Getting used to disappointment - Hall Without Paul, Week 9

Okay, thanks to GlennAA11, I've been able to find where these things are posted. These reports are on display at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door reading "Beware of the leopard." (Douglas Adams reference)

Seriously, this is a wonderful resource and all, but there's no divining from podcasts that one is meant to head over here to actually read the darn things.

And I hate to be That Guy, but Week 8's fallout from John Carver wasn't addressed last week, and now Grahame L. Jones going absolutely Nutter Butter over what happened in the LA-KC game is completely ignored. I happen to think that Grahame Jones was way, way off in his interpretations, but I'm a mere blogger, and he's the lead reporter for the LA Times. In other words, he's got at least twenty more readers than I do.

I realize these missives are primarily by and for referees, for use in refereeing. We fans are allowed to peek in at the sufferance of Mr. Tamberino, and should be grateful for this unprecedented privilege.

All of which is awesome blossom. But if coaches are going to unload week after week about policies that have been covered week after week in these public podcasts, suddenly switching to radio silence about the whole issue of dissent looks pretty weird. the most controversial calls of the week should be addressed - I think that helps referees as well as fans, players, and coaches. Well, maybe fans. Players and coaches are going to moan and complain in any case.

What did they cover, instead? Well, to their credit, they covered a topic that ended up being pretty important, which as far as I can tell no one has discussed - encroachment on penalty kicks. Perhaps this is Brian Hall (flying solo on the podcast this week) being very oblique...because the PK referenced turned out to be the one Dube kicked in, then celebrated with the rest of the Revolution in front of Columbus fans, one of whom had a video recorder and the brains of an ant cow....and had the penalty kick been retaken, things might have ended up differently. (Or Joseph simply scores on the re-take, and the same scenario happens anyway.)

There's also a good restatement of the policies on persistent infringement, which I approve of wholeheartedly. Of course, if those kinds of fouls aren't called in the first place, then the game still isn't beautiful. But it shows the refs' hearts are in the right place. Sigi Schmid made some sanctionable comments on this regarding the CUSA game, so one hopes there will be some follow-up on this.

Perhaps in the old days teams could be separated into hackers and divers, but now it seems like every team gives gainful employment to at least one of each. Very, very occasionally, they are the same person, such as Carlos Ruiz. The bottom line is, every coach in the league has a vested interest in protecting the reputation of both their particular diver, and their particular hacker, while calling down the wrath of the gods on the other team's diver and hacker. The bottom line of the bottom line is - coaches aren't going to help. League and federation-wide crackdowns on ubiquitous fouls will be fought every step of the way.

Posting this sort of thing publicly is a great first step - so many times this season a coach will rant about something that Tamberino or Hall have beaten to death on the podcast. Now, the coaches are striking back directly at the refs. This is no time to give ground. Fining is one thing, but what the coaches are complaining about must be addressed. If Schelotto is diving too much, if he's being hacked too much, or (most probable) both - these sorts of weekly reviews have to address that.

Oh, God, don't even get me started on goalkeepers wasting time. I'm in favor of it, but screw "stern warnings." The only way to prevent that tactic will be with red cards or waterboarding. Common sense - if a goalkeeper puts the ball in play too quickly, and gives up the tying or winning goal? He risks getting benched. He risks getting cut. These are the kinds of stakes we're talking about here. You'd better come up with something a little spicier than "stern warnings" to fight some of this stuff.