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Drama queens
Even our sporting events are filled with tragedy

Siamack Baniameri
July 27, 2004

I had the misfortune of watching the rerun of Iran vs. Oman soccer game over the weekend. The game was an amazing combination of irony and paradox. What a sickening experience. We Iranians are the kings and queens of drama. Even our sporting events are filled with tragedy.  This was not soccer, it was real life.

From the first minutes of the match you could easily feel the tension in the air. The Iranian players were tense and up tight. They reminded me of a bunch of pissed off employees of a morally bankrupt company who are forced by the management to play nice together. They embodied a group of teenagers who were forced out of their beds in early hours of a Saturday morning to do yard work. None of them looked as they had any interest in being there.

There were no rooms for error since each player was dealing with ten coaches on the field. Everybody was a coach and nobody was present to play. There were yelling and shouting everywhere accompanied by bitch-slapping and occasional spiting and stumping which made for an entertaining reality show.

The apparent problem was the fact that we were playing against an Arab team. There used to be a time when we Iranians blamed all our problems on Brits and Americans, but nowadays it's fashionable to blame our own shortcomings on Arabs. "Them fucking Arabs, let's show them who the boss is!"

Our players don't seem to be able to perform well against Arab teams because there is certain emotional leakage that we Iranians are incapable of controlling. We have got it in our heads that we are superior to Arabs, and once we get on the field against an Arab team and realize that "them fucking Arabs" are not bad players, all of a sudden we find ourselves hitting a wall of mental blockage.

We see ourselves standing on a soccer field facing our two worst imaginary enemies: Arabs and ourselves. We don't seem to be able to trust each other. We sabotage our own teammates because we find ourselves more comfortable in a position of defeat. Glory is out of the ordinary for us while defeat is our comfort zone.

We tend to bring our personal issues to the soccer filed. Our players see the national team as a platform to enforce their own personal agendas. In the game of soccer all glories go to strikers and many hardly ever remember the names of defenders who bust their asses for ninety minutes to stop the other team from scoring.

Ali Daie and Mahdavi-Kia grab all the headlines while Rahman Rezaei and Ali Badavi are hardly ever mentioned -- unless they slap each other like little bitches during a nationally televised game.  "So what the hell, man. Why should I bust my ass and let Mahdavi-Kia the lucrative contracts?"

But the officiating was by far the worst part of the game. Being a soccer referee is the public toilet of all professions. No matter what call you make, there is always some one on the field that is unhappy with your call. You get pushed around, insulted, and sometimes even attacked by pissed off players, coaches, and fans. I found the below headline this morning in a newspaper which made me extremely happy:

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) -- A South African soccer referee pulled a gun and shot dead a coach who quesioned one of his rulings, police said.

"There was an altercation... and the referee became threatened when the other team approached him because they were angry," Govender said. "So he pulled out a gun and killed the coach of the visiting team." >>> See

It's about time a referee took matters in his own hands and took care of the business the way it should be. Maybe the fruity governing body that regulates soccer (FIFA) should adopt this method for future games.

FIFA should arm all referees with a pistol and all linesmen should get an automatic machine gun instead of those stupid flags. Forget yellow and red cards. If a player commits intentional foul, the ref should pull out his pistol and warn the player with a shot in the air. If the player does not get the message and repeat his transgression then the ref should shoot the fucker in the knee. Nothing like blowing a fruity soccer player's kneecap to send a clear message to other players to stop fouling.

As a matter fact the ref should let the offending player stay on the field and bleed for a while. Let's see if any of them overpaid soccer pros will ever commit a cheap foul to stop the other team from attacking.

If players of the offending team rush the ref or threaten him bodily harm by getting too close, then the linesmen should pull out their machine guns and take out the entire team. You will see that the quality of the game will improve tremendously and soccer will be more entertaining and a better game for all of us to watch.

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By Siamack Baniameri




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