Soccer offsides rule is agreement not to score behind your opponent’s back

The US pretends the International Criminal Court doesn’t have jurisdiction over its war crimes, and thinks the same immunity should shield us from FIFA referees I guess.
 
The USA-Algeria match today was hard fought, admittedly team USA displayed an offensive edge. Rooting for Team Weasel Empire doesn’t automatically make you a Nazi, but I’ll be curious to hear firsthand accounts of the hostility our compatriots faced in the stands. The silver lining to a US victory is that eventually our sportscasters will have to apologize to American TV viewers about the constant booing whenever USA gets the ball.

Vuvuzelas may turn out to be a fortuitous annoyance for Western broadcasters. They mask the dynamics of how the spectators are really responding. I was slow to realize what I was hearing during the USA-Algeria match, a consistent switch from boos to cheers whenever the ball changed hands. I’m surprised I didn’t see more commentary about it.

Honestly, the TV talking heads spoke of the US supporter presence being “huge,” and didn’t bat an eye at the eruption of disapproval when Landon Donovan scored the last minute goal to net a USA victory.

The next match pits the US against Ghana, which sets up a plausible excuse for why the entire stadium will be cheering against the USA. Much as I’d like to see an African team advance, I hope the Americans survive, because the more American stateside see our athletes jeered and booed, the sooner our sorry imperialist swagger can face abrupt self-reflection.

Eduardo Galeano’s SOCCER IN SUN AND SHADOW offers a great explanation of the Offsides Rule. Simply put, it reflects the gentleman’s agreement not to go behind your adversary’s back. What sport is there to kicking at an unprotected goal?

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