Tuesday, June 20, 2006

World Cup referees: Arbiters of justice and honor (cb: 2006)

You there, number 14 in the white shirt and navy blue shorts. You have committed an act of unsportsmanship and brought dishonor upon yourself and your teammates. Do not protest, for I have already determined that you did indeed wrong your opponent by kicking him with malice in your heart, not to mention the foot inside your shoe. See him rolling on the ground, holding his shin and wincing? You have debilitated your loyal opposition for a matter of several seconds. This grievous transgression must be dealt with swiftly and severely. Here...hold on a second...I have something here in my pocket. Where is it? I had it when I left the house...Ah, here it is! Behold the yellow card! Look at it. Be a man and accept your punishment; the display of a small yellow index card. I hold it above shoulder height so that all in the immediate vicinity may look upon it and heap scorn upon you. Even now, I see you blister inwardly with shame, as well you should. For I had no intent of brandishing this yellow card if a spirit of fair play could be maintained throughout this contest. But alas, you have forced my hand and I now have no choice but to hold the yellow card aloft and turn slowly in a semi-circle. Now, I would like to put this card away and resume this exciting 0-0 contest but first I must have your word as a man of honor that you will comport yourself in the manner of a true sportsman as this glorious game demands. For if I do not receive your pledge and further malfeasance occurs, then my only recourse will be to reach into my other pocket and retrieve the red card, which will result in your banishment from the field of play, much to the displeasure of your loyal spectators who even now are urinating on immigrants as they await to pummel me with stones and bottles as I attempt to leave the stadium.

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