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Sports

Spanish (Fútbol Team) Bombs

Not a great day for close matches, but each blowout shows something different, as Spain finds itself in a horror movie.

by Chris Collision
Jun 13 2014, 11:25pm

Photo via Twitter user @TipsonTits1

It's been an intense day-and-a-half for complete domination. The Spurs managed theirs, as we've seen, with a kind of fully-integrated mechanical quality, every part precise, tightly fitted, and engineered for efficiency. The takeaway was more or less "this is basketball...at about a perfect pitch."

When Spain met the Netherlands, however, things kind of fell apart. For most of a half, there was no clear domination, just a seeming repeat of the final last time 'round. Spanish flash met Dutch physicality, and flash was winning (with just maybe a soupçon of help from a questionable call). That takes us to the 44th minute, when Robin van Persie demonstrated a thoroughgoing mastery of time and space in a way both heartening, amazing, alienating, and unattainable.

Talk of "momentum" and "heart" is normally horseshit; easy hooks for lazy watchers to hang myths on. What happened next had nothing to do with Spanish give-up-ness or them having to yell "Ow! O mi corazon" or whatever idiotic—probably racist—narrative will be vomited up wherever clicks are king; no, clearly, what happened here was that the normal rules of reality were shown not to apply. The Spanish team showed up expecting to star in an action movie; the van Persie header showed them they were just chum in a horror picture. The rational response to irrationality is of course TILT-a rule-governed reaction to ruleless-ness and, for Spain, the lights did in fact start flashing and the machine did in fact stop responding. Unfortunately, the ball wasn't trapped under glass, and the Dutch team proved able to manipulate it very much to their advantage, very often. The take-home was a 5-1 pounding and an open portal to a realm where telepathy, flight, and total control of flying objects is possible. In this realm, it's the worst loss a defending World Cup champion has ever tasted, but the real question will be whether or not Spain can shake off the gibbering madness caused by a goal straight out of Lovecraft.

As of press time, Chile appears to be in the process of scampering delightfully all over Australia: while it's still just 2-1 after the half, the tang of "this is going to be a 4-1 romp" hangs thick in the Brazilian atmosphere, and there's the definite prospect of drinking in still a third kind of dominance, the simple matter of having better athletes who are more skilled. In the immediate offing: the next and maybe last Kings/Rangers game, one in a series of them that has featured dominance often totally at odds with outcomes. Lovecraft would be proud.