On the heels of their otherwise nondescript 0-0 draw between Manchester United and Internazionale, some enterprising soccer writers decided to make a big deal out of ManU manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Inter manager/Special One Jose (joe-say) Mourinho not shaking hands after the match.
Mourinho supposedly “snubbed” Ferguson because The Special One was upset with the official’s handling of the match and, naturally, Ferguson disagreed with him. I would too if my club were on the road and four home-team players were booked.
The Inter Milan manager, of course, says the idea of him snubbing Ferguson is garbage, which it is, and that the two are “always friends.”
In response to questions about the officiating, Mister Alex said: “The referee (chew chew) was first class (chew chew).”
OK so I couldn’t resist a little shout out to Special1TV.
Anyway, this is the most ridiculous fake controversy ever, but along with fake injuries and fake rumors of transfer deals, it kind of fits in with the culture of international club soccer. The United/Inter game was so damn unremarkable, there had to be some kind of story for the press to hype up until the two teams meet at Old Trafford.
The bad news for ManU is they absolutely have to win their home game in the series and keep Inter from scoring, if at all possible, since away goals count as tie breakers in the Champion’s League.
Other sports do this crazy thing where teams either play one game for all the marbles or play an odd number of games to decide who wins things. Maybe we can save time in October and just whittle the World Series down to two games and use aggregate home and away home runs as the tie breaker. Even better, we could make all playoff series between NFL teams two games long and use aggregate home/away touchdowns as the tiebreaker. More football and less baseball is a good thing, after all.
Maybe soccer’s got something right.