In the Super Bowl, there have been many players/coaches who can be blamed for their team’s loss; Jerramy Stevens for the Seattle Seahawks; Rex Grossman, the quarterback for the Chicago Bears; and Bill Belichick, the coach of the New England Patriots. America will always remember these antiheroes and every year watching football, they will be brought up by the announcers.
These men only have to be scrutinized by Americans but John Terry, Chelsea central defender and captain, will have the whole world judging him for the rest of his life.
On May 21, the Champions League Final occurred on a battered, wet and almost unplayable field in Moscow, Russia. The pace of the game was slow and scoring was limited with the score being 1-1 after extra time, but Manchester United was victorious after penalty kicks, 6-5 over Chelsea.
This was only made possible by Terry slipping and missing the game-winning penalty kick. The captain sat on the ground for a few seconds with his head bent down between his legs as Edwin Van der Sar, United’s goalkeeper, celebrated the shootout’s continuation.
United finished the shootout with Ryan Giggs making a nice, low, hard shot to the right corner and Van der Sar with a wonderful diving save to his right against Nicolas Anelka.
As United piled on top of their goalkeeper, John Terry was crying, his eyes bloodshot and puffy, almost looking like he just got in a fight. I felt horrible for this man but I won’t lie: When he missed the goal I was jumping up and down. My friends and I could see the mailman laugh as he walked by.
The unfortunate thing for Terry (other than missing the game-winning goal, all hail United) is that now people won’t remember the amazing save he made to send the game to a shootout.
Luis Nani, who had subbed in for the miserable Wayne Rooney, dribbled the ball into the box heading for the near post, pulling the keeper out of position and then suddenly passing the ball into the center where Giggs was making a dead sprint and also wide open. He put a wonderful strike on the ball (I was already screaming for joy) as Terry flashed into the screen contorting his body backward and to the side to barely nick the ball with his head (this time I was on my knees cursing Terry).
People will forget this and also forget that Didier Drogba, striker for Chelsea, was given a red card in the final minutes of extra time, forcing Terry to be in the shootout. The world will not remember the actions that led up to the loss; only Terry slipping on the pitiful turf (except in the USA where real football isn’t watched).
The championship was exciting but slowed down because of the weather and field. The excitement of the game was intense and it kept me glued to the TV.
Moscow should never host another major sporting event, however. They had plenty of time to have an amazing field ready. Instead they had sod that looked like horses had been running on it and you could see the seams from the camera as the ball bounced over them.
The one image that I will remember for the rest of my life, though, will be Terry with his beat up face as the rain had no pity on him.