The first game that is ….WORLD CUP SOUTH AFRICA 2010 is in play…. RIGHT NOW!!
For all you non-football fans, here is a primer on basic rules and a terminology re-cap for that bar brawl lingo you may want to voice to impress someone special or inform that OTHER guy that he and his team are done for (as in; on the field and from another round). I will provide you with some clutch players for several teams competing.
So here it is… a bit of soccer speak:
- PLayers on the field: 11 v. 11, 10 players on each side and a goalie
- Time played consists of two halves of 45 min each with a 15 min break which does not include injury time or overtime
- Added time: Minutes tacked on before halftime or the end of the game, at the referee’s discretion, due to excessive flopping, fouling, or injuries during the course of play. Added time is inevitable, which explains why you will always see play continue after the clock has reached ninety minutes.
- Big man: Term used by commentators when either they can’t remember a player’s
name or it is deemed unpronounceable, as in “The big man from Ghana has done
- Caps: The number of times a player has played in a game for his national team
- Clean sheet: A shutout. It allegedly dates back to the 1930s, when journalists
used different sheets of paper to record stats for either team. If one team
didn’t allow a goal, their sheet remained clean.
- Group of Death: Not a Moldovian thrash-metal band, but rather the World Cup
group containing three or more quality teams from which only two can advance.
2010’s Group G (Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast, North Korea) is a prime example.
- Offside: The hardest thing to explain about the game of soccer. To be caught
loitering between the goalkeeper and defense before the ball is passed to you
is to be caught offside.
- Pitch: The field (diagram above). Oddly, there is no precise size. A pitch must only be between
110 and 120 yards long and seventy to eighty yards wide.
- Set Piece: A free kick, corner kick, or throw-in to restart the game using a play choreographed
on the training ground. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo is lethal at both executing free kicks and gaining them courtesy of Louganis-worthy dives.
- Sitter: Think botched slam dunk. A goal-scoring opportunity that even the most hapless of players could not possibly miss (yet frequently do).
- WAGs: Tabloid acronym for “wives and girlfriends” of players, typically on English national squad.
- Wanker in black: An affectionate nickname for the referee, the poor dentist/librarian/tax collector who moonlights as the all-knowing arbiter
in the middle of the field and who is sometimes clad in black.
- Yellow card (a.k.a. “booking”)/red card (a.k.a. “sending off”): The yellow is flashed for a bad foul, while the red is reserved for more violent
incidents and is akin to an ejection in the NBA. Two yellow cards in the same game equals a red card and an early shower.
Got it down? Good! Now its time to KICK IT.
USA first plays tomorrow 6/12/2010.
I cant wait to see these boys sweat!