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Saturday, July 03, 2010 - 18:39 SGT
Posted By: Gilbert

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The Hero Cheat

"Therefore it is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them... to appear merciful, faithful, humane, religious, upright, and to be so, but with a mind so framed that should you require not to be so, you may be able and know how to change to the opposite..."
- Machiavelli, The Prince

Take a bow, Luis Suarez!

Rigid Morality 0 Real-life Pragmatism 1 (Source: Yahoo! Sports)

"What he did probably 99.9% of players would do.
The rest just have slower reaction time."

- RedCafe Forums

This latest bit of chicanery conveniently came after my little piece on football ethics, and the summary is that an Uruguayan player, Luis Suarez, stopped a certain goal with his hands on the line, with almost no time remaining [N.B. this situation was previously mentioned on this blog]; Unlike many other infractions at the World Cup, this one was spotted and Suarez was sent off and a penalty given to Ghana, but Ghana missed, and eventually lost.

Again, two issues, as with England: a) did Suarez cheat? and b) did he do the right thing? My answers are again: Yes and yes.

I should expand on a): Suarez is a cheater, but to the extent that almost all professional footballers are cheaters (I was tempted to say all, but refrained as such a paragon of virtue may exist... just that I have yet to see one). Has there been a player who has gone through a career without illegally impeding another? Oh, but it's just a matter of degree...

Doubtless debate on Suarez's Palms of Providence is raging on messageboards throughout cyberspace, and I offer this RedCafe thread as an example of the common viewpoints professed. Most did agree that he did the right thing [which was question (b) above]; There is however more dissention on whether he had "cheated".

The usual points were brought up: A popular one was that he was caught (and knew quite well that he would be) and punished with a red card and a penalty kick, so it was not really cheating, just playing to the rules; This earned rejoinders such as it's cheating in the same way that stealing a car is theft, and that the punishment is irrelevant. My observation is that if Suarez stole a car, most other players steal FM radios and television sets almost every game.

Multiple times.

Sure, it doesn't mean that the car thief should be protected from reproach, but it does beg the question of whether he is disproportionately picked on, as but one thief among many.

The next amusing observation was that when stuff like Solskjaer's last ditch tackle and Scholes' handball against Fulham were trotted out (both of them being well-liked true United legends), justifications such as "the striker that Solskjaer fouled still had the keeper to beat, so it's not really comparable", and "Scholes was unlucky, it was instinctive" came out of the woodwork.

It's different when it's your thief, see...

They loot, we "find". Completely different *wink*
(Source: boingboing.net)

"If you're not cheating, you're not trying."
- Mark Grace

Also, after Brazil lost to Holland (thanks to Melo unable to be mellow - if Brazil have a weakness, it's them not being able to deal with being behind), I'm currently offering my support services to any interested parties. For a token fee, I will transfer my now-free-again allegiance to any team of one's choosing for the remainder of their World Cup (which should then be very short). Any takers?

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Next: The Cup At World's End

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