectation of displaying good sportsmanship, and at what levels those expectations are different (e.g. little league, high school, college, professional, etc.). Also about what we tell kids, especially talented kids who have hopes of possibly playing professional sports, about what behavior and attitude is appropriate at what level of sport.

*Except, I would argue, when it comes to safety and livelihood of the opposing team where consideration of morals is appropriate. Hence the Ramos/Salah comparison. This is akin to your stealing example. You took something away from someone else by stealing, i.e. you hurt them.
 
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BrazilianSoxFan

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Suarez didn't get away with it, he was harshly punished. It just so happened that even with the punishment it was still worth it.

A handball is as bad as a DOGSO situation, but at least it has no chance of injuring the opposing player.
 

InstaFace

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Sports attempt to legislate a system of consequences for rules infractions. It's a bargain. If you need to pull down a rusher to give your QB a chance to make a play on fourth down and your hope is that he completes the pass so that you get another attempt, you are allowed to make that judgment. If you have a time out left, you can call it when the kicker is lining up his kick. There's no malum in se in sports. Other than deliberately attempting to injure or whatever. There is only malum prohibitum.
Sports' rules are generally designed for 2 things:

(1) Giving boundaries to what is good and what is bad play, in order to define the manner by which you play the game and create the conditions for there to be a competitive contest. You can't carry the basketball, you have to start from your side of the line of scrimmage in gridiron football, you can't handle the soccer ball. There is a field of play, with boundaries. etc. The rules define the game, without them it's just Calvinball.
(2) Penalties for violating those rules, which are proportional to a violation's impact on the fairness of play. These provisions usually presume unintentional violation by the player, so the punishment tends to try and make the offended player or team whole by restoring the ex-ante status or giving a benefit (like a free kick) that's proportional to the degree to which they were wronged. People make mistakes in judgment or execution all the time, so here's how we keep playing despite humans being fallible. You kicked his ankles, you got his hand when he went up with the ball for the shot.

They are generally not designed to take into account intentional, manipulative violation by players cynically attempting to gain advantage by hook or by crook. People who do that get kicked out of pickup games, asked to leave rec leagues, not invited back to board game night. We all know the type, who is competitive beyond all reason and cares nothing for the rules. Thinks people are suckers for scrupulously following them when there's advantage to be gained by strategically breaking them. In most walks of life, we'd deem that sociopathic behavior, whether or not it's criminal. The rules of a sport can't really handle that, we just have to have a human referee who knows it when he sees it and has the discretion to discourage it accordingly.

But somehow, when it comes to pro sports (or even high-stakes college or HS sports), there's a subtle encouragement to tactically break the rules. Grab the player's shirt to slow them down, and hope it's not called. Foul the player on a breakaway to prevent a high-percentage scoring chance. Get outside help in chess through a co-conspirator and a computer and a surreptitious means of communication. People will cheat to win, and it's only the threat of discovery or humiliation that will stop them. Some people think this "the smart play", but others think it "un-sportsmanlike and wrong". And the rules can't always take into account every situation in which breaking the rules is an advantage. They have to presume, from the basic ethics of the competitors, that people will try their hardest to win in the honest way, by being better players or better-prepared. Intentional cheating goes against the nature of the contest in the first place. If you're making "a bargain" with respect to intentionally breaking rules, the nature of the contest itself has already lost.

Different cultures have differing levels of regard for the rules and the morality of intentionally breaking them. Places where sports began as high-class activities tend to have more approbation against such behavior; places where they didn't, tend to have less. Consider this bit from The Ringer's extensive eulogy of Diego Maradona:

When Americans express bewilderment that Maradona is still so beloved in Argentina after the years of absurdity and scandal, what they’re missing is not just the significance of 1986; they’re also unaware of just how long the Argentine public has known him, how much love and hope they’ve invested in him. He grew up in front of them. The image of the fey urchin with magical gifts hovers over all the later images, in ways the rest of us can’t easily see. And this in a country repeatedly torn apart by class conflict, a country where the figure of the pibe, the dirty-faced boy trickster who survives on charm and guile, has iconic cultural importance.

“Maradona offered to the Argentines a way out of their collective frustration,” Jorge Valdano, his former Argentina teammate, has said. “That’s why people love him. He is a divine figure.”
(...)
Analysts sometimes explain the first goal [vs England], the handball, with reference to the Latin American (and specifically Buenos Aires) concept of viveza. This refers to a kind of legitimized dishonesty, a contempt for rules and responsibility. It’s an anti-ethic that’s often criticized as a source of corruption, though it’s probably best understood as a response to it. When you can’t trust the rules, when every institution exists to cheat you and fuck you over, then the only way to win is to outwit them. To cheat them first. You lie because you’re on to the fact that the ultimate scam is honesty. Seen in that light, it’s a descamisado survival tactic. When [his agent] and Diego would lie to the press to squeeze more out of Coca-Cola, that was viveza at work.
I can appreciate where those views come from, especially when put like that. It's not that far from the yiddish chutzpah, and there are cultural glorifications of the master system-manipulator in English and American cultural heritage too. But the reason Americans so viscerally react against flopping in global football, and went up in arms over the importation of flopping to NBA basketball when Vlade Divac and others brought it over (to the point where it has gone dramatically down after a refereeing point of emphasis), is because of this general cultural revulsion at intentional violation - at cheating. Our sporting mores generally go: Respect for the game, and for your opponent, must come before your desire to win. To win by so blatantly disrespecting the game means you win without honor.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Sports' rules are generally designed for 2 things:

(1) Giving boundaries to what is good and what is bad play, in order to define the manner by which you play the game and create the conditions for there to be a competitive contest. You can't carry the basketball, you have to start from your side of the line of scrimmage in gridiron football, you can't handle the soccer ball. There is a field of play, with boundaries. etc. The rules define the game, without them it's just Calvinball.
(2) Penalties for violating those rules, which are proportional to a violation's impact on the fairness of play. These provisions usually presume unintentional violation by the player, so the punishment tends to try and make the offended player or team whole by restoring the ex-ante status or giving a benefit (like a free kick) that's proportional to the degree to which they were wronged. People make mistakes in judgment or execution all the time, so here's how we keep playing despite humans being fallible. You kicked his ankles, you got his hand when he went up with the ball for the shot.

They are generally not designed to take into account intentional, manipulative violation by players cynically attempting to gain advantage by hook or by crook. People who do that get kicked out of pickup games, asked to leave rec leagues, not invited back to board game night. We all know the type, who is competitive beyond all reason and cares nothing for the rules. Thinks people are suckers for scrupulously following them when there's advantage to be gained by strategically breaking them. In most walks of life, we'd deem that sociopathic behavior, whether or not it's criminal. The rules of a sport can't really handle that, we just have to have a human referee who knows it when he sees it and has the discretion to discourage it accordingly.

But somehow, when it comes to pro sports (or even high-stakes college or HS sports), there's a subtle encouragement to tactically break the rules. Grab the player's shirt to slow them down, and hope it's not called. Foul the player on a breakaway to prevent a high-percentage scoring chance. Get outside help in chess through a co-conspirator and a computer and a surreptitious means of communication. People will cheat to win, and it's only the threat of discovery or humiliation that will stop them. Some people think this "the smart play", but others think it "un-sportsmanlike and wrong". And the rules can't always take into account every situation in which breaking the rules is an advantage. They have to presume, from the basic ethics of the competitors, that people will try their hardest to win in the honest way, by being better players or better-prepared. Intentional cheating goes against the nature of the contest in the first place. If you're making "a bargain" with respect to intentionally breaking rules, the nature of the contest itself has already lost.

Different cultures have differing levels of regard for the rules and the morality of intentionally breaking them. Places where sports began as high-class activities tend to have more approbation against such behavior; places where they didn't, tend to have less. Consider this bit from The Ringer's extensive eulogy of Diego Maradona:



I can appreciate where those views come from, especially when put like that. It's not that far from the yiddish chutzpah, and there are cultural glorifications of the master system-manipulator in English and American cultural heritage too. But the reason Americans so viscerally react against flopping in global football, and went up in arms over the importation of flopping to NBA basketball when Vlade Divac and others brought it over (to the point where it has gone dramatically down after a refereeing point of emphasis), is because of this general cultural revulsion at intentional violation - at cheating. Our sporting mores generally go: Respect for the game, and for your opponent, must come before your desire to win. To win by so blatantly disrespecting the game means you win without honor.
I don't think I disagree with some of this from an aspirational point of view. It's just very hard to distinguish between sporting and unsporting.

My argument is that calling that Suarez act "unsporting" is very context dependent. And that reveals the problem with the argument. Think about it this way. Home and away tie between PSG and Liverpool. Kylian Mbappe does the same thing in the first minute of the first game in Paris and James Milner buries the penalty. Mbappe gone for the game, PSG on ten men down 1-0 having conceded a home goal, and they lose him for the second leg of the tie.

Unsporting? I think Jurgen Klopp would tell you he’s fine with that kind of "unsporting." He probably even takes the deal and gives up the goal before knowing what Milner does from the spot. My point is that whether or not it’s unsporting seems to be highly context dependent so that the same exact act may seem less or more sporting based on whether or not the consequences in the rules are sufficient to make the punishment fit the crime. (And the personalities.)

I just don’t see a meaningful difference between deliberate handling and any tactical foul in soccer, or in any sport for that matter. Is the last 2 minutes of every close basketball game ever played unsporting? Or is it that we just don’t think the rules are good enough to handle what Suarez did when he did it?

Trying to define particular infractions that go too far – the game is supposed to be played with your feet – seems pretty subjective. The game is supposed to be played without kicking the opponent’s shins as well. If your view is that all intentional infractions to gain a competitive advantage are unsporting, I think that's a sound position and not one that I guess is really all that debatable. But where does it get us? I guess then there's really no reason to call out the Suarez play, since this happens frequently in sports. Again, it happens every night in the NBA.

And nobody is getting hurt. I mean, if I tried to make the argument that speeding in America is simply transactional and if you're willing to pay $300 and take the hit on your insurance, I think one could rightly say "but it's not safe." I just don't see an equivalent in sports, except in certain circumstances. I would agree that a deliberate attempt to injure in football in order to deprive a touchdown would not be sporting. But that's because it's conduct that outside the lines would actually be criminal or at least tortious. But outside that context, it's difficult for me to distinguish the Suarez play from the entire construct we've set up for sports and to separate out the sporting from the unsporting. Other than by context (120th minute is different from 1st even if it's the very same act) or personalities (Suarez sucks).
 

SumnerH

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I genuinely appreciate your post and find you to be one of the most thoughtful posters I come across on SoSH.

I think we might have a fundamentally different perspective on why sport has rules. Sport doesn't have rules to dictate how it should be played, it has rules to punish ways it should not be played. A soccer team could spend the entire game passing with their hands but they wouldn't play for very long before everyone the entire team would be disqualified. That is because there are consequences for breaking the rules of sport. It is not incumbent on the player to enforce or abide by those rules*. That is the referee's purpose. "If you aren't cheating, you aren't trying" is a maxim for a reason.
This is very much a difference of opinion: almost everyone I know views “if you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying” as the same kind of self-motivated pseudo-justification as “snitches get stitches”.

There are certainly levels to this: Most NBA viewers wouldn't say that it's poor sportsmanship to play hack-a-Shaq or to foul to stop the clock, but those are also instances of where players/teams are making the decision to break the rules because the penalty for the violation is less than the advantage they think they'll get.

I'm not sure where I come down on the sportsmanship question—a big part of it is how accepted by the culture of the game a particular kind of violation is, and I don't know enough about international football to make that decision—but I do think it's bad for a sport if the penalty and/or enforcement of a rule is so lax that rule violations are good strategy (and, yes, that means I think the NBA rules wrt fouls are pretty bad).
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
22,922
Pittsburgh, PA
I think we might have a fundamentally different perspective on why sport has rules. Sport doesn't have rules to dictate how it should be played, it has rules to punish ways it should not be played. A soccer team could spend the entire game passing with their hands but they wouldn't play for very long before everyone the entire team would be disqualified. That is because there are consequences for breaking the rules of sport. It is not incumbent on the player to enforce or abide by those rules*. That is the referee's purpose. "If you aren't cheating, you aren't trying" is a maxim for a reason.

With due respect and recognizing it was likely off the cuff, I think your Monopoly example is a bit disingenuous. The purpose of a game of Monopoly between friends is just so unlike a World Cup quarterfinal. By the time a player is in the World Cup quarterfinal, I do not think "sportsmanship", as you've defined it, is a reasonable expectation. To get that far, a player - in my opinion - must have already demonstrated the win by any means necessary mentality.

When I was in (minor league) little league some ~28 years ago, there was a rule that only 9 players got to hit in an inning. I was pitching and getting shelled. The 9th batter was up and there was a runner on 1st and a runner on 3rd. I intentionally walked the hitter. I got heckled by an opposing parent. Was walking that player poor sportsmanship? You might think so. I don't. I played within the rules, used them to my advantage, and accepted the consequence, i.e. hitter got walked.

And I think my example is closer than the Suarez situation to poor sportsmanship because we expect professional athletes to win by any means necessary, whereas little league is closer to a game of Monopoly for fun.

In my mind, there is a larger question in athletics today of how to reconcile the expectation to "win by any means necessary" with the expectation of displaying good sportsmanship, and at what levels those expectations are different (e.g. little league, high school, college, professional, etc.). Also about what we tell kids, especially talented kids who have hopes of possibly playing professional sports, about what behavior and attitude is appropriate at what level of sport.

*Except, I would argue, when it comes to safety and livelihood of the opposing team where consideration of morals is appropriate. Hence the Ramos/Salah comparison. This is akin to your stealing example. You took something away from someone else by stealing, i.e. you hurt them.
"if you aren't cheating, you aren't trying" can be a maxim for everyone who wants to elevate winning above sportsmanship. But that's just another way of saying that sportsmanship doesn't matter, or is of no consequence to you. If you can fool the referee, if you can somehow make a mockery out of the game in order to win, that's a good thing in the eyes of the people who repeat that phrase. Take that as far as you can possibly take it, right? The rules are no constraint except insofar as they might result in you getting punished. But to people do who value sportsmanship - who think that the nature of an athletic or gaming contest ought to be to find out who has the better skill in playing it, not in who can best deceive others - that idea is anathema to the whole reason we watch sports.

I specifically joined and value the ultimate frisbee community because the rules and atmosphere of the sport was created in response to the win-at-any-cost nature of the way most other sports are played. There, in both the rules and the culture of ultimate, fairness and respect for the opponent are paramount, and intentional cheating would be met by horror and revulsion by the offender's own teammates. They'd all rather lose honestly than win dishonestly. And it might be a quirky niche sport, but people keep being drawn to it for that reason (plus it's fun as hell to play), which tells me that the belief in the concept of sportsmanship is not dead letter to everyone, i.e. that I'm not alone in this.

You walked the hitter in accordance with the rules. You didn't break the rules to get out of the inning. The modified rules were there to prevent even-more-lopsided contests in little league ball as we know happen very frequently. They may have been poorly and hastily designed, and didn't take into account the exact and highly unusual situation you found yourself in. But that's why, at higher levels, there is no "walk the guy to get out of the inning" option. Players win or lose on their own skill, not manipulation. (we might have an interesting sidebar about the sporting ethics of the hidden-ball trick, but I've said enough here already)

As for your last remark about stealing, I'd ask you to consider an analogy to, say, cheating on your taxes. Most of the time you can get away with it. It might even feel like a victimless crime. But the victim is society, and it deserves consideration as a valid aggrieved party too. Just so when cheating might feel like a victimless "sports crime". Sure, you won by breaking the rules or manipulating the referee, but is it really bad? Nobody got injured. You didn't take something from them (a la stealing), did you? Well, you kinda did. First of all, in the pros there's a lot of money at stake, and you're taking it out of the pockets of your opponents. But even beyond that, I'd argue the sport itself (like how "society is the victim") can be impugned. Someone who lives by "if you're not cheating, you're not trying" might well consider the logical consequences of how far that goes. If you can fool the game for years, if you can be Lance Armstrong running an industrial-grade doping program in order to clown your opposition, what's the harm, eh? Who is harmed by that? They're all just suckers who weren't cheating (I mean trying) hard enough, and you out-competed them. Well, the opposition was certainly harmed, the people left in the wake of the revelations were harmed, and the sport itself was harmed. To a lesser degree but in a similar way, I'd say Suarez's handball ripped at the very notion that the game can and should be won or lost on the athletic abilities of the participants.

And even beyond the ethics, there's a pragmatic component too. Look no farther than the shenanigans that have reduced boxing to a sideshow and occasional punchline: it has nothing to do with how exciting the sport is, and everything to do with how shady characters pervading the sport's ecosystem have turned people off in large numbers. Marcellus Wallace told Bruce Willis "The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That's pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps." Take a dive, make some money, all that's in the way is pride, is the notion of trying your hardest and seeing if it's good enough. Who'll be the wiser? That's no different than "if you aren't cheating you aren't trying" - the idea that no violation of a sport's rules can be unethical, that pursuit of gain for yourself can come at the expense of the sport and that's fine. So intentional fouls and ref-manipulation may not damage the sport to the level of taking a dive (a la the Black Sox), but it can eat at the fanbase in a similar manner. If your sport allows enough disregard for the rules, enough strategic "dark arts", sooner or later people stop regarding the whole thing as an athletic contest - and lose interest.
 

Mighty Joe Young

The North remembers
SoSH Member
Sep 14, 2002
8,525
Halifax, Nova Scotia , Canada
Two scenarios I could bring up where I would have different reactions

- the Suarez one

- breakaway , striker rounds the keeper who’s completely out of the play (dove and missed). As the striker dribbles the ball into the empty net another defender catches up with him and rugby tackles him from behind in the box. Red card and PEN

I think Suarez’s example is far far worse.. maybe because in the latter example the type of foul is something you see everyday? whereas a player standing on the line waving his hands in the air and subsequently blocking a shot is so memorable as it’s still shocking 12 years later.
 

Mighty Joe Young

The North remembers
SoSH Member
Sep 14, 2002
8,525
Halifax, Nova Scotia , Canada
And of course the win at all costs crowd should have no issue with the Astros cheating scandal .. there were zero repercussions for the players. They cheated, got away with it and won a WS.

Or all the steroid guys for that matter. To the extent they forced a lot of marginally talented guys to cheat as well - to the detriment of their long term health - just to compete.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
38,853
Hingham, MA
I think the problem here is the rule, not Suarez's actions. If there was a rule that said "absent the hand ball, it would have 100% been a goal, so the ref has discretion to award a goal instead of a PK", then Suarez still would have been sent off, but I doubt the incident would linger in our minds like it does today. The only reason we're discussing it is because it worked.

It would be roughly akin to a defensive back pulling down a wide receiver on what would have clearly been a game winning TD, and then the defensive team getting a turnover or something on the next play.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
54,487
intentionally breaking the core rules of the sport ("play the ball with anything but your hands") for the sake of trying to win by-any-means-necessary is the very definition of poor sportsmanship.
Players intentionally break the rules of the sport they play all the time--breakaway foul in basketball, DB beat by a WR so he grabs him, etc.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
54,487
And of course the win at all costs crowd should have no issue with the Astros cheating scandal .. there were zero repercussions for the players. They cheated, got away with it and won a WS.
I think if folks think that kind of cheating is the same as the on-field play we are talking about then we're likely not going to find common ground. Not saying you are wrong, just saying that *to me* those are vastly different things.
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
22,922
Pittsburgh, PA
I'm not sure where I come down on the sportsmanship question—a big part of it is how accepted by the culture of the game a particular kind of violation is, and I don't know enough about international football to make that decision—but I do think it's bad for a sport if the penalty and/or enforcement of a rule is so lax that rule violations are good strategy (and, yes, that means I think the NBA rules wrt fouls are pretty bad).
I've given my personal opinion at length, but to answer this as a soccer question,

- Embellishment (you were fouled / there at least was contact, but you make the most of it by going down easily and forcing a decision out of the referee): Widely accepted. Done a bit less in MLS for american cultural reasons, but virtually no one has strong disapproval.

- Simulation (a defender was near you and didn't contact you, but might have, so you act as if you were to fouled and hope to draw an undeserved decision): Generally disapproved, though not universally. Referees are instructed to card someone who does this, which occasionally happens, and notorious simulators (e.g. Arjen Robben and to some degree Neymar) are looked down upon. But it's a gray area.

- Tactical fouling (usually to prevent a breakaway when you're beaten): Widely accepted. Usually results in a yellow card, and the player accepts the tradeoff. Obviously you can only do this once per game without it having a big impact on your team. A lot of people think it's bad (SocrManiac listed it upthread as one of the 3 big problems with the sport), but because it usually doesn't alter the outcome of the match it's a lot more accepted. Doesn't result in people being appalled by the action though, even if I'd argue it's unsportsmanlike.

- Time-wasting (kicking the ball out of play, goalie holding the ball forever on a goal kick or drop-kick, starting extracurricular incidents over not-much to try and bleed clock): Generally disapproved, but much more common and accepted in latin america and spain / portugal. Also listed as a big problem with the sport by SocrManiac. FIFA is addressing this by making stoppage time something closer to "honest" and having officials add on time 1-for-1 anytime there's obvious time-wasting.

- Over-aggressive defense, particularly grabbing and holding on set pieces: Mixed acceptance. Definitely "part of the game", in that referees are loathe to call defensive fouls for a penalty kick amid the scrum of a free kick, but a lot of the jersey-pulling and bear-hugging that can go on in this vein is viewed as un-sporting in some places and has gotten a harsher whistle in the last few years. It's just an officiating quirk, in that refs will call things very tightly on the ball from open play (e.g. England's first penalty the other day), but will permit a lot rougher play on a set-piece / restart.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
31,752
But that's just another way of saying that sportsmanship doesn't matter, or is of no consequence to you. If you can fool the referee, if you can somehow make a mockery out of the game in order to win, that's a good thing in the eyes of the people who repeat that phrase. Take that as far as you can possibly take it, right? The rules are no constraint except insofar as they might result in you getting punished. But to people do who value sportsmanship - who think that the nature of an athletic or gaming contest ought to be to find out who has the better skill in playing it, not in who can best deceive others - that idea is anathema to the whole reason we watch sports.
Thanks for your very thought-provoking posts on the subject. I'm curious - are there any other plays in other sports where breaking the rules of play you would consider rising to the same level as blocking a shot with one's hands in soccer?

Let's ignore breakaway goals in hockey because apparently since refs can just award a goal, it doesn't help anyone to do that. Let's also ignore PEDs and things that are outside the actual rules of play and let's ignore golf, because that sport has a way different culture than most of the other ones.

Obviously, Hack-a-Person or intentional fouls in basketball don't have anywhere near the impact that blocking a goal in soccer would have.

Maybe a DB tackling a receiver who clearly beat him is closer. What do you think of that?

Honestly curious.
 

Mighty Joe Young

The North remembers
SoSH Member
Sep 14, 2002
8,525
Halifax, Nova Scotia , Canada
Thanks for your very thought-provoking posts on the subject. I'm curious - are there any other plays in other sports where breaking the rules of play you would consider rising to the same level as blocking a shot with one's hands in soccer?

Let's ignore breakaway goals in hockey because apparently since refs can just award a goal, it doesn't help anyone to do that. Let's also ignore PEDs and things that are outside the actual rules of play and let's ignore golf, because that sport has a way different culture than most of the other ones.

Obviously, Hack-a-Person or intentional fouls in basketball don't have anywhere near the impact that blocking a goal in soccer would have.

Maybe a DB tackling a receiver who clearly beat him is closer. What do you think of that?

Honestly curious.
Heres one .. DB intercepts a pass and is charging free and clear down the sideline and about to score a Super Bowl winning TD in overtime. Opposing player (or coach) ON THE SIDELINES jumps out and trips him. I think this has actually happened (not in the SB) .. maybe in college football?

edit: the Jets of course

https://www.cbc.ca/sports/football/nfl/nfl-fines-jets-100k-for-sideline-trip-1.955093
 
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DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
43,853
AZ
Thanks for your very thought-provoking posts on the subject. I'm curious - are there any other plays in other sports where breaking the rules of play you would consider rising to the same level as blocking a shot with one's hands in soccer?

Let's ignore breakaway goals in hockey because apparently since refs can just award a goal, it doesn't help anyone to do that. Let's also ignore PEDs and things that are outside the actual rules of play and let's ignore golf, because that sport has a way different culture than most of the other ones.

Obviously, Hack-a-Person or intentional fouls in basketball don't have anywhere near the impact that blocking a goal in soccer would have.

Maybe a DB tackling a receiver who clearly beat him is closer. What do you think of that?

Honestly curious.
Here's one that I think tests the principle. One of the problems with defensive penalties in football is that other than a single untimed down the team that is fouled doesn't get the time back. Combined with the fact that you can never put a team closer to the end zone than the first yard line on PI (or half the distance for other penalties) makes it so that you can really game things. If a team without time outs down by three is trying to score a TD from the one yard line with 10 seconds left, there's incentive to pull down every receiver and otherwise blatantly commit penalties. You put them in position where they are no better off and now have less time and so maybe have to kick.

Another one. Clock stops on defensive fouls. You are on defense, out of time outs, losing by one. Other team has the ball with 2:40 left and it's third down. Rusher gets a first down. If you tackle him regularly, the clock goes to the 2:00 warning and then they kneel three times. If you grab his facemask, the clock stops, and they will have to run their first down play before the 2:00 warning. You preserve a chance at getting the ball with 30 seconds.

Similar one. Team is trying to run the clock out. On second down, you tackle them an inch short of the first down. You call your last time out. You take a deliberate off side penalty to give them the first down, to avoid an additional 40 second loss if they get the inch. For what it's worth, Harbaugh does this one. It's pretty clever and he's called "smart," not unsporting. (Though it's weird because you could decline. Ignore that part of the question.)

I don't really have a problem with any of these, personally. The first one is the worst. But I could see where others could disagree.
 

biff_hardbody

New Member
Apr 27, 2016
323
"if you aren't cheating, you aren't trying" can be a maxim for everyone who wants to elevate winning above sportsmanship. But that's just another way of saying that sportsmanship doesn't matter, or is of no consequence to you. If you can fool the referee, if you can somehow make a mockery out of the game in order to win, that's a good thing in the eyes of the people who repeat that phrase. Take that as far as you can possibly take it, right? The rules are no constraint except insofar as they might result in you getting punished. But to people do who value sportsmanship - who think that the nature of an athletic or gaming contest ought to be to find out who has the better skill in playing it, not in who can best deceive others - that idea is anathema to the whole reason we watch sports.
Great post. This is my favorite macro discussion in sports.

Let's start with what is "cheating". Calling something "cheating" is like saying someone is "lying" in that the word bestows upon the actor unquestionable immorality. "Seeking to gain a competitive advantage" and "not giving all the details", for example, are not as catchy as "cheating" and "lying" but describe circumstances which can be comparable in a way that is more neutral and allows the reader/listener to assign their own perspective of morality/immorality to the act. I say this not to argue semantics but to be able to distinguish what Suarez did with what the Astros, Lance Armstrong, or Barry Bonds did, each of whom undeniably cheated. Also to point out the importance of the public relations (i.e. framing) of the instances we are talking about.

Cheating in the context of sports is about creating an unequal playing field, and usually involves hiding it. That applies to banging on trash cans, taking steroids, and doping. Posters above pointed out that the nature of Suarez's play being "on field" which differentiates the behavior of the Astros, Armstrong, and Bonds, for example, from Suarez. Suarez was playing under the same set of rules as the Ghanians. A Ghanian outfield player could have stopped a goal with their hands and dealt with the consequences also. To that end, there was nothing inherently "unfair" about Suarez's play. DDB made the point of Suarez's handball being a perfect storm of timing, opponent, etc., to make it memorable this many years later. (Sidebar - is it less immoral if Suarez does this against Brazil, or France, i.e. where Uruguay is the underdog?)

I specifically joined and value the ultimate frisbee community because the rules and atmosphere of the sport was created in response to the win-at-any-cost nature of the way most other sports are played. There, in both the rules and the culture of ultimate, fairness and respect for the opponent are paramount, and intentional cheating would be met by horror and revulsion by the offender's own teammates. They'd all rather lose honestly than win dishonestly. And it might be a quirky niche sport, but people keep being drawn to it for that reason (plus it's fun as hell to play), which tells me that the belief in the concept of sportsmanship is not dead letter to everyone, i.e. that I'm not alone in this.
This hits the nail on the head to me and I think demonstrates why your perspective is not a reasonable expectation for the mentality of a professional athlete. There are no multi million dollar contracts given or fame gained in your ultimate frisbee league (to be fair, I'm guessing). If there were, I suspect players trying to "game the rules" would inevitably pop up. I don't think you are alone in this and I don't think you are wrong to aspire to place sportsmanship over winning. I just don't think we can expect professional athletes to behave that way. And as to Suarez, I don't think it was bad sportsmanship to violate the rules of the game on the field - without hurting anyone - when it improved his team's chances to win.

I think about this issue a lot in the context of pickup basketball games with friends. I want to win, but how serious should I play? Where is the line? How do I make sure I don't cross it, even when wrapped up the competitive nature of playing? Fortunately ultimate frisbee is not as physical of a game as basketball or soccer and so intimidation becomes less of a competitive advantage.

You walked the hitter in accordance with the rules. You didn't break the rules to get out of the inning. The modified rules were there to prevent even-more-lopsided contests in little league ball as we know happen very frequently. They may have been poorly and hastily designed, and didn't take into account the exact and highly unusual situation you found yourself in. But that's why, at higher levels, there is no "walk the guy to get out of the inning" option. Players win or lose on their own skill, not manipulation. (we might have an interesting sidebar about the sporting ethics of the hidden-ball trick, but I've said enough here already)
In soccer the rule is "you can't play the ball with your hands." In baseball the rule is "pitcher must throw strikes." Not abiding by those rules leads to negative consequences. I'm not convinced that playing the ball with your hands is, generally speaking, more objectionable than intentionally walking a hitter. I accept that intentional walks in baseball have culturally become commonplace whereas playing the ball with your hands has not (because there is almost no advantage EXCEPT a Suarez-like situation), and therefore the cultural aspect may dictate that one is more objectionable than the other. But from a strict rules perspective, they seem analogous to me (i.e., play this way on the field or face the negative consequences).

As for your last remark about stealing, I'd ask you to consider an analogy to, say, cheating on your taxes. Most of the time you can get away with it. It might even feel like a victimless crime. But the victim is society, and it deserves consideration as a valid aggrieved party too. Just so when cheating might feel like a victimless "sports crime". Sure, you won by breaking the rules or manipulating the referee, but is it really bad? Nobody got injured. You didn't take something from them (a la stealing), did you? Well, you kinda did. First of all, in the pros there's a lot of money at stake, and you're taking it out of the pockets of your opponents. But even beyond that, I'd argue the sport itself (like how "society is the victim") can be impugned. Someone who lives by "if you're not cheating, you're not trying" might well consider the logical consequences of how far that goes. If you can fool the game for years, if you can be Lance Armstrong running an industrial-grade doping program in order to clown your opposition, what's the harm, eh? Who is harmed by that? They're all just suckers who weren't cheating (I mean trying) hard enough, and you out-competed them. Well, the opposition was certainly harmed, the people left in the wake of the revelations were harmed, and the sport itself was harmed. To a lesser degree but in a similar way, I'd say Suarez's handball ripped at the very notion that the game can and should be won or lost on the athletic abilities of the participants.
Ghana missing the penalty is what spurred this discussion. The game was still being decided on the athletic ability of the participants. And I hope we agree that what Suarez did and what Lance Armstrong did are not analogous.

This paragraph is begging for a digression into whether it is less immoral to steal from Walmart or Amazon than a local mom and pop store but I won't bite, other than this aside.

And even beyond the ethics, there's a pragmatic component too. Look no farther than the shenanigans that have reduced boxing to a sideshow and occasional punchline: it has nothing to do with how exciting the sport is, and everything to do with how shady characters pervading the sport's ecosystem have turned people off in large numbers. Marcellus Wallace told Bruce Willis "The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That's pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps." Take a dive, make some money, all that's in the way is pride, is the notion of trying your hardest and seeing if it's good enough. Who'll be the wiser? That's no different than "if you aren't cheating you aren't trying" - the idea that no violation of a sport's rules can be unethical, that pursuit of gain for yourself can come at the expense of the sport and that's fine. So intentional fouls and ref-manipulation may not damage the sport to the level of taking a dive (a la the Black Sox), but it can eat at the fanbase in a similar manner. If your sport allows enough disregard for the rules, enough strategic "dark arts", sooner or later people stop regarding the whole thing as an athletic contest - and lose interest.
I mean, this strikes me as a little fatalistic. The dark arts are alive and well in soccer and as far as I can tell it is as popular as ever. NFL football is a create your own adventure each week about what is a catch, a hold, a pass interference, etc., and yet we accept the results each week as adequately determining who wins and loses the game to the tune of billions of dollars.

Moreover, the rules of sport are not the laws of physics or the ten commandments. Taking out an opponent's knee on purpose is unethical, but short of that, I'm not sure how much ethics or morality are really involved - I'd have to think about it further. I would argue that athletes are always pursuing personal goals within the context of their sport and at the expense of their opponent. That's the nature of the game. It is that juxtaposition with the ideal of sportsmanship - respect for the game and your opponent - that makes this discussion so compelling.
 
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OCST

Sunny von Bulow
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
24,756
The 718
I’d be all for the ref being able to award that. There would need to be strict limits, ie the defender committing the handball would have to be in the six yard box and within the goal frame, for me.
 

BrazilianSoxFan

Member
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Apr 11, 2006
3,759
Brasil
What do you mean by, it doesn't help anyone to do that? If the ref had that power in soccer, we wouldn't be discussing the Suarez play today.
I think he meant that fouling a breakaway goal in Hockey wouldn't help the defensive team, so there is no point in discussing it.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
38,853
Hingham, MA
Here's one that I think tests the principle. One of the problems with defensive penalties in football is that other than a single untimed down the team that is fouled doesn't get the time back. Combined with the fact that you can never put a team closer to the end zone than the first yard line on PI (or half the distance for other penalties) makes it so that you can really game things. If a team without time outs down by three is trying to score a TD from the one yard line with 10 seconds left, there's incentive to pull down every receiver and otherwise blatantly commit penalties. You put them in position where they are no better off and now have less time and so maybe have to kick.
Point of clarification on the NFL, I am pretty sure there is a rule that if you do something like this twice in a row the ref can award a TD or something like that. I forget the exact rule. @CFB_Rules ?
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
31,752
Heres one .. DB intercepts a pass and is charging free and clear down the sideline and about to score a Super Bowl winning TD in overtime. Opposing player (or coach) ON THE SIDELINES jumps out and trips him. I think this has actually happened (not in the SB) .. maybe in college football?

edit: the Jets of course

https://www.cbc.ca/sports/football/nfl/nfl-fines-jets-100k-for-sideline-trip-1.955093
I don't think this quite works because non-players going on the field is a big no-no in every sport.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
43,853
AZ
I’d be all for the ref being able to award that. There would need to be strict limits, ie the defender committing the handball would have to be in the six yard box and within the goal frame, for me.
They were all set to add that to the laws in 2018 and then for some reason did not and there's not much discussion of why when googling. It was to be called a "penalty goal." In the immediate aftermath of the 2010 game there were calls for it, but Blatter was opposed. He said something about "either the ball is in the goal or it isn't." Whether this carried over into the 2018 discussion is unclear.

Blatter was very keen on the idea that the ultimate goal of soccer is not to ensure that the final result is fair in every circumstance and that soccer needed to live with discretionary decisions. Obviously, I have no idea but I get the sense from reading the comments from FIFA officials every time something controversial happens that this is some kind of lingering dogma within FIFA hallways.

I think some leagues may have adopted the penalty goal concept, but it seems not to have made it into the official ITAB laws of the game, which FIFA uses for major competitions.