RCS Sidelines

April 20, 2010 7:45 AM

We Need More Sore Losers

saf.jpgOne of the most entertaining things about international soccer (don't shoot me purists) is the complete lack of restraint from some of the best coaches in the world. From Sir Alex Ferguson's quasi-racist attack on Bayern Munich to Bayern coach Louis van Gaal claiming that their Champions League semifinal match-up against Lyon is no longer "fair" because the French FA postponed Lyon's match the weekend before the second leg of their Champions League semifinal to Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez eviscerating Ferguson, claiming he gets preferential treatment from officials, soccer coaches have a penchant for the dramatic--and I love it.

Take Ferguson for example. After Bayern knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League quarterfinals, he claimed that the German side was not only trying to injure Wayne Rooney, but also forced the ref to give a red card to Rafael da Silva, dismissively calling them "typical Germans."

When would you ever hear an NFL coach--or a coach in any other American sport for that matter--say things like this? The most enjoyable soundbites we get are from circus acts like Jim Mora. And usually they're only ripping on their own team.

Can you imagine Coach K saying "typical Italians" if the Italian team flopped their way to a win over Team USA in the Olympics? Jay Mariotti and Woody Paige would have a death match on national TV, we'd have an "Outside the Lines" panel (and maybe even a congressional investigation) and Mike Tirico would lecture us about the dangers of xenophobia during a Monday Night Football broadcast.

I, for one, would be OK if our leagues loosened up a little bit and let our coaches and players act like petulant children more often. It would not only make press conferences more entertaining, but we'd also develop more genuine rivalries instead of the rather polite, manufactured rivalries that exist today. Joakim Noah's doing his part, but others need to get involved.

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