Monday, November 17, 2008

Odd and confusing signals.

Unusual story in the Globe today.

Basically a no holds barred sycophantic love story to a returned US Marine who now plays soccer (well, actually, he's a bench guy) for U Mass. The story in itself revolves around how many 'insurgents' the Marine has killed in Iraq. Super duper. It's always good having your morning coffee reading about how some chap knocked off 50 other human beings and is now reaping in the accolades for same.

The section that was most unusual comes right at the end. Bear in mind, this piece was in the Globes sports section.

"It's good for the team to see I have their back," said Piekos. "In our game against Vermont, our midfielder Ben Arikian got tackled dirty. I was the first one off the bench. I'm trained that it takes 32 pounds of torque to snap a human's neck. But that was never in my mind. I never planned on laying a finger on him. I just pointed towards my jugular [vein] and carotid [artery] in the neck and then towards them. They saw that and they got intimidated. I don't start fights.''

Excellent, I don't start fights, I just make signs/gestures that suggest I am going to snap my opponents neck. Nice work, very commendable. Okay first thing that jumps to mind is, the Globe appears to be glorifying a pretty horrific gesture. Isn't that motion banned in the NFL? Haven't they gone out of their way to get rid of that kind of thing?

It doesn't really matter if this glorified Rambo type was giving the sign to a cowering 'terrorist', Adolf Hitler or Ghengis Khan, what is unsettling is the Globe's apparent slathering, sycophantic adoration of him for doing so. When kids start using the 'neck break' on high school sports fields, will the Globe perhaps rethink their adulation of this gesture?

You would love to know what the referee made of the 'I am going to break your neck' gesture during the game? Yellow card? Quick word on the side, something along the lines of 'Eh, son, you can't motion that you are going to break an opponents neck!'. Or, did he allow this? I imagine it would be some sort of offence against the Patriot act to give the kid a yellow card for this? I wonder what would happen if this occurred in MLS? I know what would happen in the Premiership, La Liga or the Bundesliga. The player would be banned for at least 5-8 games.

It's not exactly what you would call a proportionate response either. A bad tackle leads to a broken neck? How does that work?

At the end of the day, thanks to the Globe, at least we all now know that it takes 32lbs of torque to snap the human neck. You just don't know when that might come in handy!

One final thought, think Paul Pierce has read this story as yet? Can he ask for his money back on the basis that the Globe seems to think menacing gestures are okay now?



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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

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