Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Question of the day

Celebration! Sad none of us are playing today

Turkey arrived at Euro 2008 as longshots to escape the group stage. They got whacked by Ronnie and the Dancing Poofters in their first outing, then went down a goal in the first half of their second match, against host Switzerland. But late goals from Semih and Arda Turan earned them their first win and well, thus began the madness.

Here then is the question. Just how improbable is a Turkey win against the Hun this afternoon? Sport is full of surprises--the '69 Mets, Joe Namath's Jets, Villanova in '85, Fresno State baseball and NY Giants football this year-- but this is surely a doner rack too far.

So again: Where would a Turkish triumph in Basel today rank on the list of modern sporting upsets?

Have away.

More reasons why Terim's boys have absolutely no chance of winning after the jump...

In short:

-Coach Fatih Terim has only 12 outfield players available for today's game. There've been whispers (likely untrue) about his using the third-string keeper in the midfield.

-Germany are really good. And they are Germany (lest we forget.)

-Nihat (tying and winning goals against the Czechs) is done for the tournament with a muscle inury. Servet Cetin and skipper Emre Belozoglu are out today, as is Tumer Metin (though the coach says he could potentially come on as a sub for "30 minutes at most.")

-Tuncay of Middlesbrough, arguably their best all-around player in the tournament, the guy who strapped on the keeper gear when Volkan got booted from the group finale, is out with accumulated yellow cards. Arda Turan, Volkan and Emre Asik also will miss out on suspensions.

-They'll be depending on the likes of The Artist Formerly Known as Colin Kazim-Richards to (help) fuel their attack. And if you saw the look on Nihat's face as Kazim shanked two long-range prayers as time ran down against the Czechs, you know this is a significant problem.

-Then there's backup keeper Recber Rustu. Like his counterpart today, Recter is prone to the occasional howler. That may fly against Croatia. But this ain't Croatia. Turkey need to play "the perfect game."

So the odds are against them. No doubt. Just as they were in each of the previous three games. And in each match they've upped their resolve... and pulled a larger rabbit out of their collective tarpus.

Today, that rabbit might look more like a bear.


Mike Georger said...

fresno state baseball (who im pretty certain havent won a damn thing yet) and the giants certainly are more apt examples than say, the 1980 hockey team. which would probably be the best comparison.

*slams head on desk*

The Likely Lad said...

easy mike. just throwing it out there. Turkey could come back from 12 goals down in stoppage time today and it wouldn't be a bigger shock than Lake Placid. That said, how in a million years does Turkey win today??

Lingering Bursitis said...

turkey has heart
the germans are soulless

Mike Georger said...

im trying to think of examples in the same game though, i would say beating the germans in the semis would be a much bigger upset than greece over portgual.
closest thing i could think of in recent history would have maybe been south koreas run in 2002. but i would think this would definitely be the biggest football upset of my lifetime at least.

Mike Georger said...

"turkey has heart
the germans are soulless"

we're looking at a victory situation here then.
a group of presumed nazis against some beat up guys a few of which had a career in england.

granted kazim kazim kazim kazim is not exactly pele

Lingering Bursitis said...

Mike, you can never have too many Kazims in your name. If Turkey wins, I might have to add Kazim to my name.

The Likely Lad said...

He's no (my main man) Boutros Boutros Boutros Boutros Boutros Boutros-Ghali, or course.

I wanted to broaden the discussion, hence the lack of other football upsets. And I certainly wouldn't lump them in with the Greeks in '04. In a weird way, they're polar opposites.

The NY Kid said...

US over England in 1950?

Goat said...

I think we also have to take into account the likely skinhead on Turk violence in Germany if Turkey wins. In that sense I suppose it might be akin to Mexico City beating the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl.

Andrew said...

Germans are not soulless. We're just very passionate about doing things efficiently. And that's NOT a Holocaust joke.

If Turkey does win today, given their lack of first-team talent, I'd say it's unprecedented at this level.

As for World Cup, I'd go with W. Germany over Hungary in 1954 in the final as the biggest upset. Bitches.

Chad said...

Admittedly, my soccer knowledge is pretty limited, but I would agree with The New York Kid and say USA over England in 1950.

Let's hear it for reading about old soccer matches instead of working this morning.

chipped red nail polish said...

I am still pissed about that Tuncay yellow. He's just so much fun to watch.

I'm dying for a Trojan war comparison here but coming up short.

Keith said...

fun with Soccernet:

Welcome to the coal face ladies and gentlemen; as New Zealand's fourth most popular folk combo like to say: 'It's business time.'

+1, Soccernet blogger, plus one.

Andrew said...

was that in the box?!?!??!?!?!??!