THE SPORTS DOCTOR- So much to say: World Cup bad news has competition

She wanted to write about World Cup...

I was all set to write about the World Cup again this week, about the U.S. loss and how I was much sadder about it than I had expected to be, about the overt play-acting ("Oooh– I'm going to throw myself on the ground and pretend like I was kicked in the shin— oooh!"), about the dreadful and doesn't-it-deserve-a-penalty practice of passing the ball back and forth, back and forth, just to waste time (and I mean 15 minutes, not 15 seconds). 

Yes, I was all set to write about the World Cup and then I read–

And then I read that, according to his lawyers, Michael Vick was most certainly not involved in a 2am shooting outside the Virginia Beach club Guadalajara, even though he was having a birthday party at the very same club at the very same time, and the shooting victim was a co-defendant at Vick's federal dog-fighting trial.

I read that Vick's lawyers claimed he wasn't even present, even though buddies Allen Iverson and DeAngelo Hall were on the guest list. Hall claims he wasn't there– perhaps the $50 ticket price put him off. (I reckon when you're up to your neck in hock to your former NFL team, you do things like charge money to get into your birthday party.)

I shook off the urge to write about Michael Vick and again settled down to write about the World Cup. Maybe I would write about how the referees blatantly stole a goal from England, or how the Argentineans view their coach Maradona as the second coming even though he scored a goal with his hands back in the 1986 World Cup, and it was allowed to stand. 

I was all ready to write about that and then I read—

And then I read that three incoming UCLA football players had been arrested for felony theft (in Virginia we call it grand larceny). UCLA police officers arrested the three 18-year-old freshmen last Wednesday; they were released by Thursday morning, two after posting $20,000 bail apiece and one without paying a nickel.

I talked to a lawyer about the discrepancy and didn't get much information, but it became clear that the two players requiring $20,000 to get out of jail most likely had prior convictions, which might mean UCLA knowingly recruits players with criminal records. Don't argue the University didn't know– don't you think "Have you ever been arrested?" is at least the third question on every recruiter's tongue these days (right after "What's your time in the 40, and do your parents need us to buy them a house?")?

But still, I wanted to write about the World Cup, maybe about the really scary facepaint some Ghana fans wore, or how just two months after being called a "bad joke" by Sports Nippon and just weeks after fans started petitions calling for his resignation, Japanese coach Takeshi Okada is being hailed a national hero for lifting Japan to a 3-1 victory over Denmark and taking the team to the second round. 

But then I read—

I read that Detroit Lions President Tom Lewand was arrested for drunk driving less than a day after General Manager Martin Mayhew said of the beleaguered and troubled team, "I think we're a much better football team. I think we're a better organization. It's not me; we've done it collectively. But I think we've come a long way." 

Okay, so minicamp went well. When a franchise is as bad as the Lions, one must celebrate every small victory, especially with only three wins in the last 40 games. But couldn't Lewand have waited a week before tying one on? If the President getting a DUI is part of the "better organization" part, the Lions must have been a much worse organization than we knew.

After reading that, I was set not to write about the World Cup at all. 

Why would I, when there's so much else going on? But then I read about Landon Donovan's paternity suit, and how British bookies are already taking odds on who'll be the next Three Lions coach, and whether FIFA will resist an electronic review for goals.

And I thought, I have to write about the World Cup. I just have to.


Juanita Giles lives in Keysville.



Why would you write about the World Cup? You've already proven you know nothing about soccer, don't like it, and are a terrible soccer writer. So why would you do it again?

nice to say don't say anything at all. Jezzzz. If you don't like the way someone writes about something why do you keep reading it? Seriously, nothing better to complain about, nothing.

Just because she didn't think the US could compete? Who thought they could? She wanted them to do well, for crying out loud. Boy, soccer people really get bent out of shape. Give the rest of us a little credit-at least we're following the World Cup. Read the column again. She's actually watching it after the US was eliminated, which is more than most people are doing.

Frankly, I can't agree with anything SOCA 4 All has written and don't understand his or her reasoning. Considering how little coverage soccer gets in America (and generally how little interest there is in it), I think the Sports Doctor's World Cup columns are refreshing and unpretentious. I don't recall she ever claimed not to like soccer. In this column, she immediately expressed her disappointment that the U.S. lost.


US was favored to make the round of 16, and was actually favored against Ghana (barely). So clearly a lot of people, and experts, thought they could "compete". They lost in Extra Time in the elimination round...I think that qualifies as competing.

Anyway, big game tomorrow. Netherlands v Brazil

Go read her old column:

"America may have a national soccer team, but that team is about as un-American as it gets...

If the sporting gods were just, there would be no World Cup, or at least not one we had to know about. The greatest sporting event in the world, and it's like America is wearing L.L. Bean in a roomful of Armani—we're totally and completely out of our league."

She is a fool who shouldn't be writing about soccer.

Bravo, SOCA.

But just a second..

She wrote ONE really bad article about something she obviously knows next to nothing about.

Her other articles, including this one, are quite good. Usually.

If you ever missed a PK and your team lost as a result in one game, that does not mean you suck.

If the U.S. were so competitive, why is Bob Bradley's job in jeopardy and why didn't we make it into the quarterfinals at least? Apparently even U.S. Soccer thought we performed abysmally. From USA Today, " When U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati meets with coach Bob Bradley after the World Cup ends, they will likely be on the same page about the team's performance. Both see the team's exit in the round of 16 as an opportunity missed."

Get over it. America is just not there yet.

Considering the US team had a long history of giving up early goals, even during World Cup qualifying, I don't see how anyone could have expected us to move beyond the first round. Our performance was the same as it has always been-underwhelming. We're a pretty immature team all the way around.

SOCA, she writes an article you don't like and you call her a "fool"? What is wrong with you? You don't have to agree with her, but you don't have to be so hateful either. Instead of writing about why the US is so great, you just came off as ugly and mean.

We won our group. We lost in the round of 16 in Extra time. They had a great opportunity to make a run to the Semi-finals based on their opponents but it didn't happen. Bradley's odd player selection for the 16 game will certainly be discussed.

No one said we are "there". But we certainly aren't a joke, as her other article said.


Read her other article. It was terribly written and full of inaccuracies.

She Doctors no sports. Enough said...

So she wrote one bad column. I still like this one and like most of the ones she writes. Everybody has a bad day, that's no need to crucify her. Give her a break.