Is there any point to taking blurry stills from low-resolution video to attempt to explain something you see in a sporting contest that made you want to shout, “HELL YEAH!”?
Probably not, but anyone who has paid continued attention to my football writings will be well aware that such pointlessness does not often stop me.
Sports fans know full well that any individual contest is made up of countless tiny moments that inform the whole. For the many years I thought football was dull, I simply was unable to appreciate the smaller things. Without an appreciation for nuance, it’s easy to dismiss a sport that regularly features scoreless results as “boring.” Being a lifelong, avid fan of baseball, I should have at least been aware that there were elements of the game I would love if I took the time to really look at them.
And now I do. I look at them. Sometimes I look at them several times, because they fascinate me.
So, from time to time, I may do precisely this: take a bunch of stills from a football video so I can talk about those moments that excited me while watching a match. Considering the proliferation of available video, particularly through Vine and YouTube-like sites, it seems a bit backwards to be posting these fairly poor images . . .
Again, I can’t be contained by reason!
So, for my first edition of “Favorite Things,” I give you . . .
Kevin Wimmer vs. Ivica Olic
Things had been moving at a pretty good clip for the first half of the first half, with action moving back and forth between halves.
After a thrwarted encroachment attempt by the EffZeh, Rafael van der Vaart launched a ball forward along the touchline, in an effort to catch Ivica Olic in some space. Kevin Wimmer, though, was also in the neighborhood and managed to keep pace with what turned out to be a fairly decent ball.
Olic is not really the sort to be deterred, though, by the presence of a single defender. The newly acquired striker initiated contact with Wimmer from behind. Getting a forearm in the back from a striker, even at full speed, won’t always be enough to take down a central defender, but Olic is a pretty thick guy.
So, down goes Wimmer.
BUT, as our Austrian hero hits the turf, he curls his body around the ball, while also trying to make himself wide. Essentially, Wimmer is giving Olic as few direct paths to the ball as possible.
The ball and defender slide toward the touch line, and here is where my low-tech/low-ability is going to fail me. Wimmer, in one continuous motion, somehow gets his left foot between the ball and the line to keep the play alive and possession for Köln.
With the left foot planted, Wimmer then was able to use his momentum to push himself upright, still managing to shield Olic, who has continued to circle Wimmer in an effort to get to the ball, from being able to make a play.
As a last ditch effort before Wimmer could completely recover and find an outlet for a pass, Olic takes an awkward stab at the ball with his left foot by thrusting his leg across Wimmer’s path. Sometimes you’ll get ball on such a play, but that’s not how it played out here.
From beginning to end, Wimmer was in control of this particular Zweikampf (I find the term ‘duel’ to be clumsy and lacking something, so I use the German term. Deal with it.) and spectacularly so.
Word this week is that Wimmer is interested in moving abroad this summer, with Tottenham Hotspur a potential suitor. Such a move, especially with Wimmer’s current contract, would mean a decent financial windfall for the Kölner coffers, but the the abilities of a young talent still developing will clearly be missed, if and when he leaves.
For now, we just have to enjoy him while he’s around, and this was a classic Wimmer moment we all can cherish.
Well, except that guy, I suppose. He didn’t seem to care for any of it, but . . . HSV, you know?