Judges Have Their Druthers And Ireland Howled - Poem by gershon hepner
Thierry Henry touched the ball,
by ref unseen, and wasn’t fouled;
the world observed the ref not call
a penalty, and Ireland howled.
Once Maradona claimed the hand
of God had scored the winning goal;
because God’s head is in the sand
rule breakers often are made whole.
Some of us go out with calls
that shouldn’t have been made, but others
go out because there are huge walls
of silence. Judges have their druthers.
Lynn Zinser writes about a foul committed by Thierry Henry which enabled France to become eligible for the World Cup in soccer in 20010, while causing Ireland to be eliminated (“Add Thierry Henry to List of Sports Villains, ” NYT, December 2,2009) :
Move over Bill Belichick, the sporting world has a new lead villain. In the United States at least, he will seem an unlikely one, because beyond being the handsome soccer player in that Gillette ad with Tiger Woods and Roger Federer, Thierry Henry isn’t exactly a household name. But in the tiniest second it took Henry to nudge the soccer ball with his hand toward his foot to set up France’s winning goal in a World Cup qualifier against Ireland, he became globally hated. The aggravating factors in this scenario are that Henry a) is French, which gives a lot of people a running head start on hating him and b) admitted using his hand while shrugging off responsibility for Ireland’s fate by saying, basically, “Tough noogies.”This has not gone over well, particularly in Britain, where the headlines are brutal. That’s because Henry’s “Hand Gaul” (love those British headlines!) snuffed out the hopes of a plucky Irish squad trying to make its first World Cup since 2002, where their team highlight was the star player Roy Keane getting in a dustup with the coach. Now they’ll be known for being robbed by Henry, and Henry, as Martin Rogers writes on Yahoo.com, will forever be known as a cheat on par with Argentina’s Diego Maradona, who has taken the opposite tack and refuses to own up to the 1986 “Hand of God” goal.If he actually cared about such things, Belichick might consider sending Henry a hoodie in thanks for taking him off the top of the most-
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