::: FistedAway today welcomes a guest post from Elliott, editor of the rather lovely Futfanatico :::
Speak it softly….no word terrifies national team keepers anticipating South Africa 2010 more than the accursed “Jabulani.” The last World Cup ball, the Teamgeist, similarly brought complaints from the impossible-to-character-assault Jens Lehmann. For the impending tournament, the Association of Soccer Stoppers has organised a series of principled and philosophical objections to the ball in question. Basically, they have questioned the ball concept itself. But this time, have they gone too far?
Iker Casillas, the Real Madrid goalkeeper and Chief Spokesman for the A.S.S., has specifically taken issue with the round nature of the ball. “What people don’t realise is that if you kick a ball hard enough, it will roll and actually get faster. That’s simply not fair.” A.S.S. Treasurer Gianluigi Buffon voiced similar complaints, noting that “the ball’s roundness makes it much more likely to spin sideways and complicates proper grabbing.”
The Association has apparently also examined possible alternatives. “First, we thought about a lighter option – like a beach ball,” Casillas admitted. “However, some field testing left us with mixed results.” After the overwhelmingly negative public reaction, the Association tossed the baby out with the bath water and decided to oppose the entire “circle” concept. However, a simmering board room debate has left them lacking consensus on a specific alternative.
The Casillas camp steadfastly argues for the implementation of a trapezoid shaped something or other. Ideally, the weight would be around 4-5 pounds and the texture a combination of steel wool and snakeskin. Casillas himself noted that “the trapezoid, no matter how hard you kick it, will definitely not roll.” However, the Buffon camp pointed out that a trapezoid if successfully vaulted in the air would have an irregular flight stream. Instead, Buffon proposes a giant square steel box, 13 metres high by 30 metres long, weighing roughly a tonne.
The Striker’s Union did not return phone calls concerning the matter.