What's done is done

As Mr. Buckner previously pointed out, the French national soccer team was the beneficiary of an unbelievable screw-up by a referee in a World Cup qualifier France and Ireland tied 1-1 yesterday.

Thierry Henry committed a blatant double hand-ball to keep the ball from going out of bounds, then centered a pass to William Gallas, who knocked in the game-tying goal.

Ireland got robbed, screwed and daggered. But now some Irish players and officials are calling for the match to be replayed, and that cannot happen.

If we replayed every game drastically affected by a bad call, it would take 10 years to crown champions in every sport. They didn't replay the 'Jeffrey Maier' game in the 1996 ALCS, not the Maradona 'Hand of God' game, the 1972 gold medal basketball game in Munich - none of it.

Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni had the right idea, expressing his frustration and urging FIFA to use instant replay in the future, but also acknowledging that playing the game again is impossible.

Some Irish players, their government and soccer association feel differently. They've appealed to FIFA for the game to be replayed, going so far as to put the onus on the French to push for a replay. Here's a quote from Ireland's assistant manager, Liam Brady.

"If the game's going to survive, it's got to be an equal playing field. If we're going to have integrity and dignity in the world game, the game should be replayed. And we'll go to Paris to play it."

It's amazing he could fit so many ridiculous points into such a short statement. First of all, the integrity he's talking about, is that the same integrity that drives players to fake injuries and roll around on the ground during injury time to run out the clock? Or the dignity that causes them to flop any time they're in the penalty box and someone breathes on them?

Second, I don't think Mr. Brady needs to concern himself too much with the survival of international soccer. Last I checked, some countries take it so seriously that players have been killed after mistakes in big games. Killed.

Look, I understand these guys must be crushed. Playing in the World Cup is the pinnacle of soccer, maybe the pinnacle of all sports. But this isn't third grade, and you can't yell "D.O." when you get a bad break.

Whether the Irish like this or not (clearly they don't), these kinds of moments are part of what make sports great. Games decided by these kinds of blunders are often some of the most memorable, and while I wouldn't want the majority of games decided this way, sometimes it makes for incredible drama.

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