Get Over It
Bad calls are part of sports on every level. There is an unavoidable element of referee human error in the games we love. Sometimes, one can even reasonably argue that there may be a nefarious conspiracy behind these officiating blunders (see the NBA as run by David Stern).
Still, we try to teach even our Little Leaguers — or at least, we used to — that whining over a call only makes you look bad. It's poor sportsmanship, it's bad form, it's counterproductive.
Too bad many American adults seem to have lost this perspective.
The continuing indignant, crybaby moaning over the disallowed goal in the U.S.'s 2-2 miracle comeback tie with Slovenia in the World Cup plays into the rest of the world's stereotypical view of Americans. Only when the U.S. is denied a goal — in a questionable, but not completely outrageous call (there were fouls committed by both Slovenia and the U.S. on that play) — does it suddenly turn into a world "officiating crisis."
American soccer fans are coming off as self-indulgent brats to the rest of the world. And this time, the world's right.
U.S. coach Bob Bradley is becoming as guilty as anyone. There was no reason for Bradley to harp on the call again in his press conference today. The usually no-nonense New Jersey boss has even allowed himself to get caught up in the whine.
Bradley's team should be focusing on the fact that it's been given another gift by England — the Brits' inexplicable tie with Algeria provides the U.S. with a clear path into the knockout round. Instead, the American kvetching threatens to stretch well past 48 hours.
Even professional complainer Kate Gosselin would be taken aback by the force of this woe-is-me campaign.
Let's hope that the U.S. advances to the next stage — while rediscovering its class.