Copa Dope - Don't Mess With Márquez!

Seriously, the dude's got a screw loose when it comes to losing. I'm sure American fans won't need to be reminded of the Elbow Massacre of 2002 - though, come on now, be honest, it is pretty difficult to resist wanting to do grievous bodily harm to Cobi Jones isn't it? Then he goes and shoves his own Barca teammate (Messi) to the ground during a scramble for the ball in Mexico's 3-0 Copa America semifinal defeat.

Not that Messi was the only one to feel the Wrath of Rafa! I was watching the game on TiVo in "God Editor" mode where I hit the 30-second skip when things get stagnant, but I counted at least a handful of pretty hard tackles from behind, at least two of which were leg-swipes that were obviously not intended to get the ball, not to mention diving across the body of Tevez to concede the penalty leading to the Argentines' third.

I think my favorite Márquez moment was in a Barcelona game when he made a cynical challenge while on a yellow and then looked absolutely shocked when the ref produced yet another yellow followed by red. He was completely stunned to be dismissed because he seemed to genuinely have forgotten that he was on a yellow card and it took a bit of convincing from less memory-impaired teammates to get him to respond to his marching orders.

As to the game last night - God, that's some squad Argentina has going forward! Maybe not the strongest back line and keeper, but the midfield and forwards are monsters. Messi's goal was absolute class, and they made a very good Mexico side look pedestrian by comparison. Put simply, barring an early red or a disaster of a performance, Brazil may as well hand them the trophy right now. I think the only question remaining in the Copa is how many will be killed and maimed during, and immediately after, the Mexico-Uruguay third-place match. Talk about two teams that really don't know how to lose gracefully!

Also, a special shout out to Ray Hudson. While I thought that his fellating of Eddie Johnson earlier in the tourney was embarrassing, he was almost obscene in his praise for Riquelme - he did absolutely everything save bend over and present himself like a horny baboon for the Argentine playmaker. While I love Ray's enthusiasm and flair for the colorful phrase, it sometimes goes just a bit too far.

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