I'll start by apologizing for talking football once again, but defend myself by arguing that it's the end of the season and that whatever happens I have every right to talk football because who knows when my team is going to get the chance to lose in the final of the Champions League again.
The topic of discussion now is Tottenham, who actually made an official request to the English Football Association (the FA) to have their match against Westham replayed because most of the first team members suffered from food poisoning. During the "real" game that took place this Sunday (Monday, Aussie time), Westham did Arsenal one major favor by beating Tottenham and ensuring Bergkamp's last domestic match ever ended with a high note as Arsenal took the 4th place that leads to next year's Champions League which leads to lots of money while Tottenham has to settle for 5th place and the much less prestigious UEFA Cup.
First, I have to say that anyone who can ask for a replay under such circumstances is a loser that deserves to be relegated from big time football. As much as I appreciate the guy, Arsenal's Wenger is a quite specialist whiner, but I doubt even he would stoop so low. Tottenham themselves scored a dubious goal against Arsenal not too long ago while two Arsenal players were lying down, and while Wenger made a big fuss of it no one ever dreamt of having a rematch. Arsenal are still making a fuss of that incident, and I'm sure Tottenham will make a big fuss of theirs for some time, but both should move on. It's just a sport, for crying out loud.
Second, I have trouble with the philosophical idea of having a rematch. A game is played, and whatever happens happens; theoretically, because it's just a game, we should not focus on the mistakes that happen during the game but rather learn to accept them and hope they will even out during the season in the sense of "you win some you lose some".
A couple of weeks ago, an AFL (Aussie rules football) where one team was leading as the siren ended the game ended up in a draw after the referee failed to hear the siren. The elders of the league decided to change the decision in favor of the team that led during the siren's call, stating that the game ends when the siren sounds. I have one thing to say: Bullshit.
According to this logic, every game that was ever played should be adjusted, because every one of them has referee mistakes. There could always be contentions about yes offside no offside, yes foul no foul, yes red card or no, and one team can always say that a particular decision or lack of by the referee has totally fucked up its game.
The point is, we shouldn't care, because we should accept the fact that the rules of the game mean we should take whatever happens as it happens because that's what the game is defined like.
The problem is, of course, that is no longer a game for quite a while now. Once money enters the equation, the "sport" factor is diminished into tiny proportions, and all people can see is the green.
And that's sad. As well as pathetic.
I'll finish the discussion by quoting from that prestigious British newspaper, known throughout the world for its precision journalism and its third page:
THE chef at the centre of the Trot-enham Hotspur food poisoning probe insisted last night: I am NOT an Arsenal fan.
Maurice Reuben-Sealey prepared the lasagne blamed for tummy bugs that ended Spurs Champions League hopes. But he angrily denied his dish was a health hazard and said he had no idea why ten players fell ill before their crunch game against West Ham. Maurice, of Camberwell, South East London, told a pal yesterday: I seem to be the focus of the investigation, but it was nothing to do with me. I have been asked whether I support the Gooners but that's absolute bull****! I don't support any team. There was nothing unusual about the meat and nothing wrong at all as far as I was aware. The police have taken away a sample of the dish and I have made a statement. I have a good reputation in the industry and there was nothing I could do. I know that lasagne was perfect.
Ten Spurs players including Edgar Davids, Michael Carrick and Robbie Keane were stricken at the five-star Marriot hotel in Canary Wharf. All the stars dined in a private room on Saturday night. Next day they lost 2-1, leaving Arsenal to claim fourth place and the final European cup spot. Health officials will not know the exact cause of the bug until Thursday.
The reason why I quoted this exhibit of investigative journalism should be obvious to the eagle eyed amongst thee: We know who did it. We know who is responsible for Tottenham's food poisoning.
And if you're too slow, let me explain.
Maurice Reuben? I beg to differ.
"Maurice" is none other than the French version of the originally Hebrew name Moshe (also known as Moses in English speaking countries). "Reuben" is none other than the Latin version for the Hebrew name Reuven or Reuveni.
Got it? It was I. I was the one that poisoned the Tottenham team!