This Week in Hating
Siren song: Behind every man's sports mistake is a beautiful woman — fromCarbonero to Kardashian to Simpson
Regardless of your feeling on the sport, everyone should attend one soccer grudge match in their lifetime. Mine was FC Barcelona versus hated rivals Real Madrid, right after the Madrileños had stolen star midfielder Luis Figo from the hometown team.
Let me just say that nothing you hear about football hooliganism can prepare you for the deafening roar, taunting songs and general madness of the crowd. One person in the crowd at this particular game smuggled in a whole pig's head, eventually throwing it onto the field — an act that required stealth, athletic ability and the highest degree of lunacy.
The players played on.
So excuse me if I'm less than impressed by the horrified cries that those poor footballers at the World Cup are being done in by the presence — or absence — of their women.
It started with Spain's surprise loss to Switzerland last week, 1-0. Rather than mention that the team failed to score any goals against a country only good at making watches and chocolate and hiding Nazi loot, the Spanish press decided Sara Carbonero was to blame. Carbonero is a reporter, not a striker, and was covering the match from the sidelines for a Spanish television station.
Her offense? Dating Spanish goalie Iker Casillas.
The logic (and I use the term loosely) goes that with Carbonero filming behind the net before the game, Casillas was unable to concentrate and thus allowed the goal.
And if that isn't patently stupid on its face, I don't know what is.
But soon others found solace in World Cup loss by blaming those not on the team, but women — like falling misogynist dominoes.
The easy miss by English keeper Robert Green that led to a 1-1 tie with the U.S.?
He must have been off his game over a break-up with his lingerie-model girlfriend Elizabeth Minett, though the split reportedly happened months ago. And this is after coaches of England and Brazil banned players from having a wife or girlfriend — the infamous WAGs — in South Africa.
While a sex ban — like those that England and Ghana currently have in place for their teams — seems within the purview of a superstitious coach, banning family from watching an athlete compete in the greatest global event of their lifetime seems downright cruel.
Not to mention that it might actually make things worse. As Newsweek quotes baseball great Casey Stengel, "The trouble is not that players have sex the night before a game. It's that they stay out all night looking for it."
And the Carbonero Effect isn't limited to the World Cup. Before the Lakers came back to claim NBA Finals victory, some speculated that Lamar Odom's sluggish play was somehow the fault of new wife Khloe Kardashian rather than the result of over a decade of bad training habits — please.
And Jessica Simpson's pink Cowboys jersey will live in infamy as her then-boyfriend, Tony Romo, choked as she watched from a luxury box. Yet she, and not a QB who can't hold up down the stretch, is still considered the jinx in Dallas.
Sure, it's offensive to women to make our irresistible allure responsible for men's failures. But it's also deeply insulting to men by imagining that they are so enraptured by the female form that they can't do their job.
Are men so emotionally fragile that the mere glimpse of their love makes them incompetent? And you say women are the weaker sex! But what about Dutch women in orange minidresses? Do those not distract? Perhaps women should be banned from all sporting events unless wearing an anonymizing and de-sexing burqa.
Or maybe men — the ones that blame the women, not the ones that play the game — should just grow the fuck up.
These are professionals at the top of their sport, and they know how to concentrate and get their head in the game when it counts.
I mean, if a pig's head thrown in their direction doesn't phase them, I doubt the sight of a woman will.