All in all, Tuesday’s World Cup action didn’t offer much to sink your teeth into. The Japanese took a nibble at Colombia, but pulling out a victory in this World Cup was more than they could chew. The already-eliminated Brits were again toothless against the already-qualified Costa Ricans. The Greeks, helped by a last-minute penalty, pulled out a nail-biter to go through to the round of 16. Oh, and what happened in that other match?
1. Suarez bites man (again). It’s really unbelievable that Uruguay’s Luis Suarez has done this not once but twice before.
2. What a strange thing to do. In the previous times that he has done this (again, wow) there has been no shortage of moral outrage over Suarez’s behavior, violence in football in general and DEAR LORD, WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN? It’s rarely observed, though, just what a strange, strange thing it is to do. Sure biting an opponent is violent and bad sportsmanship, but it’s also just plain weird. Angry tackles and elbows to the face happen in almost every game. Occasionally, punches are thrown or people are spat at/on, but who bites someone? Seriously, when was the last time you bit someone (outside of the bedroom)? Were you in the single-digit age range? I’d imagine most of us were. Suarez has now done it three times — that we know about — as an alleged grown-up. Clearly, there is something very wrong with that man.
3. One step forward, two steps back. One of the other strange aspects of this incident is that Suarez had been on the road to redemption this past year. After returning from his suspension from the previous biting embarrassment, Suarez got back to working hard. He largely avoided incident and led Liverpool to within one Steven Gerrard slip-up of the title (Rough 2014 for Stevie G). Against England on Friday, he was unplayable. He was being mentioned as worthy of a place in the football pantheon alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. And now, when the eyes of the entire world were upon him, he’s proven that he’s an unhinged lunatic.
4. What now for Suarez? The world had been singing Suarez’s praises. All was forgiven. His youthful indiscretions were behind him. After having earlier in the summer pledged his loyalty to Liverpool, Suarez had recently let it be known that he would consider a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona…and sure enough both Spanish clubs seemed to be on the brink of a bidding war for his services. Now? Liverpool could very well be stuck with an extremely expensive player serving an extremely (possibly season-long) suspension. We’ve been through this before with Suarez, many times, but it does feel as if this time, on the world’s biggest stage, it will be too much. His reputation may never recover.
5. Rough trips for big teams. Lost in the “Suarez the Vampire” hysteria is the fact that Italy will not be joining us for the round of 16. With England also failing to impress in its last shot to restore some dignity, it was a bad day for the European heavyweights. Spain is, of course, long gone (though the ousted champions did manage to have a better last game than England). Unlikely though it may seem, Germany could still go out. France will qualify, but from a weak group, and Russia looks clueless and probably destined to crash out as well. Unloved Greece, scrappy Belgium, and probably the Swiss will all be there to represent the continent, but whether it’s the Brazilian heat or a real failure of quality, the Old World is looking slow indeed.
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