Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009 | 10:28 p.m.
You've got to hand it to France's national soccer team. Or something like that.
A goal-scoring wizard for Les Bleus named Thierry Henry -- you may know him from those Gillette commercials with Tiger Woods and Roger Federer -- blatantly used his hand to direct the ball to a teammate who scored a last-minute goal against Ireland to put France into the 2010 World Cup.
This development can only be described as patently illegal. And patently tragic.
I've got no problem with France getting into the World Cup, because I like their fries. But the tainted goal means Ireland is out, which means the Irish pubs where I hang out won't be nearly as raucous as when Ireland is in.
Raucous pubs are good during the World Cup. In fact, raucous pubs are the best reason to have a World Cup.
This is why soccer needs to adopt instant replay ASAP.
"We are the best in the world! We are the best in the world! We have beaten England 2-1 in football! It is completely unbelievable! We have beaten England! England, birthplace of giants. Lord Nelson, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Clement Attlee, Henry Cooper, Lady Diana -- we have beaten them all. We have beaten them all. Maggie Thatcher can you hear me?"
"Maggie Thatcher, I have a message for you in the middle of the election campaign. I have a message for you: We have knocked England out of the football World Cup. Maggie Thatcher, as they say in your language in the boxing bars around Madison Square Garden in New York: Your boys took a hell of a beating! Your boys took a hell of a beating!"
-- Norwegian soccer announcer, after Norway defeated England in a 1982 World Cup qualifier.