While most of the US was transfixed by the Balloon Boy saga, Liverpool fans were encountering their own problems with dirigibles.
Yes, a bright red beach ball that wandered onto the pitch seems to have transfixed Pepe Reina’s attention. Enough distraction and deflection of a Darren Bent shot to find its way to goal.
The media is now calling Balloon Boy a hoax. And across the pond former EPL referee Jeff Winter is calling it something similar. He says that the decision by Mike Jones to let the goal stand was shocking.
“It is basic law in football,” Winter said. “The goal should just not have stood. The laws state that if there’s an outside interference the game has to be stopped. Talk about an outside influence – the ball went in off the beach ball and completely deceived the Liverpool goalkeeper.”
Rafa Benitez shrugged of Beachballgate.
“It’s a bad situation for us that the [beach] ball was in the middle and was influential but again I will say we didn’t play well – that’s the main thing for me.”
Contrast the placid cow approach to the inevitable ballistic Sir Alex Ferguson reaction which would have been to call for Mike Jones head or the summary execution of all bright red beach balls in the UK.
If Liverpool fall out of the top four, should we have the Ballon D’Or given to one bright red beach ball? Just a reminder, Sheffield United’s goal against Man City was allowed to stand in a similar situation in a FA Cup fourth round match last season. Joe Hart was the unlucky custodian.
And here for old times sake is a classic >>