Picture the seventh game of the NBA finals decided by a Vernon Maxwell shot taken a full four minutes after time had run out in the overtime period. This is an analogy to the way injury time is kept in World Cup soccer games. Only one person, the referee, knows how much time is left at the end of each period.
I have enjoyed my introduction to international soccer play, but I don't think Pat Riley would appreciate playing a guessing game at the end of each period.
RICHARD W. ADAMS
Win or lose, American soccer has graduated with distinction during World Cup '94. But what of our TV commentators. Al Trautwig easily topped the constant stream of gaffes by Roger Twibell, Randy Hahn and Jim Donovan, when, at sea as usual, he advised that referees' shirts could not be more than 45 years old. Ty Keough admitted bias by wanting Italy to beat Ireland, whom he castigated throughout their victory. Soccer's Golden Gall Award goes to Rick Davis, who criticized every kick of the Belgian and Dutch game, technically the finest so far. We deserve better.
FIFA should make an inquiry into the game between Argentina and Nigeria. The Swedish referee should be made to explain the very poor officiating in the game. He was very partial in that game. You see, it is not good for business (corporate sponsors) if mighty Argentina is beaten by newcomers from Africa.
JOSEPH E. ODIASE
What a bunch of jerks showed up at the USA-Romania match at the Rose Bowl. As the Romanian players were being introduced, a huge chorus of boos emerged from many of the fans. And these yahoos didn't even have the excuse of being drunk.
C'mon, folks, let's try to show a little class. These guys are guests in our country and their only crime is to try to win the game. I'm sure many others were as embarrassed as I was, but we are all made to look silly by the actions of a few primitives.
ROBERT E. GOYETTE
Rolling Hills Estates
No wonder soccer isn't popular here. To celebrate, Mexico's supporters went to Huntington Park to loot and riot. True futbol fans want their hooliganism in the stadium, where they can see it.
Any American will watch the U.S. team against the muscle of a foreign competitor. But would the audience be there for one professional U.S. team against another? Probably not.
It's safe to say that soccer has won a place in the hearts of Americans . . . every four years.
Why is there so little interest in soccer by Americans? Because it's a dull game.
The foreign players call it football, but in soccer, you pass with your forehead and you run with the ball between your feet.
Is it any wonder the final score is 0-0?
Why all the flap from the anti-soccer folks about a lack of scoring in the world's most popular sport? A major difference between soccer and football scoring is that in the latter, six points are awarded for crossing the goal line rather than one. And don't forget that boring, automatic conversion kick to make it seven.
I think it's time we appease the point-crazed American sports fan. Let's make a soccer goal worth 20 points in America. That way a game that now ends with a dull 2-1 score would become an exciting 40-20. What about those dreary ties? Wouldn't we be a lot happier with a 40-all result? And a 100-0 wipeout would provide plenty of material for those now-converted sportswriters to endlessly extol the greatness of some powerful soccer machine.
It seems that your World Cup contributors are unable to mention Ireland without mentioning alcohol. Do you really think we Irish enjoy being characterized as the world's greatest drunkards?
Sure, the Irish like to drink alcohol. But in this day and age, in a paper such as yours, I would have thought that you could come up with something a bit more insightful, a bit more politically correct than to simply bleat, "The Irish Are Drunks."
When will U.S. sports fans finally take soccer seriously? About the same time Americans wholeheartedly adopt the metric system into their daily lives.
After watching portions of Belgium vs. Netherlands and Saudi Arabia vs. Morocco, I believe one could tape soccer matches and sell them for a sedative.