I read something on The Guardian website last night about England goalkeeper Paul Robinson buying a bunch of Adidas Teamgeist balls some weeks ago so he had time to practice with the ball. It’s a new ball specifically for this World Cup. Made from just two pieces and is, apparently, lighter than a normal ball. Germany’s keeper Jens Lehmann also has reservations about the ball. This got me thinking.
If you visualise a football in your head, it probably looks like this:
Correct? My brain’s football looked like that, too. Then I checked Google Images (I checked soccer ball to bypass the other types of football). Fifteen of the first 20 images had that type of football.
Of all the ball sports, is there one that allows the manufacturer of the ball to mess about with the design as much as football does? A baseball always looks the same. A cricket ball, too. Golf, tennis, squash, table tennis; and as far as I know, basketballs and American footballs always have the same design.
It really saddens me that a game I love is being bastardised to this point where professional goalkeepers have to worry about whether they can catch a ball or not simply because of the manufacturer’s desire for some fancy ball which, ultimately, advertises their brand.
Sorry, football-haters and ambivalent-ers, there’s probably more football-based stuff to come in the next few weeks.
But for those of you that like football, and particularly the English amongst you, and even more particularly the Liverpool fans amongst you: here’s a mini Peter Crouch.