The World Cup start was utterly terrible, and we couldn’t be happier.

We deliberated on this and came to the conclusion that the first World Cup game was as successful as could have been expected.

It was terrible, Qatar played poorly, and in the first five minutes, everyone vented their frustrations with the video assistant referee. Absolutely perfect conditions for the first game of this World Cup.

Sooner or later, a football game will come around that is truly outstanding, and we’ll find ourselves getting pumped up about it. No, tonight’s game was not that game, and the longer we can keep our superior contempt for this tournament intact, the better.

Most importantly, we have a juvenile interest in Qatar’s failure. And there was no way to make it better than this. Their honking might be heard. The Ecuadorian national team, which is merely average on the world stage, put in half an hour of focused effort and an hour of shrewd low-energy game management, neither of which appeared to have any negative consequences. They never dropped below level with Qatar, and it now seems like a hilariously disastrous error on the part of the hosts that they haven’t spent any time in the past 12 years attempting to find and train a good goalkeeper.

A lot of people would think it’s a bit apparent that a VAR decision should go Qatar’s way three minutes into the tournament. They could call it a hack job or say it would never have made it out of the writers’ room. First, we’d want to point out that the criticism of “bit on the nose, sloppy writing” is really hackneyed and overused, so by phrasing it in this way, we’re able to have our cake and eat it too. Two, and more significantly, no. That was superb. The perfect way to kick off the competition. A VAR ruling for the people of Twitter.

We were hoping against hope that this game would be dull and that Qatar would get thoroughly blown out, and that’s exactly what happened. But that meant there had to be some banter along the way to keep people going, and the VAR nonsense that ensued was fantastic fun. To the extent that the game must be damaged, make it entertaining if at all possible.

The finest kind of VAR judgment is an offside call like this one. They’ve made it acceptable for everyone to use the term “technically correct” in a condescending context, which is OK by me because the term simply means “right.” It’s crucial to remember that the clamor for VAR was largely motivated by the fact that judgments like this one—which was a textbook example of why it’s necessary to use VAR in the first place—were never given offside before VAR.

It’s almost as though the unforeseen effects of handing defective technology wide-ranging capacity to influence in football matches are becoming apparent. Seriously, who would have thought that? We’ve seen the alternative and determined it’s worse, so if we want to get rid of joy-sapping, moment-stealing “technically right” judgments like today’s, we have to not only do rid with VAR, but also forbid interminable debate of “poor decisions” that go against our teams. I’m very certain football isn’t prepared for that discussion.

However, VAR will need to improve its explanatory abilities if it is to remain as it currently is. Displaying one inconclusive replay followed by radio silence for 10 minutes did nothing to slow the spread of confirmation bias and conspiracy theories that were already sweeping the internet. The “semi-automated” system’s graphics were shockingly subpar when we finally saw the supporting evidence for the decision. It’s probably for the best that we all caught our first glimpse of them during a meaningless game, in a situation that had no bearing on the outcome. Everyone is now, at the very least, prepared for the upcoming shitstorms.

The BBC coverage was actually pretty adept at handling the elephant in the studio during the pre-match segment, but a lovely bit of VAR huffing allowed them to move on. There was no pretense at “sticking to football” as Alex Scott and Alan Shearer both gave eloquent speeches about the problems surrounding the tournament. Even Shearer’s ties to Newcastle were brought up in order to close off any more room for whataboutery or diversion from the dishonest.

However, the entire situation seems strange because Shearer seems to be just as worked up about VAR as he was about migrant labor. It’s a hopeless predicament, with no good options other than either totally immersing oneself in or completely ignoring the sport. What little control Gary Lineker and the rest of the group had over the situation, they used to great use.

Dion Dublin’s turn as a co-commentator, on the other hand, was frequently weird. As often as he wasn’t trying to offer precise medical diagnoses of various on-field injuries (at one point surely breaking the world record for most repetitions of the word “knee” in a 15-second period), he was praising the non-stop singing of the Qatar fans in a manner usually reserved for non-league supporters having a cracking day out at Goodison Park or Elland Road in the FA Cup third round.

fifa world cup 2022

In our defense, not much happened in the second half, so we spent a lot of time trying to figure out why he was such a terrible co-commentator on the sport he played professionally for two decades, despite being a perfectly competent host of a popular daytime TV show about sprucing up houses for profit.

It was crucial that Qatar was defeated, and the early VAR confusion followed by Ecuador being given and scoring a penalty did much to impede the spread of the conspiracy claims. We’ll admit to being frightened by the hipsters with the long beards who’ve spent the previous few weeks saying things like “Don’t write Qatar off, they’re no mugs actually,” but we’re relieved to report that Qatar are, in fact, trash.

Perhaps they were frightened, as they appeared to be, and perhaps their goalie will refrain from staging his own nasty protest against the tournament in future games. However, past host nations must have felt the same way before their first game, and yet no host nation has ever lost. Qatar has already lost this game with less than half an hour remaining.

And after today, they will never play a team of a lower quality than Ecuador. From what we witnessed in goal and defense, the Netherlands have the potential to completely destroy them if they show the necessary courage.

The path to qualification for Qatar has become excruciatingly long, and we couldn’t be happier about it. This is how we’re dealing with everything.

When the World Cup is held in a country that is not known for its footballing heritage, spectators tend to show some support for the home team. Put simply, it’s the country of South Africa. The Japanese and the South Koreans. Yes, even those savage Americans of 1994.

When the hosts are enthusiastic and engaged from the start, the event benefits greatly. That’s how to have the most fun possible with your friends. However, such is not the case here. With that in mind, the finest copium for this event will be the hosts’ quick exit from the action on the field. At least that shouldn’t be an issue anymore, unlike just about everything else at this cursed event.

1 Response

  1. Seriesmjw says:

    new texts were rewritten

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