Monday, June 28, 2010

England's Non Goal vs Germany

Whenever I see a controversial play like the England non-goal goal against Germany, I can’t help but think of one play in particular.

I immediately think of the AJ Pierzynski dropped third strike in the 2005 ALCS against the Angels. I think, these plays are surprisingly similar. In both situations the player had no idea what happened, but since they didn’t hear a whistle or feel the catcher tag them out, they realized that the play was still alive. The German goalie, Manuel Neuer, claims he did see the ball go well over the goal line. He did the logical thing and picked up the ball and sent it down field. The NY Times reported Neuer’s post game comments,

“I tried not to react to the referee and just concentrate on what was happening,” Neuer said on Sunday in remarks quoted in the British press. “I realized it was over the line and I think the way I carried on so quickly fooled the referee into thinking it was not over.
“Then I saw it on the television in the doping control office and saw what actually happened,” Neuer said of the goal that would have tied the Germany-England game at 2-2 in the first half. “And, yes, it was over. It should have been a goal for England. Probably about two meters.”

Now, I know what most of you out there are thinking. That was a dirty play, he should have stopped play and allowed the goal to score. While this is the case, his decision was also a smart one. He put the ref in the spot to make the call. If the ref saw it correctly and awarded England the goal, the result would have been the same as it would have been if he stopped playing. However, because of his actions the ref had to make a call, and incorrectly called in favor of the Germans.

AJ’s 2005 play was also very heads up play. AJ did not see where the ball was caught or if it was in fact dropped, but he knew it was low, and he didn’t get tagged, so he ran to first. He put the ump in the position to make the call, and the ump called in favor of AJ. Here are AJ’s comments on the play “I didn't hear him call me out, so I thought, I thought for sure the ball hit the ground. I watched the replay 50 different times and I still don't know. The third strike is in the dirt, you run. Josh didn't tag me, I think he thought he called it, and I just ran, and luckily it worked out.”

I know the haters will be out from England fans, just like the haters came out from the Angels fans five years ago. All I ask is, before you get down to hard on AJ or Neuer if they were playing for your team?


  1. Damn, I didn't even think of that comparison! It's true though. And well-played by both guys.

    Refs have a rough job and MAN do they look like fools when they screw it up.

  2. And that's why I never ever want to be a Ref. You can have a 99% perfect game, but only thing everyone will talk about is that 1%