11/19/2009 10:09 PM
They say Thierry Henry will be playing with the New York Red Bulls in the near future that he will do a David Beckham and make some money in America.
After yesterday the Red Bulls may not want him –not if Irish fans have their say.
Henry can expect a very poor reception from Irish fans in the New York area if and when he shows up here. Right now he’d be French toast.
All across New York yesterday there was a profound sadness in Irish bars and restaurants as this gallant Irish side went down to undeserved defeat.
There was anger too, at the boneheaded decision to award the French goal. A great sporting contest should not have been decided by a cheat.
As always, we had gathered in our locals, around 3.p.m yesterday hoping to cheer our boys in green on from 3,000 miles away. It is a time-honored tradition by now, something we do just by force of habit.
We remember the glory days here in 1994, when the Italians were vanquished in New Jersey and an entire nation of Irish from all over the world descended on the U.S.
Midway through yesterday's game I phoned my wife and said I was heading to South Africa, hell or high water next summer and she should come with me.
We had a hell of a time back in 1994 in New York and Florida traveling with the Irish fans who, yes, are the best in the world. A repeat in South Africa would have been a wonderful do-over.
I was that convinced the Irish were going to win. I had been a sceptic at the start but it became obvious this was an inspired Irish side.
They were playing superbly, chasing and harrying the French off the park and setting up sweet passing movements that brought me back to the glory days of Roy Keane and Paul McGrath.
In the end the game came down to the lack of a video replay Americans find it very hard to understand how soccer has managed to defy the modern era.
American football and baseball the two premier sports here use video replay as a matter of course.
It solves all the arguments, ends all controversy. Was it a touchdown? Lets go to the videotape. Was it a home run or did a fan interfere with the ball? Check the videotape.
It could be used in soccer for controversial goals, nothing else. In a game that is defined by inches, whether an offside decision or penalty incidents, the videotape would easily sort it out.
Thierry Henry handled the ball, plain and simple.
He cheated, the referee missed it and Ireland has to pay the price.
And no, don't tell me there is always next time. This was the time for this magnificent Irish team.