Friday, November 20, 2009

There can be no replay

Any sports fan can understand the frustration and the anger that the referee's decision (or non-decision) caused the other day. I was annoyed and frustrated too. I watch all sporting events with a great intensity and the other night was no exception. Many times in my sports-watching life I've felt that sickness and anger that comes when you watch your team throw it away or when the referee takes it away.

I can fully understand how every Irish fan was feeling on Wednesday night. I felt a lot of it myself. I couldn't get enough of the post-match coverage yesterday. You want to feed that anger.

Still, by the end of the day I was feeling a bit sheepish because I thought too many people were heading off the deep end. Not that they were too angry - I don't think you can be too angry after what happened - but they were seeking justice via a replay of the game. That simply cannot happen.

There is injustice in sports just as there is in life and everyone who was rooting for Ireland on Wednesday simply has to accept that the Irish team lost. It's over. That they lost due to an injustice is now part of the memory, part of the pain of being a fan.

Calls from the FAI and, worse, the government, for a replay are wrong and pretty embarrassing actually.

Besides, this is probably the best possible result. If there is a replay two things are possible, neither as attractive as what we have now: (1) the team might be seriously humbled by the French and/or lose in a less noble fashion and (2) they might win, which would undoubtedly lead to thousands of people spending money they don't have to go to S. Africa.

By the way, the most impressive moment of the whole game was the way the Irish team tried to rally the Irish fans just before the start of the second half of extra time. They knew the chances of scoring in those last 15 minutes were pretty slim and they must have been dead on their feet, but rather than getting down and feeling sorry for themselves - they saved that for later - they got up for one last desperate assault on the French goal.

Some of the 'pictures' here (click on the cartoon) are pretty good.