Sunday, July 11, 2010

Luis Suarez Handball & Joe Posnanski Blog Post

Granted, this is from a play now a week past, but I'm fascinated by the discussion around the Luis Suarez handball which prevented Ghana from defeating Uruguay in the World Cup Quarterfinals.

This particular putting up of his hand to block an end of the game goal resulted in Suarez being pilloried by many as having done something unsportsmanlike and morally wrong. An example of this I've seen in print has been from Grant Wahl who for Sports Illustrated wrote of the "cynical" play by Suarez.

Now, in considering whether Wahl is a bit over the top in his assessment of the Suarez play, one should consider the definition of the word... at least according to this source.

"An emotion of jaded negativity, or a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of other people. Cynicism can manifest itself by frustration, disillusionment and distrust in regard to organizations, authorities and other aspects of society, often due to previous bad experience. Cynics often view others as motivated solely by disguised self-interest."


Yea, I'd have to disagree with the depth of Wahl's commentary on the play and found myself fascinated by the Joe Posnanski blog post "Return of the Hand".

The approach in this piece isn't so much to look at whether the play was "morally acceptable", but rather the concept of rules in sports and motivation towards particular behavior. Comparisons of this play (and associated rule) are made against things like the goaltending rule in basketball, pass interference in football and even usage of steroids in baseball (especially the pre-testing era in MLB).

Really interesting stuff from Posnanski to consider...