Football Ineptitude Part 1. Penalties. Roberto Baggio shows how to lose a World Cup and other inept Football players.

May 16, 2011

This is the world cup and one supposes, what all the fuss is about.

Whether you think football is Gods gift to mankind or as interesting as a visit to a Ukrainian dentist, one thing is clear, football and footballers are a hotbed of ineptitude, both on and off the field. For the time being we are sticking to the pitch and what should be the easiest task there is for a professional footballer; kick. The penalty kick. Just kick it. Just kick the ball, preferably in a straight line, into the goal. It’s not rocket science, it’s your job. A footballer who can’t kick is like a politician who can’t talk or a french waiter who can’t be a miserable, impolite bastard; pointless and probably playing for Birmingham City.

So when entering the modern day arena of sport, expect inept things. The modern day colosseum (this is such crap. Why do football commentators compare football to ancient gladiatorial contests? There is no comparison. One involved being killed or killing someone or something in a hugely barbaric and violent way, probably involved dismemberment, beheading, flailing and resulted in gallons of blood, pain and suffering. The other is 22 men falling over, crying, insulting the referee, play-acting, diving and sometimes trying to kick a ball.) regularly lives up to its billing.

Take the blame™ has compiled some of the most tragically bad kicks the game has ever seen. In doing so we haven’t simply gone for Sunday league, hungover amateurs who spend most of the game fighting; no, we have chosen the crème de la crème too. In fact, we go all the way to the top for starters. To the world cup final of 1994.

Brazil went on to win the World Cup.

Enter stage right, Roberto Baggio. Having scored 5 goals, literally dragging Italy to the World Cup final, and with an injury to boot, The Pony-Tailed Assassin was on the verge of an Italian knighthood and ownership of the country. Had Italy won the world cup in 1994 it would have been on his shoulders. He could have walked into the presidential office and assumed power of the state. But sadly for him his penalty practice had obviously involved watching Diana Ross in the opening ceremony, for when the closing, final act came about; when it was time to kiss the girl in front of a setting sun on a Caribbean beach as the end credits roll, he fluffed his lines. Jimmy Stewart became Vin Diesel, and Italy lost the world cup. For a footballer there is obviously nothing better than winning the world cup and nothing worse than cocking it up.

So Roberto Baggio is here because of the magnitude of the error. At least he kicked the ball. At least the ball left the ground. At least he used his foot in a pendulum motion to levitate the ball off the ground. That the ball soared over the cross bar is by the by when you consider our next two inept candidates for the position of most inept footballer ever. From the World Cup final of 1994 we descend like a sinking ship to the 1991 HFS Northern Premier League Division One Cup Final of 1991. The gulf in class and the gulf in ineptitude is there for all to see. Enter Peter Devine playing for the mighty Lancaster against the equally mighty Whitby Bay.

As you can see, kicking was a touch out of his range of movements. He set his sights too high and failed miserably. He should have stuck to standing. But again there is hope. This is funny but also a little sad. You can see the momentum carry him to the ground, you hope he can stay on his feet, because we have all been there, but every time you watch it there is the same sad result. There is also the quality of the video and some early 1990s nostalgia creeps in. We don’t really blame Peter Devine for his ineptitude because we know we could probably go to the pub for a pint and laugh together at the comedy value of the moment. The next contestant receives no such pity, no such forgiveness. Mainly as it is so arrogant in its ineptitude; and the one thing which is worse than ineptitude is ineptitude brought about by arrogance. Enter Robert Pires. Even the name conjures up arrogant images.

Peter Devine kicked the ball. He fell over in the process, but there is no denying the ball moved. Not very far, but it moved. Kicking, in the loosest sense of the word, was achieved. The Arrogant Arsenal team of 2009 in a game against Manchester City produced the following crime against all that is sacred in football. Can you imagine Brian Cloughs reaction if it had been under his watch? “Just kick the fucking ball you arrogant, self-indulgent fucking ponsy premadoners.” Or something along these lines would have been his – and rightly so – reaction.

In South America if you miss a penalty you could very well end up dead. Which is why the next video makes sense. We can’t understand the commentary but we think it revolves around a possible betting and gambling scam involving Colombian and Mexican drug cartels and the possible cutting off of hands if the penalty is scored. Possibly.

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