Let's Get Physical... Okay, not that physical
November 6, 2009 7:27 PM   Subscribe

"If you're gonna pull someone's ponytail and about snap their head off with it, that's going over the line." BYU advances in MWC tournament despite multiple dirty plays from New Mexico's Elizabeth Lambert.
posted by hermitosis (152 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
She pulled so hard it took YouTube down, apparently.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:35 PM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Holy shit! I just watched an ESPN video of her at LEAST 5 violations - punching, kicking, tripping, pulling hair - what a fucking asshole! Does this sort of shit go on all the time on sports or what? (Obvs I do not watch sports)
posted by tristeza at 7:39 PM on November 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


"My actions were uncalled for," Lambert said in a statement released by New Mexico. "I let my emotions get the best of me in a heated situation."

Ya think?? What in the world is going on? You damn straight your actions were uncalled for. And a half-hearted apology doesn't make you look any better. It's a game. Play the game. You don't have to hurt people on purpose to win. Just play the game. Mercy!!
posted by wv kay in ga at 7:44 PM on November 6, 2009


The other player took a dive on that hair-pulling move. Still, that's some rough stuff.
posted by mullacc at 7:46 PM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Elizabeth Lambert has been suspended indefinitely after engaging in rough play.

On Friday, Lambert apologized for her actions, saying she was "deeply and wholeheartedly regretful."

"I let my emotions get the best of me in a heated situation. I take full responsibility for my actions and accept any punishment felt necessary," Lambert said. "This is in no way indicative of my character or the soccer player that I am. I am sorry to my coaches and teammates for any and all damages I have brought upon them.

"I am especially sorry to BYU and the BYU women's soccer players that were personally affected by my actions. I have the utmost respect for the BYU women's soccer program and its players."
posted by netbros at 7:46 PM on November 6, 2009


"I let my emotions get the best of me in a heated situation."

Venus Williams let her emotions get the best of her in a heated situation -- Lambert rode went all Kill Bill on these girls.
posted by hermitosis at 7:47 PM on November 6, 2009


She pulled so hard it took YouTube down, apparently.

...and we're back!
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:48 PM on November 6, 2009


Some of the punishment called for in the YouTube comments is pretty appalling. I wonder if there is a greasemonkey script to hide all YouTube comments.
posted by exogenous at 7:48 PM on November 6, 2009


"I have the utmost respect for the BYU women's soccer program and its players."

Yeah, sure you do.
posted by The World Famous at 7:50 PM on November 6, 2009


That's ridiculous.
posted by ofthestrait at 7:50 PM on November 6, 2009


"I let my emotions get the best of me in a heated situation. I take full responsibility for my actions and accept any punishment felt necessary..."

... said the university's public relations director / ghostwriter.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:51 PM on November 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


And the award for worst sportsmanship goes to Elizabeth Lambert, whose ill-conceived actions made her look bad, her team look bad, and her school look bad -- and to no positive purpose, as her team still lost.

\o/ woooooooooooooooo!
posted by davejay at 7:52 PM on November 6, 2009


Oh come on. Everyone knows that women's soccer is all faked anyways.
posted by felix betachat at 7:53 PM on November 6, 2009 [10 favorites]


"I let my emotions get the best of me in a heated situation."

Ok...so how do you explain your other four instances of thuggery?

I don't recall ever seeing anything like this at the collegiate level and above, not even in a hockey game. She should be expelled. Hell, prosecuted.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:53 PM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know, maybe she just thought it was ok to play soccer against BYU using standard Mormon church basketball tactics.
posted by The World Famous at 7:55 PM on November 6, 2009 [6 favorites]


Some of the punishment called for in the YouTube comments is pretty appalling.

Oh my lord.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:56 PM on November 6, 2009


nice claim there, world famous. care to back it up with video?
posted by lester at 7:59 PM on November 6, 2009


nice claim there, world famous. care to back it up with video?

Ask anybody who has played Mormon church ball. Anybody.
posted by The World Famous at 8:00 PM on November 6, 2009 [7 favorites]


The other player took a dive on that hair-pulling move. Still, that's some rough stuff.
--mullacc at 7:46 PM on November 6 [+] [!]

Took a dive??? Look at the video again. Her head was yanked back about 90° and then pulled all the way off her feet before the hair was let go.

Man you must live with a hard crowd if you consider that 'taking a dive'.
posted by eye of newt at 8:01 PM on November 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've seen some nasty shit while refereeing volleyball (typically done by two people trash-talking through the net while waiting to serve) but goddamn, that was completely over the line.
posted by sperose at 8:01 PM on November 6, 2009


Link to ESPN video
posted by boo_radley at 8:10 PM on November 6, 2009


OK, maybe the refs did not see the hair pulling, the punching, etc ... but they give just a yellow card when they see a player kicking someone in the head?

Looks like there was more than one idiot in the field ...
posted by TheyCallItPeace at 8:11 PM on November 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


Man you must live with a hard crowd if you consider that 'taking a dive'.

Nah, I just grew up playing Mormon church ball.
posted by mullacc at 8:11 PM on November 6, 2009 [12 favorites]


This clip is all over the soccer referee forums. I see four clear sending-off offenses committed by No. 15: the vicious challenge in the corner (serious foul play), the ponytail pull (violent conduct); kicking the ball into the face of a prone opponent (violent conduct) and the face-punch at the end (serious foul play/violent conduct).

Morevoer, she commits two borderline red-card offenses: (1) the forearm in the back in response to the white-team player's elbow to the chest. Both players deserve a yellow here, but because No. 15 winds up to strike her blow, you can argue it deserves a red card (violent conduct). (2) A reckless and awkward challenge, at the conclusion of which 15 kicks at the ball while the opponent is on the ground. Definitely deserves a yellow (playing in a dangerous manner) and could be red (violent conduct).

So six distinct instances, any one of which arguably deserved a sending off and the totality of which make for an utterly disgraceful performance. The real question is where are the center referee and his two linesmen in all this? Is it conceivable that they saw nothing? No. 15 is clearly out of control, and the fact that she stayed on the field is an indictment of the referees' competence.
posted by stargell at 8:14 PM on November 6, 2009 [30 favorites]


"This is in no way indicative of my character..."

Good grief. What's her major where she's learning this doublespeak? Of course it's indicative of your behavior, scrappy. Who else was out there?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:15 PM on November 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


Stargell: link to those forums?
posted by leotrotsky at 8:18 PM on November 6, 2009


Has a player ever been criminally with assault for on field play? That hair pull take down seemed over the top enough to file charges. It was brutal.
posted by cccorlew at 8:22 PM on November 6, 2009


That's insane. All she got was a yellow card? A player in the Ontario Hockey League just had his career as a professional hockey player terminated for a single bad hit, (the resulting injury - a skull fracture - was due in large part to the other player's helmet flying off). This woman deserves at least that kind of punishment.

I don't mean getting slammed into the boards by a hockey player of course, I mean she should be banned from the sport.
posted by Flashman at 8:40 PM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


(just noticed netbros link - that's good!)
posted by Flashman at 8:41 PM on November 6, 2009


Does this sort of shit go on all the time on sports or what?

It certainly happens, but this woman was exceptionally vicious. Zinedine Zidane got a red card (ejected from the match) for this, for instance. Vinne Jones famously distracted Paul Gascoigne by grabbing his balls during a match.

After watching that video, I'm wondering if one of the Hanson brothers moved to New Mexico, settled down, and had a daughter.
posted by A dead Quaker at 8:46 PM on November 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Has a player ever been criminally with assault for on field play?"

Yes, in hockey.
posted by ifandonlyif at 8:47 PM on November 6, 2009


This is completely beside the point, but I'm curious -- would College Women's Soccer ordinarily get covered by SportsCenter? Or was this entirely a "Holy shit you gotta check this out" kind of thing?
posted by graventy at 8:48 PM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


would College Women's Soccer ordinarily get covered by SportsCenter?

The NCAA final, maybe.

But certainly not the semifinals of the Mountain West tournament. This isn't even on the radar screen without the punching, kicking and hair-pulling.

Moreover, look at the background shots of the pitch. There's no one at the game.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:53 PM on November 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


Another famous hair pull in sports.
posted by dw at 8:56 PM on November 6, 2009


Moreover, look at the background shots of the pitch. There's no one at the game.

The camera is on the same side of the field as the seating.
posted by The World Famous at 9:01 PM on November 6, 2009


Another famous hair pull in sports.

Amazingly, as the announcer points out in that clip, tackling by the hair is legal in the NFL.

leotrotsky, here's one forum.
posted by stargell at 9:07 PM on November 6, 2009


Man she's Miss England crazy
posted by The Whelk at 9:28 PM on November 6, 2009


I saw this through reddit yesterday and the comment thread was equal parts misogyny and excuses of "that's just how soccer is." The article's submitter (I think a NMU student) took the time to write an angry letter to the athletics department VP and head coach and was mocked in the thread for overreacting.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:29 PM on November 6, 2009


nice claim there, world famous. care to back it up with video?

Ask anybody who has played Mormon church ball. Anybody.


I was raised Mormon and have played my fair share of churchball, so I can attest to the violent nature of the game.
posted by jessssse at 9:37 PM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I see they had an SEC football officiating crew watching this game.

Reference
posted by dirigibleman at 9:41 PM on November 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Elizabeth Lambert is now being scouted by Wimbledon FC circa 1988.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:03 PM on November 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


See, y'all think New Mexico is all big skies and adobe. Don't cross us, is what I'm saying.

/UNM alum.
posted by sugarfish at 10:05 PM on November 6, 2009


Oh snap! I am memorizing that face, should I ever run into her in a crowded subway car with one seat left. Oh, yes, Ms. Lambert, I was saving this just for you.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:07 PM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


My stars and garters! That was unsportsmanlike!

Did anyone else here play high school or college sports? It doesn't make this right, but some games are like that. What I saw was a whole lot of nudging and needling by the BYU player that went unnoticed, and appears to continue so. No, this is no way to behave, but it also doesn't strike me as super noteworthy. Just a game that got ugly.
posted by rusty at 10:14 PM on November 6, 2009


If this had been a mens game I doubt we'd be talking about it. Also, she got elbowed once and responded with a punch to the back. If we're being fair the girl who elbowed her was also being out of line.

The histrionics about this really does seem kind of sexist. "Oh these poor women getting the rough stuff!!!" Obviously the hair pulling was way out of line and I guess it would be reasonable to kick her off the team, but the calls for her to be prosecuted really seem hysterical.
posted by delmoi at 10:46 PM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I was surprised about the all of the buzz about this- I was expecting to see a full-out brawl by all of the hype it generated, but it was nothing more than one dirty player. The hair-pulling was extreme and should be an automatic red card and 2 game suspension, but everything else in the video (elbowing and whatnot) isn't that uncommon in soccer, or any contact sport. I'm sure if you looked at a video of basketball players boxing out for a rebound, you'd see a lot of the same elbowing and shoving.

The fact that it made the news seems kind of condescending in an "OMG GIRLS PLAY ROUGH" way. Guess what? Women's college sports are just like men's college sports.
posted by emd3737 at 10:47 PM on November 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Soccer is rough. Reminds me of the Shaolin Soccer movie.
posted by eye of newt at 10:56 PM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


The hair-pulling was extreme and should be an automatic red card and 2 game suspension, but everything else in the video (elbowing and whatnot) isn't that uncommon in soccer, or any contact sport.

No. The tackle in the corner was brutal (and she's very lucky she didn't break the other player's leg), and the punch to the other player's face was also way outside the bounds of normal jockeying. Shoving, shirt-tugging, that's all part of the game (although you deserve to get called for a foul if the ref sees you); what Lambert did was way over the line.
posted by asterix at 11:05 PM on November 6, 2009


As mentioned before, the referee should have taken control of the match long before any of those things happened. There was some back and forth, and I doubt the BYU players were being totally sporting, but Lambert had nothing telling her to stop (aside from herself, obviously). There were (at least not on the clip) no warnings, no comments by the refs. The yellow for kicking the ball into the other girl's face? A yellow?

I would imagine a decent ref would've taken control, handed out a few yellow cards, even booted a couple players long before the hair pull that shocked the world.

Even if the BYU player was flopping on the hair pull, that's still one of the more dramatic takedowns I've ever seen. Lambert has a guest spot on Mortal Kombat, I imagine, and could likely get at least an audition with WWE if she wants to try that out.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:06 PM on November 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


Rule #1: don't be a dick.
posted by Graygorey at 11:10 PM on November 6, 2009


If this had been a mens game I doubt we'd be talking about it.

I think we would. Remember this? The shock isn't "A lady did that?!" so much as the sheer, brazen, flinch-inducing brutality of the fouls themselves.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:13 PM on November 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


"This video is not available in your country due to copyright restrictions. "

Dang it I didn't know YouTube did this as well. Does anyone have a link that works from Canada?
posted by Mitheral at 11:15 PM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


She would make an awesome Safety in the NFL - slender, quick, and can completely incapacitate an opponent while the ref is looking the other way. I approve, but then again, I follow the Pats... Ty Law and Rodney Harrison are the archetypes, here. I'm positive Harrison has killed and eaten at least one wideout while the cameras were off him during the course of his career.

Which brings me to another point... why are contact sports "bad" for girls (or women, in the case of college athletics)? Why not a girl's football team? Why not girls on the actual team? If a girl can compete on an objective level, why not encourage her to play? My little sister was 6'1" in HS, and is the only human being who's beaten me in a fair fistfight... she would absolutely have made an awesome linebacker. Instead, she was shuffled off to basketball, where her lack of hand-eye co-ordination got her cut from the team. Her ability to clothesline someone when they were both standing still should have got her college scholarship to a notable Football school, and would have, if she was a boy.

And, to further increase the scope of the rant, why the hell is there softball? I'll tell you why, to keep women pitchers out of the big leagues. That's it, there is no more... softball is there just to screw with a woman's baseball fundamentals until she is useless to a big-league team. There are women who play college ball who can pitch dead-perfect strikes at over a hundred miles an hour... underhand. Can you imagine what they would be like on the mound if they were handed a hardball in highschool? Don't let your daughters play softball... insist they play on the same little-league teams with the boys.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:20 PM on November 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Slap*Happy: legally I think they would have to have let your sister play on the mens team if she really pushed the issue.

I think we would. Remember this?

That was in the World Cup. This was a random college game.
posted by delmoi at 11:28 PM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


This easily deserved multiple red cards (I count five, and another one is borderline), and I think whatever sanctioning body controls that league should make sure she misses at least a handful of matches in the future. I don't think some kind of extended ban is order for this player, and the referee clearly did a terrible job and is unsuited to duty as the ref of even a division-e, co-ed, recreational league...

I understand that no referee means no game, so I usually lay off the officials... but this crew clearly didn't know the rules or couldn't keep up or follow the flow of the game.

That was an absolutely brutal display of sportsmanship (for lack of a better word).

For the non-sports fans.. Some contact in soccer/football is pretty normal - there is a lot of jockeying for position, bumping, and incidental contact when people are changing directions quickly or trying to get possession of the ball. Attempts to injure, or any deliberate dangerous play is usually against the rules and the referees generally have a lot of discretion and tend err on the side of being too cautious when it comes to this kind of thing.

So this is really way beyond anything normal...
posted by Deep Dish at 11:35 PM on November 6, 2009


I'm fine with women getting just as rough with each other in athletics as men.

Penalties exist for a reason in all sports. In this case, penalties exist to protect the players from getting deliberately hurt. Even boxing, which is all about deliberately hurting somebody, has rules regarding which shots are legal and which aren't. Heck, even Ultimate Fighting has rules.

If a player is egregiously breaking those rules, they should be penalized. It doesn't matter if it "happens all the time" or if "it didn't look that bad." If it broke the rules, it should get called. That this single player made six egregious fouls without getting called - and that she was suspended by her college and not by the NCAA - suggests that something is very wrong with the officiating in this particular division.

I guess what I'm saying is, this isn't Vietnam here. There are rules.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:53 PM on November 6, 2009


Man, American referees sure are shit. It's because we're so goddamned beaurocratic about all this – reviewing the tape, deciding by committee that she should be suspended. She should've been red-carded on the spot by the ref, and if she wasn't ready to walk off the field after that the referee should've been willing to stand in the player's face until she did leave. But the ref apparently didn't see it at all; and as everybody knows, in soccer, if the ref didn't see it, it may as well not have happened at all. All, this and she was assessed nothing but a yellow card at the time – even though it continued to happen throughout the game? Yeah, it was pretty brutal, but soccer's a rough game, and I'm sure the other player wasn't particularly hurt; having your hair jerked on looks worse than it actually is. The real fault lies with the referee, who set the tone for this kind of thing and pretty much caused it by letting it slide and in essence declaring "this is going to be that kind of game, so have at it."

The difference between a referee in most American sport and a referee in soccer is a point of severe cultural misunderstanding. A soccer referee is a virtual dictator; he represents no officiating body, for although there are several officiating bodies which represent him when he's off the field he is the first and last word on the pitch, the beginning and the end of the law. A referee should be a better athlete than the players, since his efficacy is tied directly to his ability to be where the action is whenever it happens. A referee should be utterly cold and unsentimental, since players spend a lot of the time on the field trying to play for sentiment and gain the ref's sympathy.

Our referees over here, however, are 'officials' who like to spend all their time watching replays and conferring with committees, as though that was their job. The closest American analogue to a referee is an umpire, although of course baseball is different from any other game entirely, even its closest relatives in other sports.

Slap*Happy: “Which brings me to another point... why are contact sports "bad" for girls (or women, in the case of college athletics)? Why not a girl's football team?”

I agree with you in principle, but I want to point out that soccer is more of a contact sport than American football will ever be. Pads? Please.

Also, an interesting note on this incident and women in contact sport: my father, a longtime soccer fan, became a referee when I was in little-league soccer in elementary school. He's always said that that taught him something interesting about girls and boys, even when they're very young. Boys, he said, were always so painfully obvious about their violence; when one boy was angry at another boy, he'd run up in front of everybody and just start hitting and kicking. Girls, he said, are no less violent, but they went about it an entirely different way; a girl would wait until nobody was looking and then stick her cleats in the back of another girl's knee; he said refereeing the little girls's games was always more interesting because the girls seemed to know that it was important who was watching.

I don't think that points chiefly to a biological difference, although maybe the testosterone increases the likelihood that little boys let rage get the better of their intelligence in a heated moment. I have a feeling that it's more that girls get a very early education in our society in paying attention to who's looking at them and in the careful concealment of violence.

Hell, maybe that's the best reason to encourage contact sports among girls: to give them an outlet that allows for more directness than they're typically taught to use, and to negate some of the repression of the passionate and forceful expression of their emotions which still lingers in their education.
posted by koeselitz at 12:01 AM on November 7, 2009 [9 favorites]


If it comes to giving Mormons a taste of their own dirty medicine, Lambert has little to apologize for.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:02 AM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Joey Michaels: “If a player is egregiously breaking those rules, they should be penalized. It doesn't matter if it "happens all the time" or if "it didn't look that bad." If it broke the rules, it should get called. That this single player made six egregious fouls without getting called - and that she was suspended by her college and not by the NCAA - suggests that something is very wrong with the officiating in this particular division... I guess what I'm saying is, this isn't Vietnam here. There are rules.”

In a very significant and real sense, this is 'Vietnam' here. Soccer has less rules than a lot of other sports – the referee has an outstanding amount of leeway in judging what can and can't happen on the field. (Soccer rules do not mandate any positions, for example, aside from dictating that there can be only one player with the goalkeeper's privileges and laying down the offside rule.) I'm not that familiar with the specific variations within the NCAA soccer rules, but I know that because of the spirit of the game it should be the player's team and not any 'officiating body' that suspends her, precisely because in soccer officiating bodies have no power whatsoever over the game. The referee has all the power, and so it should be.

And, again, this is less the player's fault and more the referee's fault. A referee is a leader; she or he is supposed to stand up to players that do this kind of thing and march them directly off the field. If the NCAA is suspending anybody it should be the ref.
posted by koeselitz at 12:10 AM on November 7, 2009



Blazecock Pileon:
If it comes to giving Mormons a taste of their own dirty medicine, Lambert has little to apologize for.

One shouldn't ever have to resort to cheating to best the Mormons.
posted by Graygorey at 12:16 AM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, by the way, Joey: they aren't called "rules" in soccer. They're called Laws, and there are only 17. For the purposes of this conversation we may note that the hair-pulling event in question here was not technically a 'foul' but rather 'misconduct,' since the ball was not in play between the two players. Usually misconduct is worse, and it sure looks like it is in this case.
posted by koeselitz at 12:18 AM on November 7, 2009


delmoi- True. But given that I don't follow soccer, and am only in it for the gawking, they're sort of the same difference for me.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 12:24 AM on November 7, 2009


I agree with you in principle, but I want to point out that soccer is more of a contact sport than American football will ever be. Pads? Please.

This is so ridiculous that I can only conclude that you've either never seen a football game or you've never seen a soccer game. There is no other explanation.
posted by Justinian at 1:20 AM on November 7, 2009 [8 favorites]


Her ability to clothesline someone when they were both standing still should have got her college scholarship to a notable Football school, and would have, if she was a boy.

I'm sure your sister is a fine athlete, but you really need to recalibrate your sense of college football. There is not a chance in hell she would have been able to play at a level to get her on the team at a "notable football school" much less with a free ride.

Don't get me wrong; I think a woman should be allowed on any team she can qualify for. And, in fact, they mostly are. The reason you don't see women on college or pro football teams is that they'd die.
posted by Justinian at 1:25 AM on November 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


why are contact sports "bad" for girls (or women, in the case of college athletics)?

There is womens' contact sport. Perhaps not that you know of, but there's a boatload of women rugby players, including India.

Protip: Mefite's ignorance on a given topic does not, in fact, mean something does not exist.
posted by rodgerd at 1:29 AM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


(See also: Fencing, Judo, Tae Kwon Do, which I guess you missed because they're only Olympic fucking sports, boxing, again, I guess that little Oscar winning film about a girl boxer passed everyone by...)
posted by rodgerd at 1:33 AM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Justinian: “The reason you don't see women on college or pro football teams is that they'd die.”

That's a little insane, to say the least. College and Pro Football can sometimes be a little harsh, but it's a controlled harshness, played with pads, and requires more than anything else stockiness. Such women exist, and should be allowed to play. Look at professional linebackers: this is a profession which often doesn't even call for any kind of athleticism at all, only the ability to push off a line and a low center of gravity.

Besides all that, I am doubtful about the actual physical differences between men and women as far as stature and athletic ability are concerned. It's fair to say that women have different parts between their legs and on their chests, but otherwise experience seems to suggest that there is as much variation in human females as there is in human males.

Also: I stand by my statement that soccer is more a contact sport than football. Football's contact is strictly controlled, extremely limited, and extremely brief; it's nor really contact between players so much as between they players' many layers of protective padding. That's why football injuries are relatively low compared to those of international soccer; that's also why you never really see anything as gruesome as this in college or professional football. Or think of the Zidane head-butt; this kind of thing isn't that common in international soccer, but extreme injuries like this happen a few times a year in the sport because it more fully exposes players to full-contact injury.
posted by koeselitz at 2:05 AM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am doubtful about the actual physical differences between men and women as far as stature and athletic ability are concerned.

It's hard to assign a quantitative score to an individual football player. But if we pretend football is like weightlifting + sprinting, then we can compare men's and women's records for those events:
- weightlifting
- 100 meters sprint men
- 100 meters sprint women
posted by ryanrs at 2:34 AM on November 7, 2009


Also: I stand by my statement that soccer is more a contact sport than football.

You might think about watching more football. I watch both football and soccer on a high school level and it isn't the soccer players on the sidelines with breaks, strains, torn ligaments, etc. I see your gruesome with the Joe Theismann leg break.
posted by Mojojojo at 2:41 AM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not to turn this into a gross-out competition or anything, but i see your Theismann with a Junior Seau arm-break and raise you both a Chris Simms spleen explosion (which, unfortunately/fortunately, doesn't seem to exist on video).
posted by jadayne at 3:27 AM on November 7, 2009


There is womens' contact sport. Perhaps not that you know of, but there's a boatload of women rugby players, including India.

Thank you! And my many, many bruises thank you too!

(Someone asked a teammate once if she played 'real' rugby. Not missing a beat, she assured him that no, we play with a plastic ball, have fake lineouts, and imaginary scrums. Argh.)

You might have to hunt, but there are women's contact sports.
posted by kalimac at 3:47 AM on November 7, 2009


Also: I stand by my statement that soccer is more a contact sport than football.

That needs to go on the all time stupid list right there. Even with pads and helmets, most football players have their careers ended by torn ligaments, broken bones, or excessive concussions.

Also, women don't play football at the collegiate or professional level for a reason. Maybe it's cultural bias. I'm sure that if some freaky amazing talented woman kicked ass at football, there would be resistance, because it's odd and abnormal and we don't do that well here in the States. So that may be, like, 1% of it. But the other 99% is about being extremely strong AND extremely fast/quick. Being a college football player is not, as you say, just about being "stocky." Scholarships are not given out if you cross a certain BMI threshold. In fact, probably the only position a female could play well at a collegiate/professional level is quarterback, because its skill set is somewhat anomalous to other football positions - one needs experience, intelligence, arm strength, lower body strength/balance, and height. You don't have to be fast. You don't have to jump high. You don't need a lot of things that other football players need to be successful. So I could actually see a really talented female athlete have success at quarterback.

I am doubtful about the actual physical differences between men and women as far as stature and athletic ability are concerned.

That's cool. You're doubtful. But you're also wrong. There are differences. I wish there weren't.
posted by billysumday at 4:49 AM on November 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Two quick points:

1. I grew up playing soccer in Spain with my neighborhood friends, and I hated playing soccer after we moved back to the US because it became such a physical sport, the bitter younger brother of American football. I wasn't good enough to avoid the other players and I wasn't big enough to compete with them in terms of body mass. Eventually I gave up soccer for table tennis and volleyball.

2. A very important duty of the referee in a soccer game is to make the game safe for all players, and the way he does that is by warning players verbally and then cutting off any and all violent play the very second it starts using yellow and red cards. Lambert should have been off the field long before she had the chance to do any of those plays. It's amazing that she was able to carry on for so long and the responsibility lies 100% on the shoulders of the ref and his linesmen.
posted by msittig at 4:50 AM on November 7, 2009


> I wonder if there is a greasemonkey script to hide all YouTube comments.

I've found that the YouTube Comment Snob Firefox extension has pretty much the same effect.
posted by msittig at 4:56 AM on November 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


After looking again at the Zidane head-butt and this Lambert thing if anything Lambert's crime was worse. If Zidane was red carded * for that then Lambert's pony tail pull seemed much more egregious.

Hell the Italian player in the world cup rerun seemed to be emoting for the ages after the head butt - the very definition of taking a dive.

The rough play and trash talking I can understand in sports, including womens' sports and to assume that women don't play as rough as men is, well, let's call it "quaint."

What is scary about Lambert is the look in her eyes *while she is committing these fouls* sneaky, deliberate, not at all the type of foul that athletes often commit in the heat of the moment. It is almost Ted Bundy-like in its calculated coldness.


* and I was told by footie aficionados that the Italian player really was baiting Zidane with nasty racist and anti-Muslim comments, and has a reputation for being a real piece of work.
posted by xetere at 5:03 AM on November 7, 2009


...and somewhere out there, some promoter is readying a half million-dollar offer to get Elizabeth Lambert and Tonya Harding into the same ring.
posted by markkraft at 5:07 AM on November 7, 2009


If nothing else, American football has way more capacity for head injury than soccer. I can't see any way around that one. And, that's significant.

Second, this is not a indictment of her. It's an indictment of the refereeing as others have said. The ref should be suspended. If s/he isn't paying close enough attention to the game to see 5 or 6 red card worthy actions, then they should not be working. Mind you, this comes from someone who is a big defender of referees and officials of all stripes. By and large they do a good job. Not this time though.
posted by josher71 at 5:27 AM on November 7, 2009


The head ref in question is apparently notoriously bad. He and the two linesmen should be held accountable, as should the NM coach for not pulling this kid. Between the time this first aired on ESPN early yesterday morning and the afternoon when it had gone completely viral, New Mexico had pulled a Pravda move and completely re-wrote the news release on their site summarizing the game. Then later in the day, they posted the suspension news releases and scrubbed Lambert's bio on the roster -- removing any hint of identification (hometown, high school, parents' & sibs' names, etc.). A good move on their part, as this got completely out of control thanks to the intertubez.

Nevertheless, in addition to her suspension, those officials should be suspended and re-trained (at minimum) or simply removed. As the parent of a current D1 women's soccer player, I see way too many games where the officials swallow their whistles, look the other way, and fail to call dangerous plays.

(And FWIW, I was ready to pull the trigger on posting this same video early yesterday, then realized it was already blowing up on its own, thanks to ESPN & YouTube...and figured it would most likely make it here anyway...)
posted by VicNebulous at 5:31 AM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


In fact, probably the only position a female could play well at a collegiate/professional level is quarterback,

Billysumday, probably place kickers as well. They don't have to be big & strong, but the need good aim and strong legs to kick. Seems to me that that - even more likely than quarterback.
posted by xetere at 5:35 AM on November 7, 2009


I've found that the YouTube Comment Snob Firefox extension has pretty much the same effect.

Oh, thank you so much for that.
posted by mediareport at 5:45 AM on November 7, 2009


Football (arite, soccer to some of you guys) is a rough sport, very hard on the legs and feet of players. Jacob Olesen's foot 2006, Hans Eskilsson's leg 2000 - I could google up many more of these. warning, men in pain.
posted by dabitch at 5:49 AM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


"This video is not available in your country due to copyright restrictions."

Said it before and I'll say it again: Fuck you, YouTube.
posted by bwg at 6:14 AM on November 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


Football can get pretty rough.
Her actions are despicable, but not as bad as everyone here made it sound. Every sport needs players you love to hate.
posted by Vindaloo at 6:15 AM on November 7, 2009


something that seems to be missed by people that say, pshaw, football has pads, it can't be as badass as rugby, is that pads allow people to be more violently reckless with their bodies. If you're running into someone with no pads, there's a level where you just won't go, because it will hurt you worse than the other guy. With the pads, with the helmets, that level is open to you, because you're not going to get hurt. Your entire body has become a weapon, and you can hit as hard as you please. The hits in football are vicious hits that would, given a lack of pads, require two stretchers after each hit without pads.

This isn't to say that rugby is less manly, but it is out there to say that pshaw, pads comment is pretty groundless.

And, koeselitz, linebacker? I assume, from context, you're still talking about NFL there. Linebacker requires a mix of speed (needing to be able to keep up with/catch wide receivers and running backs) and power (needing to be able to get through people who are, on average 4-6 inches taller, and up to 100 pounds heavier, to reach the QB or running back). There's a reason a linebacker is usually the (I believe) Muscle Magazine "Most Fit NFL Player of the Year" every year, like, say, Barry Minter, of the 2% bodyfat, pure muscle, blazing speed.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:17 AM on November 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


The fact that it made the news seems kind of condescending in an "OMG GIRLS PLAY ROUGH" way. Guess what? Women's college sports are just like men's college sports.

So if women ran the world there would be war? Or just lots of hair pulling?
posted by bwg at 6:25 AM on November 7, 2009


The head ref in question is apparently notoriously bad. He and the two linesmen should be held accountable, as should the NM coach for not pulling this kid.
I'm surprised it's taken so long for someone to bring up the culpability of the coach -- he needs to be suspended for as long as (if not longer than) the player, since there's no way he wasn't aware of what was going on.

"Heat of the moment" -- sure, I'll buy that. I took a swing at a kid once in U-9 (he kept kicking my ankles), and was promptly red-carded. So I can understand how the "heat of the moment" argument works (although it excuses nothing) -- but the heat of the moment doesn't last for an entire game. She went out onto the pitch with the intent to hurt someone, and the punishment should fit that crime.

And honestly? The worst offense to me wasn't the hair pull, it was the tackle in the corner. That's a potentially career-ending tackle right there. That tackle goes well beyond "not playing the ball" to "actively trying to injure the other player." It's the kind of shit I'd expect to see in bush-league hockey from some Neanderthal with three teeth.

That said, I'm glad this happened. My six-year-old daughter loves soccer, and we sat down last night and watched this together.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 6:25 AM on November 7, 2009


- using Hotspot Shield allowed me to see the video from outside the US
posted by Flashman at 6:29 AM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I need to know her religion before I can make a judgment call on this.
posted by sidereal at 7:16 AM on November 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


The one at 1:14 is a textbook MK fatality. If you squint, you can see the blood dripping from the spinal cord.
posted by mattbucher at 7:24 AM on November 7, 2009


Thanks for the tip Flashman (I too can't see the youtube but netbros video link worked nicely)
posted by dabitch at 7:26 AM on November 7, 2009


Look at professional linebackers: this is a profession which often doesn't even call for any kind of athleticism at all, only the ability to push off a line and a low center of gravity.
You're digging yourself in deeper.
posted by Flunkie at 7:36 AM on November 7, 2009




How the hell do you not see when she pulls the girl down by her head? And later kicks the ball into another player's face?

I think I might have seen a guide dog or two on the sidelines, waiting to assist the refs into the tunnel.
posted by reenum at 7:44 AM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


The camera is on the same side of the field as the seating.

Which shows you that it's not being played in a stadium, ye' pedantic jackass.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:12 AM on November 7, 2009


In fact, probably the only position a female could play well at a collegiate/professional level is quarterback, because its skill set is somewhat anomalous to other football positions - one needs experience, intelligence, arm strength, lower body strength/balance, and height.

Height would be the real issue, actually. Not that there aren't tall women or short quarterbacks (I'm looking at you, Drew Brees, Doug Flutie and the WNBA starting lineups). But those short quarterbacks make up for it with great skills in other areas -- in Flutie's case it was speed, and Brees is an ungodly accurate passer.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:18 AM on November 7, 2009


I still don't understand how this player wasn't ejected during the game.
posted by grouse at 8:19 AM on November 7, 2009



Has a player ever been criminally with assault for on field play? That hair pull take down seemed over the top enough to file charges. It was brutal.


In the UK, yes.

The first was Duncan Ferguson, also known as Duncan Disorderly, who was jailed for 3 months for an on-field headbutt. He was already under a suspended sentence for an off-field assault.

More recently, James Cotterill was jailed for 4 months on a GBH charge after breaking an opponents jaw.
posted by Jakey at 8:24 AM on November 7, 2009


Here is a greasemonkey script to disable YouTube comments, if you don't want to add an extension.
posted by HerArchitectLover at 8:35 AM on November 7, 2009


In fact, probably the only position a female could play well at a collegiate/professional level is quarterback,

Billysumday, probably place kickers as well. They don't have to be big & strong, but the need good aim and strong legs to kick. Seems to me that that - even more likely than quarterback.


There was a female placekicker for Colorado in 1999. She had more to overcome than just physical differences.
posted by mach at 8:42 AM on November 7, 2009


The local sports talk radio was talking to a referee who had done some collegiate games. He said that the refs are encouraged to take it easy with handing out cards in the women's game so as to not give the impression that the women are too soft. Obviously this ref was going way to far in just "letting them play".

Missing the hair pulling is almost excusable since it happened away from the ball, so the attention of the ref was elsewhere. However, as has been pointed out, there were numerous plays on the ball that deserved a red card. Also, by the time of the hair-pulling incident, even the ESPN cameramen knew Lambert was getting out of hand, and that's why they had a camera trained on her. Maybe they figured they would get something good for SportsCenter that night.
posted by mach at 9:00 AM on November 7, 2009


I second the notion that the coach is responsible for removing a dirty player from a game. That's one of his/her many jobs, but a VERY important one.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 9:02 AM on November 7, 2009


and I was told by footie aficionados that the Italian player really was baiting Zidane with nasty racist and anti-Muslim comments, and has a reputation for being a real piece of work.

Man, I love how some frigging Brit tabloid malarky still gets flogged as the truth.

Whether or not Materazzi is "a real piece of work" is also irrelevant, as it was trash talk pure & simple. Zidane, who I love & was what got me watching footie in the first place, lost his shit. Not for the first time, either.

This chick, though, makes the two of them look like freakin' angels. She should have been ejected so hard and fast out of the game as to achieve orbit around Pluto.
posted by romakimmy at 9:03 AM on November 7, 2009


If it comes to giving Mormons a taste of their own dirty medicine, Lambert has little to apologize for.

What an asshole thing to say. Red-carded.

I don't understand this business mentioned earlier about how officiating bodies have no power over soccer. While this may be true for professional soccer, I'm pretty sure it's not true for college soccer, where the NCAA rules over it the way it does every other college sport. She should be suspended by her team, and face penalties by the NCAA, as should the refs.
posted by rtha at 9:12 AM on November 7, 2009 [3 favorites]



"I AM A WONDERFUL PERSON AND I KNOW WHAT'S RIGHT- AND THIS, TO ME, IS WRONG!"

Thank you all so much for your input on this matter.


Really- this is just typical football which was allowed to go too far. Red card her and move on. It's the refs' fault. One of the sideline refs or the fourth official should have acted on this immediately.
posted by Zambrano at 9:21 AM on November 7, 2009


AND She should be suspended by her team, and face penalties by the NCAA, as should the refs. BECAUSE THIS SHOULD NOT GO UNPUNISHED! DON'T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT!
posted by Zambrano at 9:24 AM on November 7, 2009


requires more than anything else stockiness. Such women exist, and should be allowed to play. Look at professional linebackers: this is a profession which often doesn't even call for any kind of athleticism at all, only the ability to push off a line and a low center of gravity.

This comment betrays a total lack of knowledge about American football. The most obvious point is that you called defensive and offensive linemen "linebackers" which is an entirely different position. Linemen line up on the line of scrimmage and "push off," whereas linebackers line up several feet behind the line of scrimmage and are, crudely put, responsible for the shallow portion of the defensive area of the field. Linebackers are the most versatile of defensive players, having to be able to rush the ball carrier, the quarterback, or drop into coverage and prevent lithe, speedy wide receivers from getting the ball (until they go into deeper parts of the field where they're covered by the secondary). They are incredibly athletic, as Flunkie's picture attests.

And to say "stockiness" is the primary skill set of defensive or offensive line men is laughable. Consider what they're doing for a second. A defensive line man can weigh upwards of 300 pounds, and is typically over 6 feet tall. Their job is two fold: get past another guy with similar features at peak physical condition, and then chase down a guy that's about 5'10, and weighs about HALF of what you weigh, all in less than 10 seconds. Have you seen a 300 pound guy that was able to chase down a 180 pound guy? It's not happening unless you're a freak of nature.

And here's a perfect example. The meaningful part starts at 0:18. Kris Jenkins is about 6'5'' and 360 pounds. In less than 5 seconds, he shoves a highly trained 300 pound man TO THE GROUND and runs 30 feet to crush a man half his size. And you think that's "stockiness" that got him there? Are you kidding me? What woman have you EVER seen that could have stopped Kris Jenkins with her "stockiness?"

Linemen also have the job of tackling the ball carrier when it's a run play. Tell me, what "stocky" woman would have stopped Earl Campbell on this play?
posted by shen1138 at 9:57 AM on November 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


Besides all that, I am doubtful about the actual physical differences between men and women as far as stature and athletic ability are concerned. It's fair to say that women have different parts between their legs and on their chests, but otherwise experience seems to suggest that there is as much variation in human females as there is in human males.

Have your observational faculties so failed you that you can say this with a straight face?
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 10:21 AM on November 7, 2009


shen1138, add the fact that Jenkins doesn't actually land on Schaub but manages to redirect his 360 pounds to land just past him. 360 pounds, running full speed at someone, and then pulling off in the split-second that he realizes Schaub's released the ball. That doesn't require stockiness, not primarily.
posted by Nabubrush at 10:27 AM on November 7, 2009


koeselitz: You don't seem to know anything about American football.

I really wish that women were big and strong enough to play football or baseball or hockey at the highest levels. Because it would be cool and fun. Mixed leagues would be awesome. But the reason they don't play at those levels isn't because of sexism, although sexism is rampant. It's because of biology.

Getting back to the original post: The thing is, Lambert's play should never have been allowed to continue. Everyone has, correctly, pointed out that the ref should have stopped it. But if the ref didn't, one of the other players should have. With extreme prejudice. You protect your teammates.
posted by Justinian at 11:21 AM on November 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


What is scary about Lambert is the look in her eyes *while she is committing these fouls* sneaky, deliberate, not at all the type of foul that athletes often commit in the heat of the moment. It is almost Ted Bundy-like in its calculated coldness.

This thread has had its share of ridiculousness but that statement really takes the cake for over-the-top eponysterical. Lambert has the cold-blooded eyes of an honest to god serial killer?

WTF

Lambert's behavior is indefensible. But it's not like she's some psychopath dropped into the vacuum that is the good, clean game of women's soccer. Witness: the elbow to chest Lambert received, the inaction by the refs, the inaction by the coaches, the inaction by her own teammates. Everyone is complicit in allowing the escalation of roughness in this game, if not women's soccer as a whole, and the only really surprising things with Lambert is the degree and that so much was caught on camera.
posted by 6550 at 11:24 AM on November 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


American football and soccer are completely different kinds of physical. Trauma in football is mainly bashing and twisting, while soccer can be much more surgical, but usually less directly forceful because of the nature of the game and lack of pads.

Which is worse: Being tackled at full speed or taking a flying knee to the hip-rotators? Having a knee twisted backwards or having a ball swept from under you and kicking the bottom of someone's cleat full force? I'm not sure.

Actually, in trying to come up with examples for football, I realize that anything that happens in football can and does happen on the pitch, plus many more exotic and vicious (the balls!) assaults, both legal and non. For example, a goalie can do damn near whatever he wants in going for the ball. I've been knocked into the goalpost, had my face landed on by a Croatian (apparently... I don't remember), and been punched in every conceivably punchable place on my body. All legally.

Also, in football, different positions experience different levels and kinds of physical play. The physical experience of soccer players, with the exception of the keeper, doesn't differ as widely. A linebacker, lineman, or tight end probably the most like a soccer player (with the noted possibilities and limitations that come with the padding), but having played as a wide receiver and quarterback and also as every soccer position I can say that those football positions are not anywhere near as physical as any soccer position.

N.B. - I never played football seriously, though I played with people who played at a high level. Myself, I played soccer at a pretty high level.

Also, I was the one doing the sweeping in that last example about kicking the cleat, and I found out later that most of the bones in the guy's foot were broken. He was okay eventually, but I felt really bad. It wasn't intentional and it wasn't even an intense match. And it was a completely clean play, which he acknowledged. He was even on a different team in my own club. Man, that sucked.
posted by cmoj at 12:30 PM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I really wish that women were big and strong enough to play football or baseball or hockey at the highest levels. Because it would be cool and fun.

No thanks! Women's hockey is superior to men's because they actually, you know, play hockey. Lack of male size and male strength leads to skills. Give me the goon free CWHL over the NHL any day of the week.

What is scary about Lambert is the look in her eyes *while she is committing these fouls* sneaky, deliberate, not at all the type of foul that athletes often commit in the heat of the moment. It is almost Ted Bundy-like in its calculated coldness.

This. When I saw this on the news last night I was surprised by the chilling, calm demeanor she had while pulling these fouls. In the heat of the sports moment you expect to see a bit of madness, an excited expression. She just looked deliberate & decisive, a real jerk. She's young enough to sort herself out though, one hopes, so no need to write her off as a human being.
posted by zarah at 12:36 PM on November 7, 2009


The Ted Bundy line was a tastless BYU joke, right? Because I don't see any other parallel between a cold and calculating sports foul and a serial killer.
posted by The World Famous at 12:46 PM on November 7, 2009


having played as a wide receiver and quarterback and also as every soccer position I can say that those football positions are not anywhere near as physical as any soccer position.

Not sure what you mean by "physical," but receiver and quarterback are two of the most vulnerable players on the football field, often because their eyes are elsewhere and they don't see the hit coming. Soccer is an extremely physically demanding game, and there is far more physical contact than most people realize, but very little in soccer compares to the shots a quarterback or a wideout (actually, any intended receiver) are exposed to in the regular course of the game.

Bart Scott on Ben Roethlisberger
Sheldon Brown on Reggie Bush
Ray Lewis on Ochocinco
Jack Tatum on Sammy Smith
Ryan Clark on Willis McGahee
posted by stargell at 12:57 PM on November 7, 2009


Billysumday, probably place kickers as well. They don't have to be big & strong, but the need good aim and strong legs to kick. Seems to me that that - even more likely than quarterback.

Yeah, the placekicker on my high school's football team was a girl. She was pretty good, too. There were a few other schools with female kickers around, too, if I remember correctly.
posted by notswedish at 1:00 PM on November 7, 2009




"In an average football season, a lineman could get struck in the head a thousand times, which means that a ten-year N.F.L. veteran, when you bring in his college and high-school playing days, could well have been hit in the head eighteen thousand times." Football is more physical.

But if the ref didn't, one of the other players should have. With extreme prejudice. You protect your teammates.

I was in a soccer game a couple of years ago where a guy on the opposing team took two of our players out of the game with elbows to the forehead, no penalties. Unfortunately for our opponent, I played football in high school. I put him on the ground hard and happily took my red card.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:16 PM on November 7, 2009


No thanks! Women's hockey is superior to men's because they actually, you know, play hockey. Lack of male size and male strength leads to skills.

You're making the assumption that physical play != hockey, but that's not consistent with the history of the game. And, of course, that goons dominate the modern NHL. Which is clearly false. They've taken a lot of steps to reduce goonery. Or at least keep it at relatively low levels. These days the NHL is both physical and full of displays of agility and athleticism.

Hockey and pro football are my favorite spectator sports. Soccer and baseball are my favorite sports to play.
posted by Justinian at 1:24 PM on November 7, 2009


One more: Tim Tebow
posted by stargell at 1:29 PM on November 7, 2009


The shot at 1:13 is actually much worse, though the camera angle is bad. She kicks the woman in the stomach, then in the back, then really punches her in the face (you see the head snap back), then tries to whack her on the back of the head.

This woman could play on a men's ice hockey team and would fit right in.
posted by eye of newt at 1:30 PM on November 7, 2009


on second viewing, the kick to the stomach was the result of kicking the ball.
posted by eye of newt at 1:37 PM on November 7, 2009


Pshaw. Nothing compared to the way 7th Day Adventists play field hockey.
posted by Cookiebastard at 2:03 PM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think the argument about whether football or soccer is more "physical" is a little ill-defined, but I know which I think does more long-term, irreversible damage to the players. I actually feel guilty watching football -- watching men bruise their brains, over and over. Soccer may be hard on legs and feet, but you can do a lot of different kinds of work after retiring, even with those limitations. It seems like football players are just using themselves up.
posted by palliser at 2:24 PM on November 7, 2009


palliser - That was more of my point, before I rambled it away. They're both very rough, but different kinds of rough. What exactly do we mean by "physical? If it's long term damage sustained, then football wins hands down. If we're talking, say, pain experienced on a moment to moment basis, or opportunities for viciousness then I think it's soccer.

For example: In the part of the clip where she punches the other girl in the back after baing elbowed in the chest, the initial elbow, while illegal, is very standard. If a defender is riding your back and grabbing your shorts or something and is good at not getting caught, that's what you have to do if you want to stay effective. Also, the above discussed nature of the referee's duties make that kind of thing possible and necessary. Violence is obviously built into football too, and there's dirty stuff going on behind backs, but in a pretty completely different way.

The whole "which is rougher" debate doesn't seem to me to be a particularly valid or interesting question, unless all you want is a passive-aggressive way to try and argue the superiority of one sport or another. Though, a more amusing topic of that type is "which is more homoerotic."
posted by cmoj at 2:42 PM on November 7, 2009


Pshaw. Nothing compared to the way 7th Day Adventists play field hockey.

The last time I attended a Greek Orthodox ping pong match, seven ambulances had to carry the dead and injured away.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:55 PM on November 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


The arguments about women not being capable to play pro football also apply to about 99.99% * of the male population. Pro football players are so far from normal in terms of speed, strength, and size they're just unlike most other humans.

Perhaps there aren't as many women who could play pro football as men, I don't know, but I don't think it's an absolute. There are billions of women on the planet - surely some of them are or could be as big and as fast and as strong as some of the players on some of the pro teams, given the training and encouragement that the men get.

But how many high schools do we have that encourage girls to play football? How many women grow up passing and catching a football with their friends every weekend? How many girls in school are encouraged to lift weights and bulk up?

I cannot say that women cannot play due to their gender, because women don't get the same training or encouragement as men. But I personally think it's a question of what percentage of men and of women is capable, rather than an absolute. Maybe 100x as many men can play at the pro level as women, maybe 10x. I don't know. But out of billions of people, I'll wager some of them could do it.

* Pulling this number out of thin air
posted by zippy at 3:06 PM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Soccer: a game for gentlemen played by thugs.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:24 PM on November 7, 2009


zippy, I'd imagine that when you're only looking at the tail end of the bell curve in terms of a combination of speed, strength, and size, you're actually more likely to get complete exclusion of females than if you were looking at qualifications more widely held.
posted by palliser at 3:35 PM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Zippy, pretty much every college and high school has a women's track and field team. But if you look at 100 meters sprint world records, the women aren't even close. You can't just brush this off by citing the number of women in the world and appealing to statistics. There may be billions of women, but there are billions of men, too.
posted by ryanrs at 3:51 PM on November 7, 2009


So that's what happened to Adriana, she wasn't killed by Silvio, she went into witness protection and started playing collegiate soccer.
posted by MikeMc at 5:01 PM on November 7, 2009


About the end of career thing, the lifespan for the average NFL player is hideously short, as well. While U.S. life expectancy is 77.6 years, recent studies suggest the average for NFL players is 55, 52 for linemen. The average career length is only 3 1/2 seasons, though that doesn't really measure the active length of a career, some players are cut because they suck (I'm looking at you, Cade McNown, Rex Grossman, and the rest of the Bears quarterbacks I've endured through most of my life), but most running backs have about a 3 year span before they just can't do it anymore. People like Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders are genetic freaks, to be able to do what they do, and still walk. For a better picture, try to find some video of Gale Sayers walking, and compare it to video of how he used to run.

Of course, there are gruesome youtube videos out there of soccer tackles gone horribly wrong, with new joints being added where they aren't needed (please, search for yourselves), the problem with football is that these short, brutal careers are the end result of football tackles going exactly according to plan.

Or, more bluntly, when a soccer player lies writhing on the field, 9 times out of 10, he'll be back on his feet the second he realizes the free kick isn't coming. When it's football, and the guy is writhing that bad, more than likely, he'll be leaving the field on a cart.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:29 PM on November 7, 2009


Ryanrs, No argument about world records, except to hypothesize that a larger percent of males are encouraged, by parents and peers, to be fast and strong, and also to suggest that possibly, the average pro player in a given position, or more expansively, the worst pro player in a given position, just might not be the better of the best woman, given the same encouragement, and drawn from as large a pool.

Put another way, while half of us are Star Bellied Sneetches, and half without, one group gets recruited, promoted, and supported more than the other and so draws from a larger pool at the world record setting level. Just saying there might be a lot of untapped potential out there that we can't measure.
posted by zippy at 6:33 PM on November 7, 2009


Women play semi-pro football.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:24 PM on November 7, 2009


Zippy: All the training, dedication, and encouragement in the world won't matter. The Sneetch analogy doesn't work because Sneetches were only different cosmetically. One set of sneetches didn't have a significantly higher average testosterone level.
posted by Justinian at 7:45 PM on November 7, 2009


Zippy, let's look at basketball, a much less physically punishing sport than football. Women have been playing basketball for as long as men, and colleges and the WNBA have extensive networks to identify the elite female players in the U.S. and the rest of the world, women who've spent their entire lives in a basketball culture, who play and train day in and day out in pursuit of a college scholarship and possibly a pro career. The best of the best of those end up in the WNBA. Take the absolute top player in that league—Candace Parker or Diana Taurasi or Lauren Jackson or Lisa Leslie. I'd venture to say not one of them could get near a roster on a men's mid-major college team, much less the NBA. I'd also venture to say there are hundreds of high school boys (a pool that feeds the 347 NCAA Division I teams) who would just tear up the women's pro league. Leslie and Jackson, probably the two best centers in the history of women's basketball, are each 6'5"—the size of a shooting guard or small forward on a decent men's college hoops team.

The idea that there is a large untapped pool of potential women basketball players outside the vast sample that already play the game (the latter self-selecting because of their athleticism, height, hand-eye coordination, etc.), and that from that pool you could find at least one that could make an NBA roster, is simply unrealistic.
posted by stargell at 8:15 PM on November 7, 2009


Pshaw. Nothing compared to the way 7th Day Adventists play field hockey.

The last time I attended a Greek Orthodox ping pong match, seven ambulances had to carry the dead and injured away.


We don't like to talk about the Pentecostal Church of Christ (Holiness) End Of Summer Barbecue Picnic and Lawn Bowls Tournament. But I will say this: I've defanged more than my share of balls. And snakes can't bite through wood.
posted by Diablevert at 8:42 PM on November 7, 2009


I was told by footie aficionados that the Italian player really was baiting Zidane with nasty racist and anti-Muslim comments, and has a reputation for being a real piece of work.

And there are those who argue that people view Zidane's actions differently, depending on their cultural background.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:07 AM on November 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is it bad that her aggressiveness caused me to be attracted to her?
posted by reenum at 9:00 PM on November 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Naw, just that you bothered to voice that here.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:02 PM on November 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


hypothesize that a larger percent of males are encouraged, by parents and peers, to be fast and strong

Oh give me a break. It takes more than simple encouragement to build muscle mass. Much as I'm sure some people abhor the thought, men and women are different. And no amount of power of suggestion or eating your Wheaties will change that.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:21 AM on November 9, 2009


I play in a couple mens rec leagues, interestingly enough in the C division---the "nonviolent" divisions. In the past couple seasons I've....broken my ankle (ok fine, my fault), broken my heel (ok fine, my fault again), cracked a rib, been tackled (not in the soccer "tackle" sense, but in the football "tackle" sense) by people waaaaaaaaay bigger than me (I'm only 5'7"). A couple weeks ago I scored on a bicycle kick (yay me!) and my reward was to get brutalized by a female from the other squad. I mean I totally gave it back to her on the next play, but she in no way made a play for the ball.

My best one was last season. We were coming back from being down 5-1, it was currently 3-0 them. I had a breakaway on their half of the field, keeper out of position, I scooped it over his head (at the headmost section of the penalty box, nowhere near the goal) and it rolled in untouched...he tackled me. He's conservatively about 6'3", 240. I took it as a granted because I embarrassed him, hopped up and ran back to the kickoff. Fast forward 40 minutes, we're down 4-5, again I got a nice pass inside the box and my reward was a slide tackle from behind in the box. I let someone else take it, because in this league you're limited to 2 goals per person per game. I came in again, right side of the goal, juked left and goalie overcommitted, I tapped right and had a clear shot on goal. He did some crazy side scooting foot sweep thing while laying down and kicked me dead in the side of the shin and took me down. End result was compartment syndrome in the leg, and now I've got permanent swelling and loss of sensation.

Joke's on him though, because I scored the winning goal with 30 seconds left. Neener neener neener.

These are from a camera phone in bad light, but they're pretty awesome none the less!
1, 2, 3, 4, 5,6 , 7, 8

All that said, we watched a good chunk of that game and while the BYU girls seemed to have started the fun with elbows out of place, the NM girl(s) took it completely further than it needed to go. Even if the ref didn't see it, the line judges are empowered to make those calls.
posted by TomMelee at 7:54 AM on November 9, 2009


Dude, we didn't really need to see your leg.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:56 AM on November 9, 2009


And you really didn't need to click either, did you?

Just highlighting the brutality of america's most violent "non violent" sport. :)
posted by TomMelee at 11:28 AM on November 9, 2009


been tackled (not in the soccer "tackle" sense, but in the football "tackle" sense)

If you have to attempt to describe the brutality of Soccer by invoking American Football to describe one particularly brutal tackle and distinguishing it from a tackle "in the soccer 'tackle' sense," I think that's a pretty strong case for the proposition that American Football is more brutal. You see, in American Football, every tackle is "in the football 'tackle' sense," and it happens to multiple players on every single play.
posted by The World Famous at 11:34 AM on November 9, 2009


I guess I missed the part of the thread where there was a puffing of chests to declare one more brutal than the other.

Football is brutal in 3-10 second increments with 15 seconds to 2 minutes between plays, played by a team of 20-45 players substituting after every play. Soccer is brutal for 45 minutes at a time by 13-20 person teams, substituting at most once every 5-10 minutes, without stopping, and then stopping for 5 minutes, and then being brutal again for 45-60 minutes without stopping

No, we don't jab each other in the eyeballs in between plays, but we also don't wear helmets, gloves, or pads, and we GENERALLY are expected to get right back up and run the same 60 yard sprint again a few more times in the next 5 minutes.
posted by TomMelee at 11:47 AM on November 9, 2009


"We"?

If you're seriously arguing that your club soccer experience has been more brutal than pro football, well ... I guess it's going to lop more than 20 years off your life. Hope it's been fun.
posted by palliser at 12:14 PM on November 9, 2009


And you really didn't need to click either, did you?

No, but posting pictures of your leg is really lame.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:18 PM on November 9, 2009


No, but posting pictures of your leg is really lame.

I see what you did there.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:39 PM on November 9, 2009


Nothing compares to the regional Quakers Steeplechase championship last year for outright postmortem horse beating.
posted by Fezboy! at 2:20 PM on November 9, 2009


I realize no one is reading this by now, but I saw the video again somewhere else and I noticed that before the hair-grab the girl had actually grabbed at Elizabeth's shorts from behind her back, trying to avoid looking like she was doing anything.
posted by delmoi at 2:14 PM on November 11, 2009


I just heard about this story today. No cable TV. I miss sports. :(

I realize no one is reading this by now, but I saw the video again somewhere else and I noticed that before the hair-grab the girl had actually grabbed at Elizabeth's shorts from behind her back, trying to avoid looking like she was doing anything.

Elizabeth Lambert Video: Attractive, Aggressive, Suspended... Victim?

Watching the clips from ESPN now, her behavior doesn't really look that bad, and pretty minor compared to the stuff that professional male players do.

I see 5 sorta rough plays.

1. She got elbowed in the boobs. She reacts with an obvious punch to the back.
2-4. Three hard tackles; possibly illegal
5. The ponytail flip. I think her opponent took a bit of a dive too. It's hard to tell how hard she pulled her hair.

I'm not trying to defend her behavior. She likely should have gotten a red card for retaliating with the first punch or retaliating with the hair pull.

But all this foofaraw about being prosecuted? C'mon. How bad was anyone hurt?

(ah, I just watched the extended ESPN clips. the head punch during the tackle in the corner was pretty bad.)

All in all, yeah, it seems like the ref did a magnificently shitty job.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:37 PM on November 12, 2009


Those Soccer Plays, in Context

She is seeing a clinical psychologist on campus to better understand what caused the hair-pulling incident. It is one of several steps she is taking, along with speaking to youth players about acceptable behavior, so she can seek reinstatement to the team in the spring.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:27 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


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