Luis Suarez and the act of forgiveness

The truly personal piece – even as obviously anything written here is from the writer’s own worldview – is rare for me. My hope is that in banging this out it will help not only me come to grips with a situation, but other culers who are struggling in the same way.

During yesterday’s Classic, I had an awful moment. During the screaming and exultation over what ultimately turned out to be the winning goal, what entered my mind amid the din was, “Why did it have to be him?”

I felt awful for having that thought, for so many reasons, not least of which is my Buddhist belief system which has a very clear view about forgiveness, summed up in this excellent piece at the Dharma Wisdom site.

Its context is essentially, how to forgive the unforgiveable, what is forgiveness and how do we reconcile an unspeakable act with the act of forgiveness. True forgiveness. Here is the best, and most pertinent excerpt from the piece, which is really worth reading no matter your belief system:

Forgiveness can be understood as a spiritual practice and has been taught as such by Jesus, the Buddha, and many other spiritual teachers. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary defines forgiveness in this manner: “To cease to feel resentment against on account of a wrong committed.” This definition is poignantly illustrated in a well-known Tibetan Buddhist story about two monks who encounter each other some years after being released from prison where they had been tortured by their captors. “Have you forgiven them?” asks the first. “I will never forgive them! Never!” replies the second. “Well, I guess they still have you in prison, don’t they?” the first says.

Forgiveness practice is about liberating your own feelings and finding meaning in the worst of life’s events. You practice forgiveness to be free of the inner violence of your rage, and you do not abandon the pursuit of right action. In fact, you gain clear seeing that allows you to use skillful means in bringing sustainable peace.
There is a misguided idea that to forgive is to accept, that by forgiving an act we somehow condone that it happened, but that isn’t the case. Everyone has done things in their life for which they had to beg, and hope for forgiveness. I have. I know you have. We all have. When forgiveness comes, through direct or indirect action, most of what the person who is being forgiven feels is relief. But shouldn’t the person who is doing the forgiving also feel relief? You release this thing from your heart, letting a wound heal, in effect.

When the club bought Luis Suarez, it was a player with a history: biting, and being found guilty of racist action. I stomped my feet and penned a screed about a board that would do anything to win, even signing an unrepentant bit of skeeze such as this. Obviously, I was against it. Over time, and it’s important to note that this was true even when Suarez was struggling to hit the broad side of a barn with a football, I was struggling with a hard heart because that hardness is essentially against everything that I believe in.

Two years ago at the national track cycling championships, I was the fastest guy there in my age division. In the semi-finals I won the first ride easily. In the second ride my opponent pulled a move that was illegal. I backed off rather than crashing. I protested, and was denied. The feelings that arose in me were intensely negative, to the effect of “We’ll see in this third ride. Somebody is going down!” I felt terrible for that emotion, and withdrew from the competition. It felt like the best action in keeping with my beliefs, and still does because not only is the sport in which I participate supposed to be about joy and fun, but nothing good ever comes from a negative emotion.

So here I sit with Suarez, yesterday’s hard heart and awful feeling rooted in the question, “Why did it have to be him?” On Twitter this morning I noted the existence of that feeling, and someone for whom I have the deepest respect and admiration sent me a message about that situation, a message that made me think and make an effort to come to terms with me and my feelings, rooted in a debate I was having about Neymar. People in Barca Twitter commented that perhaps if Neymar wasn’t so obsessed with his hair and Instagram, he would be playing better.

Now the obvious absurdity in such a worldview is that he was doing the same hair and Instagram stuff when he was banging in goals for fun, so why would it be different now? Further, an excellent point was made about the expectation of a Barca player, which is to come to the match and give his all for the team, that demanding that a player adhere to some sort of behavioral standard was madness and prima facie unfair because of the malleability of said standards. My defense of Neymar was automatic, based in my own sense of fairness. The struggle to come to grips with the Suarez thoughts came hot on the heels of that and have, frankly, left me more than a little ashamed.

I don’t like what this board has done to the football club that I love. Suarez is for me, part of that sense of “anything” that seems to motivate so many actions perpetrated by the board. So Suarez has links to the board in my head and in my heart, links that hinder that act of forgiveness. So many say that Suarez is a good man, a loving father who is good to his children, but that isn’t the point. The point is that he performed acts on a football pitch that are rather reprehensible, and the reactions to those acts.

Forgiveness isn’t easy. It’s different than an apology, an act of contrition which in this day and age too often means “Sorry I got caught.” True contrition exists in the acts after the apology, rather than in the apology itself. Apology is really single-sided. One person apologizes, and it’s up to the other person whether they accept said apology, but the acceptance doesn’t have any effect on the apology, no matter its sincerity. Forgiveness is usually considered to be two-sided. One has to forgive, and the other has to be forgiven. But that perception of the symbiotic act is incorrect. Forgiveness is in its purest form, just as one-sided as an apology. If someone forgives, the other person doesn’t matter because what the act of forgiveness does is removes that little bit of negative energy not only from your heart, but from the world.

Hard-heartedness is, like many emotions, fear-based. As people, we spend so much of our lives in fear. Fear drives a lot of what we do. Fear of being wrong, fear of what someone might say if we deviate from a hard and fast position, fear that someone might laugh at us. Fear is a thing that also hinders so much of what we do, including altering the capacity to forgive.

Sporting joy is pure. It reduces us to canines, essentially, as a dog’s love is unconditional. “This is the best bone ever!” We love our teams. When our teams do well, the joy is complete and glorious in an ideal world. We sometimes weep, sometimes cheer, but there is that rawness that is so unspeakably wonderful. My “why him?” moment intruded, sullied that purity in a way that was tough to deal with, a moment that is now gone. And as we build forts around positions that are meaningless – Suarez doesn’t care what I think – it’s easy to wonder about our stake in them. What’s the emotional investment in denying forgiveness, for me?

Comfort is an odd thing that soothes us at times when we need it. If I had to actually accept that I needed to forgive Suarez, where would that lead? What would happen if he bit someone again, or stood accused of racially abusing another player? Does that mean that I was stupid, and my forgiveness was misguided, that I should have stuck to my guns so that I could then say “See? Told you he would.” That’s all fear-based, and it’s long past time to be unafraid.

You can forgive someone who doesn’t care about your forgiveness except in the abstract. Does the act of forgiving Suarez free my heart to become a fuller, more complete culer, more vested in unconditional love for the club? Good question. It certainly removes a barrier to my fullest immersion in the pure emotion of sporting joy and it also, honestly, makes me less of a prat.

Suarez did what he did. Forgiveness doesn’t eradicate those actions or imply that you accept those actions. But it does mean that you have become, in a small but significant way, just a little bit more human.

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In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

27 Comments

  1. Jim
    March 23, 2015

    So just to be clear, have you forgiven him ?

    I see a lot of wrestling with conscience in what you admit is a pretty personal piece and a thoughtful read, actually, but I was expecting a tailpiece where you come out and say whats done is done. Let’s move on. Maybe I’ve just misread.

    I was in an easier place than you about Suarez. I think we both realised he was the missing piece right from the start but, without putting words in your mouth, I suspect like me our culture resulted in a value system where spitting and probably more so, biting were actions beneath contempt. To start with, I couldn’t believe the discussions here and elsewhere where people were asking why this was worse than a leg breaking tackle. It’s one of the great things, for me, about our community here. I’ve learned a lot about different cultures’ views on things and all of a sudden it seemed to me like I was riding a pretty indefensible cultural high horse in that of course I’d rather someone spat on me or even bit me rather than broke my leg. When allied to the Liverpool players’ comments on the Suarez they knew it seemed only fair that I give him a chance.

    I’ve spent my life trying hard in my mind to separate the kids in my charge from the behaviour they exhibit and continually forgiving their actions in the hope that one day they will come to a better place – and so it was with Suarez. I hope that’s also where you are now – so you can REALLY start to enjoy that goal !!!

    • March 23, 2015

      I have, Jim. It was the moment yesterday that really got me to thinking about it all. My wife and I don’t fight, because we are too cognizant of the fight cycle: buildup, fight, post-battle tension, cooling off, making up. We are acutely aware of the time a fight wastes, moments spent apart that you should be spending together.

      More than that, moments of joy sullied. I really, truly didn’t like the intrusion of those feelings into what should have been a spectacular, extraordinary moment. Then a couple of people crystallized my thinking in a significant way, and that was that.

      To be honest, I wrestled with whether to write this piece at all, because of the inevitable questioning of motives. “Hmph! It’s easy to forgive when he just scored the winning goal in the Classic.”

      But it isn’t about that. It’s about me and the shit I carry around. And I ultimately don’t care two craps what anyone thinks about anything that I write. That’s liberating as heck, and I like to think it makes me more sincere. Or maybe just more reckless. Either way, I felt it needed to be written, not only for me but I suspect there are other culers out there who have, since the transfer, been having the same debate in their own heads.

      Thanks for reading, and another insightful comment.

  2. Naps
    March 23, 2015

    “Hard-heartedness is, like many emotions, fear-based. As people, we spend so much of our lives in fear. Fear drives a lot of what we do. Fear of being wrong, fear of what someone might say if we deviate from a hard and fast position, fear that someone might laugh at us. Fear is a thing that also hinders so much of what we do, including altering the capacity to forgive.”

    great writing mate!!! keep it up!!!

  3. Inamess
    March 23, 2015

    Depending on your perspective, Luis Suarez is one of the most vile people in world football or the most misunderstood. One thing that seems clear to me at this point is that his talent lies directly in his relentless desire to win and his ability to do things instinctively on the pitch that few are capable of.

    Every Barca fan is free to make of Suarez what they will, but let’s admit at this point that a you can’t order your players a la carte and a “nice” Suarez who is a perfect gentleman on the pitch and a model of fair play is just not really a player that is worth paying 81 mil for. We paid for Liverpool Suarez, a player who can win games on his own, who will fight tooth and nail for us on the field, and that player has finally arrived at the most decisive part of the season.

    As a former Oakland Raiders fan, I am not looking for our players to be role models. But in Suarez’s case, I hope that he has finally achieved a level of maturity and impulse control that will keep him from going over the edge in a way that will hurt the club and its fans. We paid a lot of money and got a lot of flack for signing Suarez, but with goals like the one yesterday and his performance over the last few months it seems to have been a risk that has worked out.

    • hansh
      March 23, 2015

      I reject the premise that a “nice” Suarez wouldn’t be worth paying the money for/wouldn’t be as good a player. You can be a gentleman and a model of fair play and still have incredible drive, passion, and dedication to your team. Look at Puyol – he fought tooth and nail during every minute of every game, but he also has/had a reputation for fairness and honor.

      Every player at Barça or any other club has a relentless desire to win. That makes them passionate, but it doesn’t necessitate that they be hot-headed and angry. If that were the case, we’d all have to wonder what a player like Iniesta has been doing at a high-pressure club for so long.

      I don’t think Suarez is one of the most vile people in world football, and I especially don’t think that he can’t improve himself/his behavior in the future. But improving his attitude won’t ruin what makes him a great player.

  4. Kiel
    March 23, 2015

    This article really hits home for me, as I was in a similar place when the stories of our interest first surfaced. My first thoughts were how sick I would feel at the sight of this reprehensible character in the prestigious blaugrana colours.

    Many talk of the biting and the racist comments, but my first moment of hatred for the man was back in the 2010 WC, when he cheated his team’s way into the semi finals. Images of him celebrating the penalty miss as he made his way to the tunnel had me fuming with rage. This was not the way to win. In my mind, Ghana were robbed and Suarez may as well have been criminally charged.

    Fast forward to today, and I am still unsure how to feel when I see him out there standing as a representation of the team I love so dearly. I think I am slowly coming to terms with it, as I can’t remember celebrating any of his goals for us quite as I did the winner yesterday. I’ve had the same “did it have to be him??” moments many a time this season, but not yesterday. Yesterday I jumped and yelled and celebrated just as ferociously as he did out there on the pitch. I knew what that goal meant for the team, for the fans, and for him.

    I will never condone his past antics, just like I have never condoned any similar incidents involving a Barca player (Busquet’s ‘peek’ springs to mind). I’ll never side with the “whatever it takes to win” narrative, because we have the perfect counter-argument in Messi (I don’t condone his “hand of god” goal for the record :P). But there is definitely something to be said for giving it all on the pitch for the club, and so far Suarez has done just that.

    I think I have reached the point of acceptance and have decided that even if I can’t come to terms with his past actions, maybe he deserves a least a chance to show that he understands what THIS club represents and what the fans expect. So far I think he has done just that, aside from the minor embellishment incidents here and there. I will never buy a Suarez jersey, but I think I can at least appreciate and even celebrate what he is doing and will hopefully continue to do for the club we both love.

    Also, I think a deeper understanding of the man himself has certainly helped me come to terms with his signing. Here is a great article on his troubled past: http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/10984370/portrait-serial-winner-luis-suarez-soccer-most-beautiful-player

  5. hansh
    March 23, 2015

    Very interesting piece, Kxevin! I too have been thinking about these topics recently.

    Can you talk a little more about how forgiveness and acceptance aren’t the same things? What does it mean to forgive, if not to accept someone’s actions, to come to terms with their actions? This is my hang-up – I don’t really see how those are separate ideas.

    I can (and basically do) believe that Suarez is generally a good person and a family man, etc, and believe that he is working to improve his on-pitch attitude. I can believe that he deserves a second chance (or a third or fourth or fifth as the case may be…). But I don’t forgive him for making racist comments. Can one be angry and still forgive?

    I’m not trying to argue – I think I’d rather share your views than hold onto my own, because mine make me frustrated – but I’m trying to clarify.

    • March 23, 2015

      hansh, because forgiveness is essentially releasing yourself from the burden of carrying that anger and negativity around. In many ways, forgiveness and selfless and selfish. But in the end you hope that selfish act and its letting you get over that hurdle can open your heart in a way that will help some one or some situation.

      I hope that makes sense. It’s a very important distinction. Forgiveness doesn’t make the biting or racist allegations go away. They happened. But the struggle is coming to terms with the feelings that exist in the aftermath, letting go of your own fear and anger and accepting the possibility of something better happening.

    • hansh
      March 23, 2015

      Thanks for clarifying. That does make more sense to me. I think I’m operating on different definitions – what you’re talking about as forgiveness sounds to me like coming to terms and moving on. Under your definition forgiving someone has nothing to do with them at all, it’s about releasing yourself from that burden. But the way I think of it, forgiveness is a symbiotic act in which two people are unburdened, not one.

      It’s a matter of semantics, anyways. I haven’t encountered your definition before but I can see how it makes sense, it’s something to think about. I agree with your ideas!

      (Maybe forgiveness is the act of acknowledging that hurtful actions occurred in the past, and that because they are no longer happening they can no longer hurt you.)

  6. TITO
    March 23, 2015

    How do you forgive someone for an action that doesnt involve you personally?
    Not aimed at you Kxev, but in general.

    • hansh
      March 23, 2015

      Interesting point to raise!

      My first thought is to say that you can’t forgive someone for an action that didn’t wrong you. (Now, people may feel differently about whether an action that doesn’t involve you can still wrong you, but let’s say it doesn’t.) To do so is to rob the person who was wronged of their right to be angry and work through the wrongdoing on their own timescale and come to forgiveness when they feel it is right.

      I’m Jewish, and maybe you know about the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, when we are meant to atone for our sins/transgressions – but only our transgressions against God. Apologizing to God doesn’t get us out of the transgressions we commit against other people. So then you can flip it around and say, if not even God can forgive someone for an action that doesn’t involve God personally, how can I possibly hope to do it?

      Throw religion out of the metaphor and I think it still holds up. If it wasn’t me who was wronged I don’t have the right to offer forgiveness, because what if the wronged party isn’t ready for that yet? Then the person who was hurtful is benefited and validated while the person who was hurt gains nothing.

      That’s still thinking on the micro scale, though, concerning two parties who I know personally. Of course in the case of Suarez we don’t know any of the people who are actually involved. My forgiveness cannot help Suarez or invalidate the people he has wronged. Does that mean I should be quicker to forgive, or slower? Does that mean I don’t have to feel bad about forgiving Suarez when it’s not my place? Does that mean that forgiveness isn’t the action to strive for here at all?

      Or was my whole premise wrong – can actions that don’t involve you still wrong you personally?

      (Sorry, lots of questions and not many coherent opinions.)

  7. Jay22N
    March 23, 2015

    First of all, kudos on the realization that it was you who needed to forgive Suarez rather than Suarez who needed to be forgiven.
    The initial reservation(as stated by you)regarding having Suarez was that he came with a history- of “biting, and being found guilty of racist action”. This reservation resonates with the attitude of many Barca fans that- ‘Suarez was signed despite his history and thus he need to perform well’. Many people thus imply an extra onus on Suarez to score goals and win matches. This is different from having higher expectations of Suarez due to the amount of money paid for him or because of him being a top player or even as an extension of the general expectation of giving your very best when you are at a club like Barcelona.Fans talk in terms of Suarez being given a chance despite his short comings,- many miss or consider secondary the fact that Suarez has earned the chance for himself after a marvelous season.
    This kind of assessment reduces Suarez to the perception of baggage he has been assumed to carry, as if there is a need for Suarez to redeem himself of his grave sins through his goals and assists. This kind of attitude stinks of condescension and smug morality.

    When I take your statement- “The point is that he performed acts on a football pitch that are rather reprehensible, and the reactions to those acts”, in conjunction with ‘Suarez did what he did. Forgiveness doesn’t eradicate those actions or imply that you accept those actions.’,from my perspective(and do correct me if you think I have misunderstood you ) I feel that you have by your act of ‘forgiveness’ decided to move on while still condemning his ‘reprehensible acts’ and appreciating his virtues at the same time. My concern with this approach is that it tries to create two watertight compartments- Suarez the bad guy and Suarez the good one. It fails to look at Suarez holistically for all he’s worth. The dual approach hinders engagement. Humans are not just good nor they are just bad. Between these shades of grey a line dividing a person by their good and bad acts, fails to understand the person himself. Maybe not doing this might make us ‘a little bit more human’.

    On a side note, the two personal events you mentioned -the cycling event and the fights with your wife(from your reply to a comment), I have a slightly different take on them. At times I feel that there might be some merit in not forgiving, as you deal with aspects that you don’t like – about the sport you love or the person you are married to- and these might help in giving an understanding of the whole and not just of the good parts, even if it leads to resentment.Maybe to forgive and move on is not always the best way, sometimes one needs to engage and confront to move on.So then I think the second monk was right when he talked about the first one still being in their prison but maybe his liberation did not lie in forgiveness. For I feel sometimes confrontation and engagement can be as liberating as forgiveness.

    (I somehow felt that I was intruding on your private space but I hope you understand- given the whole idea of a personal blog.)

    • March 23, 2015

      Excellent comment, Jay, and thank you. I explain a lot of what I mean in a comment addressed to hansh above. It isn’t as much compartmentalizing Suarez into “good” and “bad,” as understanding that people do bad things and accepting their humanity as a way of getting into closer touch with your own humanity. In other words, if I hate someone forever for stepping on my toe, how much power does it give the initial act?

      For me the personal aspects of the act of forgiveness isn’t at all affected by the numbers of goals that Suarez does or doesn’t score. Those aren’t the point for me, really, even as him scoring a significant goal prompted me to really think about my feelings because of the negative intrusion into what should be a purely joyful event.

      Confrontation and negative events happen in life, as we all know. The struggle is to manage them in a way that doesn’t cause damage, long or short-term, and in a way that is mindful.

  8. Barca_StoDgo
    March 23, 2015

    I’ve never felt it’s been my place or anyone else to forgive Luis Suarez.

    The only player that we have that needs to apologize is Neymar for being such a ballhog around Luis. We could have had 3, maybe 4 if he had just passed the ball to Suarez when he was in open space. But no. He chooses to go for glory when he’s clearly off form.

    Does anyone believe Neymar would have chosen not to pass if the player open was Messi? Personally, I don’t. I agree he needs to stop worrying about his hair and instagram.

    Give me a uruguayan madman over an immature brazilian anyday of the week. Grow up Neymar!

    • Inamess
      March 23, 2015

      For the most part a selfish striker is a striker who doesn’t bury his or her chances. Having three world class strikers on the same team is a great asset but not necessarily an easy thing to pull off.
      MSN are going to need more time to find just the right chemistry and balance between ego and selflessness. For all Neymar has accomplished so far, he is still a kid and an unfinished product. If you are looking for someone who deferentially passes the ball all the time then Pedro is your man.

  9. correct
    March 23, 2015

    beautiful piece.
    outside-the-box.
    justifies our mantra-mes que un club.
    time for reflection.
    welldone kxevin

  10. IamXavi6
    March 23, 2015

    Kxevin, without a doubt, probably your best piece you have ever written. We are blessed to have you share this personal story.

    Forgiveness is quite something, because often people put it as a weakness. But, I’m glad you are very enlightened to note that NOT forgiving someone burdens you as much as the culprit who inflected the actions that deem forgiveness. Forgiveness is the ultimate strength – to forgive but not forget, takes more courage than it ever does to hold onto a grudge. It also shows you just how far you come and ‘rising’ above it all…just like victims families of murderers, who amazingly forgive the murder..that is truly something amazingly huge that only a select few can ever do.

    Kudos for you to being so well adjusted. Your wife must be a very lucky lady. I need to talk about it more to my fiance about arguing…you’re right, all it does is take away time you should cherish together.

  11. lovell
    March 23, 2015

    Nice piece Kxevin.
    Am Ghanaian and dont hate Suarez anymore than i’ll hate iniesta ( considering his(suarez)worldcup 2010 ‘exlpoits’). I dont believe Suarez is ‘evil’, neither do I believe he’s a Saint. Messi isn’t.
    I never feel an inclination to hate people (footballers) because of their decisions or actions on the pitch. Pepe is about my favorite madrid player.
    Suarez racism. I dont know what happened between him and Evra and most of us(if not all) will never know for sure. One thing is certain it, It was a football match and Evra would have hoped (if even a little) to gain some ‘advantage ‘ from the said incident. Who knows, he would have shrugged it off had they been four nil up( assuming Suarez was guilty ).
    I have said some ‘not so nice ‘ things to(about) people (ghanaians)of other ethnic backgrounds in my own ‘small way’ which am not proud of.
    Racism is Bad. But Suarez is not Hitler.

    Away from that, I frankly didn’t enjoy the match but I dammed well LOVED the result.
    Afterall its a Clasico, Its to be endured! ! Visca barca.

  12. tintolee
    March 23, 2015

    Suarez has nt bn a saint all his career but I dnt knw why when people want to list his ‘sins’, they name d handball against Ghana, personally I dnt see it as a bad thing, he did what he had to do for his team and he was red carded, he had the right to be happy when Gyan lost d resulting Pk, aldo I felt so annoyed cos as a Nigerian, I was supporting ghana. If it were to be a Ghanian dat did dat and Ghana went into d semis, m sure there won’t be many talks on it. The biting is absurd rily, and m not sure if I’ve even forgiven him for biting a felow human, aldo I was super happy for his goal and d joy dat followd d goal

  13. bhed
    March 23, 2015

    Kxevin, in all sincerity, thanks for sharing.

    It’s discussions like this that make this space so amazing.

    If we could give everyone the benefit of the doubt that we give “our” players, I think we’d be a step closer to nirvana (the state of being, not the band, but they’re nice too).

  14. ciaran
    March 24, 2015

    Great piece Kxevin, a very good read.
    I love what Suarez has brought to the team and squad. We have a few feisty characters and ones who will do anything to win. Let’s not forget our very own Messi who has punched the ball into the net to score a goal or Iniesta who has been accused of diving just once or twice.
    This mean streak will help us win trophies.

    The Clasico was incredible. It wasn’t the highest quality football throughout but was practically non stop action and however comfortable the players made it look in the second half I didn’t relax until the final whistle.
    It was a game of three halves really, two halves of the first half and then our more control in the second. Our keeper and the back four were really good especially Pique. Absolutely world class from him all night long.
    Credit where it’s due to Benzema for their goal, fantastic bit of improvisation.

    A great week in all in what could have almost ended our involvement in a couple of trophies.

  15. raj
    March 24, 2015

    Thanks, I learned a new perspective today, sits well with my concept of selfishness. Because, as I understand it, the purpose of forgiveness is firstly to maintain the inner peace of the forgiver – even as it spreads the positive energy around – rather than as a kind act towards anyone else, including the wrong doer. Just as it should be.

    Can someone direct me to Kxevins writings on topics other than football? I would be interested in taking a look.

    OT: Shoutout to those who just watched the cricket world cup semi-final.
    My colleagues were saying that South Africa brought back memories of Argentina, AB de Villiers playing as Messi. Not really but what a match. Its the lack of these kind of contests that made cricket and this edition of the world cup boring.
    Hoping the other semi-final and the final are as good – though the chances of that happening are low.

  16. Raj
    March 24, 2015

    I have been a silent student of yours till now… I thought I will learn football today but you taught me dhamma…. Thanks Kxevin

  17. z0hs0h
    March 24, 2015

    I’m a Los Angeles Lakers fan as well as a Barcelona fan. I went through a similar thing when Metta World Peace joined the Lakers. The way I always looked at it is that Metta was clearly not 100% mentally healthy and that the right thing for me to do was to wish him the best in his mental health recovery as well as in his career with the Lakers.

    I immediately felt the exact same way the moment I heard Barca signed Suarez. The right thing for me to do is to wish him the best in his mental health recovery as well as in his career with Barcelona.

    I have noticed that he simply smiles when things don’t go his way a lot of the time now. That’s very encouraging. He needs to completely cease all dissent towards officials, though. He needs to realize that he’s going to be a marked man to all of the officials, probably for the rest of his career, for his prior transgressions. He needs to act more like Ray Hudson’s proverbial “choir boy” Iniesta, or better yet, Messi, who, admirably, seems to intentionally ignore and walk away from most on-pitch theatrics.

  18. Víctor
    March 28, 2015

    Remember, people, the fact that you forgive someone does not mean that you condone the actions he/she did, nor it means that you ‘forgot’ it. It means that you are over it.

    Or at least that’s how I see it.

    Suarez’s handball against Ghana: obviously, it was a cheap tactic, but a “valid one” considering the rules. He got the red card he deserved and it turned out for them… let’s say that the PK was actually scored and Ghana pass… his act would be remembered as a desperate act to win… but that ultimately failed.

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