Home > Football (soccer) > Uncle Mo’ and the English

Uncle Mo’ and the English

I have to say it was like watching the 1966 highlights all over again. (Not old enough to have seen it the first time.)

The World Cup Final, 1966. Extra time. England 2, Germany 2. An English shot comes in, hits the top bar, and bounces down. Center referee doesn’t give the goal, but the Soviet linesman has his flag raised signaling a goal. After a brief discussion between the referees, the goal is given to England and they go on to win the World Cup 4-2. There is very little video evidence of the goal, but based on what I have seen (and I’ve seen it all cuz there is so little) it is pretty clear that the ball didn’t cross the line. No matter. Goal is given. England win.

I have heard (and read, and seen on TV, player interviews, etc.) the English say, “It doesn’t matter, we would have won anyway cuz we won 4-2.” Even Franz Beckenbauer won’t get drawn in on the subject. He stays away with grace and aplomb. When asked about it, he simply shrugs and says, “It’s a pity we have to continue speaking about a goal from 1966.” Now that is class my friends. No matter that it may have robbed him of his first World Cup title. We’ll never really know what would have happened. The Soviet linesman Bakhramov later said he thought the ball had bounced back off the net, not the crossbar, so he did not bother to observe whether the ball bounced over the goal line or not. To add more controversy to the tale, Bakhramov, according to lore, was asked on his death bed how he knew the ball crossed the line. He replied, “Stalingrad”, where over 75,000 Soviets died fighting against the Nazis.

Now it’s 2010, and I thought I was in a Red Sofa Time Machine. England down 2-1, and Lampard hits a wonderful shot over the German goalie. It bounces off the top bar, into the back of the goal (clearly behind the line), back to the top bar, and the second time down it bounces outside of the goal, onto the field of play. Goal. Game tied 2-2.

Alas Frank, it was not to be.

But the goal was not given.

Yes this game needs goal line technology. Yes it would have changed the game if the goal had been given. I mean think about it: you are working your socks off to tie a game, and then you do, only to be denied. Uncle Mo (aka Momentum) is a tricky thing, and if the English could have tied the game, they would have stolen Uncle Mo away from Germany and put him in their own back pocket. They could have gone on to score 1 or 2 more before half time.

All the talking heads are saying that “In the end the better team won.” Mostly likely this is the case, but that’s not what always happens. That is denying the historical upsets of Uruguay over Brazil at the Maracana in 1950. Or the German Amateurs over highly favored Hungary in the Miracle of Bern in 1954. Or the German upset of Holland’s Total Football in 1974.

Goals are so important at the international level that if you steal one, a team might not recover. Clearly England could not, just like Germany could not in 1966. Germany, now let off the hook, still had Uncle Mo riding shotgun for the start of the 2nd half, and went on to demolish England 4-1. Clearly the Germans can say “well the better team won”, but I’m not sure we know that. Maybe England could have woken from the sleep they’d been in through their first 4 games. Maybe Rooney would have scored another goal before half time to lead 3-2 and gone on to win the Golden Boot and become a Knight and Hug the Queen and “Wayne” would have gone on to be the most popular name in England for years to come. Maybe. Link HERE. (You’ve GOT to watch that video if you haven’t seen it yet.)

Or England might have done what it always does: sat back and see what happened, and then lost to Germany on penalties.

Funny the Karmic Twists that can come about in this ol’ game.

So does this mean that Argentina will some day be knocked out of the World Cup by an opponent scoring with a hand-ball? If FIFA implements goal line technology, it might never happen. But I wouldn’t hold my breath on it.

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  1. Jeff
    June 28, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Yep – I predicted that goal about three days early. I was sorry that Bocanegra lost his nerve: the forward always had to slow down to hit that volley. He could have kept running with Gyan (sp? – too lazy to look it up) and made the play. His late, half-assed hit was also the ‘cue’ that brought Howard off his line to no-man’s land.

    Great analysis. Dempsey and Feilhaber are the best players we have. Donovan is good, but not great. In the end, Findley isn’t the one, and Altidore is going to have to learn his trade to be a world-class threat: he wasn’t one this time around.

  2. June 28, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Great blog you got going here and a very well written article! I think it was brutal to see the Germany-England game go the way it did. Also, you think you check out my post cuz I really wanna hear your opinion on my thoughts. http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/lampard-non-goal-didnt-matter-are-you-kidding-me/

  3. June 29, 2010 at 8:38 am

    big papa blatter is 74 years old, so we should outlive him, and then we might see reason prevail. if we don’t hold our breath, of course. what? it’s not a christian thought, to wish someone’s death? well, who said i’m a christian?

    • June 30, 2010 at 10:35 am

      Eh, no, I don’t think it’s bad from a sporting perspective… but would you rather have Platini in charge? I just hope it’s not out of the frying pan into the fire, although it couldn’t get much worse.

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