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08/16/2012

Harassing the U.S. goalie

Mexico US Soccer_Nost
You couldn’t miss it if you watched the friendly soccer match between the U.S. and Mexico last night.

A “laser lout” spent much of the match pointing a green pointer at U.S. goalie Tim Howard. As it turns out, it wasn’t enough to help the Mexican squad, which lost to the U.S. team 1-0 even though its play was clearly superior. Those are U.S. players above celebrating after their goal.

But I had a hard time focusing on the game on seeing that darn green light dance around Howard. It seemed like the height of poor sportsmanship by a Mexican fan.

On looking around the internet this morning, though, I found the term “laser lout,” and learned that U.S. fans are probably more guilty of this than anyone else. Earlier this month, police arrested a 17-year-old at Busch Stadium in St. Louis for pointing a laser at Giants pitcher Shane Loux. There’s also the case of a hockey dad earlier this year using a laser point against the goalie of the team playing his daughter’s squad.

“Laser louts,” of course, transform from a nuisance to a real danger when they point the devices at aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration tallied 3,592 incidents last year of laser pointers and aircraft.

One other thing about the match last night: What's with those wacky Gallic U.S. uniforms? My daughter said the American players should have been forced to wear berets and carry baguettes under one arm.

If you want to read a really great article on why the U.S. triumph last night was historic, read this Sports Illustrated column by writer Grant Wahl. Highly recommended.

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Tim

This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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