FanDuel - WFBC

October 17, 2009

Balloon Scores for Sunderland: A large red balloon scored a goal for Sunderland in its historic 1-0 defeat of Liverpool Saturday. The balloon, which did not have a small child inside, deflected a hard Darren Bent shot past keeper Pepe Reina four minutes into the match. Sunderland hadn't beaten Liverpool at home for 50 years. See the shot and the live reaction on Sky Sports. "Pictures on Sky TV showed a young fan in the Liverpool section throwing the beach ball on the pitch and then looking particularly glum at halftime," the Times reported.

posted by rcade to soccer at 04:59 PM - 21 comments

The shot keeps getting removed from YouTube. If someone has a link to official Premier League highlights let me know.

posted by rcade at 05:04 PM on October 17

Here and here. I'd say "beach ball" over "balloon", but Liverpool definitely had the wind knocked out of them by it (ka-dunk).

posted by etagloh at 05:44 PM on October 17

You thought the kid was glum at halftime? Think he's going to sleep tonight? This will probably stay with him for a long time. May want to keep him out of school for a few days -- you can imagine the kids' reaction.

posted by jjzucal at 05:44 PM on October 17

at the start of the video of the boy throwing the ball onto the pitch, it looks like someone on playing level hands him the ball. Seems like that was a bad idea.

posted by dviking at 07:45 PM on October 17

Bad luck but I watched the whole match and the Reds were never scoring. Rafa made a big mistake putting in three centerbacks and compounded problems by leaving Jay Spearing in so long.

Spearing made so many bad passes he should have a tough time getting in the reserve side any time soon. Babel showed he is just not going to cut it up top and needs to be sold or loaned in January.

I empathize with the kid who threw the balloon but the loss isn't on him.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:10 PM on October 17

The rules state the referee has the option to allow play to continue if a "second ball" goes on to the field but should call a halt if it interferes with the action.

It also states he should stop the game in the case of "any kind of outside interference" but in reality matches are routinely allowed to continue with items like balloons on the pitch.

Former FIFA referee Graham Poll told the BBC the referee should have stopped the game and given a drop ball.

I could understand why play wouldn't be stopped if the ball was at midfield, against the sidelines or away from the play. But this seems like a perfect opportunity for the official to exercise his option to award a drop ball. That is interference, right? And if not in this case, then when it is proper to?

Maybe I don't watch enough soccer.

posted by BoKnows at 09:46 PM on October 17

Reminds me of this incident from a few years ago (with both incidents being the fault, so to speak, of their own overzealous supporters).

posted by holden at 10:00 PM on October 17

Former FIFA referee Graham Poll told the BBC the referee should have stopped the game and given a drop ball.

Graham Poll can bugger off. And Danny Baker has an obvious lead-in next week. I want to hear about park games with in-off-the-dog goals.

posted by etagloh at 11:15 PM on October 17

This picture and this one give a sense of what happened since the videos aren't sticking. With the beachball considered an "outside agent" it should have been a drop ball, but the referee Mike Jones, who appeared to have a sound view of the incident, awarded the goal. "I thought it was a deflection off a player," said the Sunderland manager, Steve Bruce. "If anyone knew that rule, that it should have been a drop ball, then you are one saddo. I didn't know."

posted by rumple at 03:01 AM on October 18

"I'd say "beach ball" over "balloon", but Liverpool definitely had the wind knocked out of them by it (ka-dunk)." Etagloh will be here at the SportsFilter Cabaret all week!

posted by jjzucal at 06:13 AM on October 18

I'm a saddo then, Steve.

Pretty common sense rule really - outside interference, drop ball.

posted by owlhouse at 09:51 AM on October 18

football, corner pocket; 3 ball, opposite corner.

posted by bluemagpie at 12:46 PM on October 18

holden, that video looked like they were playing in a garbage pit, so much junk on the pitch.

Clearly, given the size of the ball this should have been a situation in which play was stopped.

When you don't score any points it makes it hard to win in any case, but tough to lose on a goal scored off of a beach ball.

posted by dviking at 12:59 PM on October 18

Looks like the defender kicked away the beach ball and deflected the football into the goal in one move.

posted by JButton at 01:43 PM on October 18

"If anyone knew that rule, that it should have been a drop ball, then you are one saddo. I didn't know."

I find it hard to believe that no one would know if there was a defined rule involving anything thrown onto the field and how it affects play.

posted by BoKnows at 08:59 PM on October 18

Bet you Steve Bruce would have been quoting the rule chapter and verse if the goal had been scored at the other end.

I eagerly await the first psychology papers based on this incident about how a goalkeeper will always go for the larger object propelled towards him, or red is a danger colour, so he went for the beachball.

posted by JJ at 05:54 AM on October 19

The ref is being "rested" this coming weekend. Meditation good for the judgment?

posted by billsaysthis at 01:27 PM on October 19

When I read the headline "Balloon Scores for Sunderland", I thought it was going to be yet another joke at Andy Reid's expense :)

posted by phreakydancin at 10:43 PM on October 19

The ref is being "rested" this coming weekend. Meditation good for the judgment?

That's the sound of a stable door being bolted when the horse has disappeared over the horizon. I'm sure that every other Premier League ref is thinking, without admitting it, that they'd have let the goal stand too. And Gallagher, Poll and the other ex-refs, none of whom covered themselves with glory in their careers, are guffing when they say otherwise. I certainly believe that players or ex-players like Bruce had no idea of that rule in the book: the general rule of thumb has been to use natural stoppages to clear out any crap from the goalmouth. I can't even remember it being a game-stopper during the odd craze for inflatables in the late 80s.

More amusingly, LFC's entire stock of 'holiday beach sets' has been bought up, with suspicions falling on Evertonians, or the Man Utd fans visiting Anfield this coming weekend.

posted by etagloh at 02:02 AM on October 20

There is also likely to be much singing of this from the Utd fans this weekend. I've always preferrred the German version (of the song, not of Utd fans).

posted by JJ at 05:20 AM on October 20

Anfield staff will be searching ManU supporters Sunday and confiscating balloons and similar ;)

posted by billsaysthis at 11:47 AM on October 20

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