2010 World Cup : Show Me Your Cleats! - World Cup 2010 Blog British goal keeper Robert Green's miscue will go down in infamy with its own moniker.
NPR logo 'Hand Of Clod' Is Hands Down Winner As English Vent About Tie

'Hand Of Clod' Is Hands Down Winner As English Vent About Tie

The Sunday Mirror. www.mirror.co.uk hide caption

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When it comes time to write a stinging headline in just a few words, English newspapers' copy desks are hard to beat.

They've lived up to their reputation today as they express their outrage over the goal that keeper Robert Green let slip between his fingers, giving the U.S. a 1-1 tie Saturday against the favored English team.

"Hand Of Clod" is the phrase that seems to have come to mind for several U.K. headline writers. It's clever on multiple levels:

-- Even casual soccer fans will know it's a play off the "Hand of God" goal that Argentina's Diego Maradona scored against England in the 1986 World Cup tournament.

-- Clod, of course, expresses the disgust English fans have for Green and his muffing of a save that any world class goalie makes 999 out of 1,000 times.

-- And clod, the turf kind, is what Green was left grasping for as the ball dribbled over the goal line.

(The Wall Street Journal's Daily Fix blog tries to make the case that the headline also works because it's Sunday, but that strikes me as a connection the headline writers were unlikely to be thinking about.)

Think you can do better than the British headline writers? Feel free to suggest alternatives in the comments thread.

Also on the theme of cheeky English journalists, might I suggest giving a listen to The Guardian's World Cup Daily podcasts? My Premier League-crazy brothers Ed (a Manchester United fan) and Jim (Arsenal) have sparked my interest in that league in recent years. The lads who do The Guardian's podcast make following soccer fun as well. They're bringing their sometimes-ribald commentaries to the World Cup stage this month.

And here's what The Guardian's Barry Glendenning had to say yesterday when he was live-blogging the U.S.-U.K. match:

"GOAL! ENGLAND 1-1 USA (Green og) Oh my God, that's a horror show from England goalkeeper Rob Green, who spills a soft Clint Dempsey strike from distance over his own line. That's as bad a goalkeeping gaffe as you'll see in this tournament."

Show Me Your Cleats! - World Cup 2010 Blog