Really? It’s that easy? Wave a red card and people go away?
I’ve been obsessing about red cards since the United States and Russia began issuing sanctions in the past week.
John Boehner can’t go to Russia? Does that apply in Congress, too?
On Saturday, there was Roman Abramovich and his girl friend free to watch his club, Chelsea, rampage through Arsenal.
But what if the West and Russia were to ratchet up the red cards, and the oligarchs and their money were not allowed into the West?
What if the Nets’ owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, were not allowed to inspect Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, rusting away before his eyes?
What about the billionaire who bought an $88-million pied-a-terre for his daughter on Central Park West?
What’s the point of being an oligarch if you can’t go west for R&R? Why amass all that money in the first place?
Speaking of sanctions, it’s time for soccer to wave the red card at referee Andre Marriner after his blatant mistake – and refusal to listen to reason – on Saturday.
Chelsea was already leading, 2-0, in the early minutes. I thought Chelsea had a huge advantage, shooting from sunlight into shadow (sunlight! in London! in March!) but maybe it did not matter.
Marriner correctly saw an Arsenal defender deflect a shot that was probably veering wide.
Tweet! The ref promptly called a penalty kick for Chelsea and an automatic red card for Arsenal.
Only trouble was, the ref waved the red card at No. 28 Kieran Gibbs rather than No. 15 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and his guilty fingertips, who had been closer to the goal.
Anybody can make a mistake. But when the Arsenal players tried to explain, Marriner was too blockheaded to listen. His two assistants on the sideline were apparently daydreaming, so Gibbs went off. The authorities will switch the one-match suspension on Monday, but Marriner also needs time away, to learn how to reason.
The match ended, 6-0, in favor of Chelsea, with José Mourinho demonstrating his seething super ego, the coldest stare this side of Putin.
* * *
Two other soccer observations:
*-I’ve never been a fan of John Terry or Wayne Rooney, but both demonstrated their resourcefulness and skill in Champions League matches in recent days.
*-I take back most things I ever said about the Dolans. James L. Dolan relinquished his wretched control of the Knicks this past week, and now Cablevision, owned by the Dolans, has added the Qatari station, beIN, to my cable package, just in time for the Clásico (Real-Barça, but you know that) on Sunday. Cablevision, le saludo. (And I forgot to thank fellow Queens-person Andy Tansey for calling my attention to the news about Cablevision.)
I had a wonderful time on the #NYTReadalong Feb. 7 with Sree Sreenivasan and Neil Parekh, talking about the Super Bowl and the great paper where I used to work. Thanks to all the nice people who sent messages while I was babbling. The Readalong is Sunday, 8:30-10:15 AM Eastern, and the link is available after that.
has filed an interview with, of all people, me.
It's on his blog. (Just past photo of rat!) My thanks for his interest. GV
David Vecsey's sweet tale of distant love before the Web, now NYT Podcast, narrated by Griffin Dunne. Please see: