Tapping into the market for day-old recaps of games you couldn't care less about.
When Trapattoni faces Cúper, the game could probably do with something to liven it up, lest the tension -- the kind of tension that defines a perfectly silent room, until you fall asleep -- becomes too much. Thankfully, Stephen Kelly took less than a minute to display his fine appreciation for the nuances of dramatic theory; or, in footballese, to fail to get the ball the bloody hell out of the area. 0-1.
Thus was shape given to the match: Georgia defended and tactical-fouled; Ireland tried to attack, the way I would try to re-attach your renal artery to your kidney. The ennui was broken briefly when a Keith Andrews shot was deflected past Giorgi Lomaia and in. The Finnish referee, however, as befitting a man who speaks a language with an aversion to voiced consonants, had become attached to the growing melancholy. He invoked the little-known "Gravitational Pull" clause of the interfering-with-play bit of the offside rule, feeling that the powerful atomic processes that drive Kevin Doyle had had a tidal effect on Lomaia's brain juices.
Keith Andrews ran around, quite effectively. The half ended.
Ireland woke up in the second half and did anything -- had a bowl of cereal, watched a SpongeBob SquarePants quadruple bill, cleaned out their bedside locker for the first time in months, had another bowl of cereal (this time without milk), sent emails to themselves -- but study for their big history test the next day. When, with half an hour to go, panic set in (it was even marked on their study planner: 60' PANIC!!!), they opened their textbook on the World War I chapter, upon which inspiration struck. So, as Gavrilo Princip surely would have done had he played central mid, Glen Whelan started playing fifteen yards further forward. Aiden McGeady joined in, deciding to stop pretending he'd forgotten how to play football. Things started happening. Even the ref cheered up a bit, deciding to play the scamp by awarding a penalty to Ireland for that old favourite, the Dubious Handball.
In a sport like, say, basketball, there is a relatively efficient transition between consistent good play and a favourable outcome on the scoreboard. Football, on the other hand, is screwy. Robbie Keane exceeds his quota of screwiness. He had as much impact on the game as you did, yet had the biggest influence on the result. He converted the penalty, and scored the second with a magnificent shoulderer from six yards. He's Ireland's record goalscorer, dontcha know.
In Trap, Ireland have found someone whose ideas chime with our own. Once ahead, he replaced Damien Duff with Stephen Hunt and cranked up the power on the player magnet attached to Ireland's goal, dragging them deeper and deeper. This time, though, there wasn't enough time to throw it away. The table doesn't look right, but like I said, we have Robbie Keane. Ireland win, world saved, until March 28th.
DUNPHY UPDATE: Still a dickhead!