Monday, July 12, 2010

Diagrams of a World Cup play

Championship Game: Espana vs Netherlands, 3rd minute of overtime

Espana had ball inside Netherlands goal box; attempted two quick and short touch passes inside close quarters. Netherlands defended closely; gained control of ball; headed upfield on offense. Behind the play, the three Spanish players writhed on the ground in great pain: their arms flopped overhead, they rolled from side to side, they were obvious victims of vicious fouls by the Netherlands. Except, replays showed that none of the Spanish players were fouled; only one of them was even touched. The Spaniards, after writhing on the ground for some seconds - thence noticing they had not drawn fouls, and that Netherlands was approaching midfield with the ball - bravely jumped up and ran back to join in on defense.

Official diagrams: Espana in blue; Netherlands in orange

Scene One: Extreme close quarters; all players within 20 feet of each other; elapsed time of action = 1.5 seconds

Scene Two

The touches happened very quickly: touch touch interception, with all action happening inside 1.5 seconds, and immediately followed by the Spanish players going down, simultaneously, landing prone w/feet towards the center. Because the three Spaniards went down simultaneously, flailing their arms above their heads, therefore the Spaniards looked exactly like American football players doing the "grenade" celebration after a touchdown - as demonstrated, below, by the senior members of the 2006 Red Raider Marching Band:


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