Goalkeeper has defenders
JOHANNESBURG - On Saturday, U.S. team captain Carlos Bocanegra made a plea for Robert Green. Encircled by a group of media - both English and American alike - Bocanegra said he hoped the British papers would go easy on Green, who an hour before had fumbled England's chances in an eventual 1-1 tie.
JOHANNESBURG - On Saturday, U.S. team captain Carlos Bocanegra made a plea for Robert Green.
Encircled by a group of media - both English and American alike - Bocanegra said he hoped the British papers would go easy on Green, who an hour before had fumbled England's chances in an eventual 1-1 tie.
Upon hearing Bocanegra's request, the English media types looked up from their notepads and offered a collective "not gonna happen."
Here's a look at Sunday's headlines and one-liners from our sterling-spending friends:
And - the best - "Hand of Clod."
Fore! Perhaps Bocanegra should have pleaded with the American media as well, because there's more news about our favorite goalkeeper:
On Sunday, Green went golfing with teammates Wayne Rooney and Peter Crouch.
What was he supposed to do? Cry in his tea like millions of his countrymen? No, Green - he of the now much You-Tubed goalkeeping blunder that cost his country a couple of World Cup points - was smiling and laughing at Sun City's Lost City Golf Course, designed by Gary Player.
Vexed by vuvuzelas. After French Captain Patrice Evra's harsh words about the vuvuzela, the organizing committee admitted it hasn't ruled out banning the noisy little trumpets, which are the hit of the World Cup.
Evra said the vuvuzelas were a factor in his team's disappointing scoreless draw with Uruguay. Evra did not say whether the vuvuzelas were to blame for his team's pre-World Cup exhibition loss to Japan, for France's general lethargic play in the months before the World Cup, or for the BP oil spill.
Evra's exact words: "We can't sleep at night because of the vuvuzelas. People start playing them from 6 a.m. We can't hear one another out on the pitch because of them."
British territory. At Saturday's match in Rustenburg, U.S. supporters were said to outnumber those for England. That was difficult to swallow considering about a third of England's fans brought with them a giant England banner and draped it over the stadium's railings. The ring of red and white gave the impression that, just like the bulk of the on-field chances, the stadium belonged to the English.
Good seats still available. Although ticket sales for this World Cup are the second-highest ever, the stadiums themselves have not been filled, causing the organizing committee to analyze the discrepancy. Most notably, two weekend games - Greece vs. South Korea and Slovenia vs. Algeria - had about 10,000 empty seats. FIFA officials said that thousands of fans were failed by the transportation system and traffic, while thousands more just failed to show up.
"A number of people did not show up to the stadium," a FIFA spokesman said. "We have been investigating and we are still investigating it."
Even four hours after game's end, at nearly 3 o'clock Sunday morning, the drive from Rustenburg to Johannesburg was delayed because of traffic on the one-lane road that extends for about 30 miles.
Fan-friendly. In Johannesburg, clouds are nonexistent. Throughout the city and its suburbs are fan fests, live screenings of the day's games enclosed inside a separated area. To enter, a ticket must be purchased. Usually the viewing screens are bigger than the side of a building.
And vuvuzelas are welcomed.