Field Theory by Hadyn Green


Just a Glitch

It could've been the greatest upset of all time. In front of a packed arena an unknown, playing with borrowed equipment, who shouldn't have even been in the match, versus one of the world's best. Yet they held their own for the majority of the shortened match.

I refer of course to the remarkable match between Tommy Haas and 15yr-old ball girl Chloe Chambers. Haas' real opponent (Michael Llondra) had crashed out of court into another ball girl, and had to retire hurt.

Feeling disappointed, perhaps, that his game had come to such an early end, his opponent, Tommy Haas, the German 24th seed, decided to play on with another of the ball girls on court…

The pair knocked up for five minutes in the 11,393 capacity stadium.

Meanwhile in the same time zone an actual massive upset was going on.

USA 2 – Spain 0

Is this one of the seven signs? Or is it more of a glitch? Football is the sport that has the highest probability of an upset (based on historical data). And the Americans have been pretty lucky in this competition.

They needed to beat Egypt by three goals and have Brazil beat Italy by three. And it happened. Side note: the Egyptian team were robbed while celebrating their victory over Italy, they claimed it was the hotel cleaning staff, but it later emerged that the culprits were more likely the prostitutes the players brought back to their rooms. What goes on tour?

But is the American victory of the European champs an indicator of anything? American's have traditionally been very strong in women's football, perhaps the men are stepping up. And despite fighting a losing battle against the other major league sports the MLS seems to have a strong fan base (driven, I imagine, by ex-pats). A large number of the American squad play in England, so will have gained some experience of the European style of play. Or perhaps it was just dumb luck.

The most interesting thing was watching Sportscentre tonight. They covered the game while making all kinds of odd comparisons. "Watch as [American goalkeep] Tim Howard becomes like Tim Thomas, the Bruins goalie and best goaltender in the league". And after the match ESPN showed some great American upsets and streak-ending games. They really don't "get" football over there.

In fact the big news, and really it's pretty big, is that the Phoenix Suns have traded Shaquille O'Neal to the Cleveland Cavaliers (for Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, a 2nd round draft pick and a pile of cash).

Back home the story of the French player Mathieu Bastareaud being attacked by a group of Pacific Islanders is slowly unravelling (as was insinuated in PAS this week). Does every foreign rugby tour have to end with a police investigation into team antics in a hotel room?

And speaking of rugby Steve Tew is getting it from all angles: they don't like him in Christchurch and we're all just bored with rugby really no matter he says.

By the way, free-to-air Wimbledon! Yay TVNZ!

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