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And Another Thing

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Revenge of the Irish

And, once again ... Soccer Discussed Here.

Shouldn't have tell all you soccer-hatin', NASCAR-lovin', durn-them-silly-foreigners-anyway types what the drill is by now.

As for the rest of us ... a couple of observations while we await the U.S. vs. Algeria on Wednesday:

* That sound you're hearing today is not the mind-numbing buzz of vuvuzelas. It's the rich tones of vindicitive hilarity emanating from the pubs in Dublin and Tralee and Kilkenny and Galway, where more than one pint has surely been raised to the massive train wreck that has become French soccer.

When last seen, the French players were behaving like well-mannered 3-year-olds, refusing to practice and sulking on their team bus in open revolt against beleaguered coach Raymond Domenech after playing absymally in their first two World Cup matches.

The French side is not just in disarray. It's in whatever comes after disarray.

So why all the hilarity over this from Dublin and Tralee and Dingle?

Well, because the French got into the World Cup -- and Ireland was denied -- on a hand-ball goal that should have been disallowed but wasn't.

I don't know if what's happened since is definitive proof that God is Irish. But I bet he wears a green tie.

* Speaking of the U.S. ... maybe someday I'll be a knowledgeable enough soccer fan to understand its culture. But for now I Don't Get It is still winning the tug-of-war over Perfect Understanding.

Here's what I don't get today: FIFA is conducting a news conference today on the status of the Mali referee who disallowed the Americans' go-ahead goal against Slovenia for reasons that remain unclear. And they're going to remain unclear.

That's because FIFA, like the ref at the time, willl not take questions about what, precisely, the ref called on the play. Their position is they don't have tell us that.

Excuse me, but ... what?

This whole business turns on that call, yet FIFA isn't going to discuss the call? So we still don't know for sure what the call was or who was involved in the infraction? Can you imagine an official in the Super Bowl calling back a winning touchdown but refusing to acknowledge what the infraction was? And the NFL backing him up?

I. Don't. Get. It.

Ben Smith's blog.

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