November 20, 2009 9:16 AM ET
Seriously, I can stop the ball with either hand. Just pick one.
FIFA has officially rejected the Irish government's request to replay the national team's controversial match against France, issuing the statement, "In the reply, FIFA states that the result of the match cannot be changed and the match cannot be replayed. As is clearly mentioned in the Laws of the Game, during matches, decisions are taken by the referee and these decisions are final."
So the French Handballers will be making their way to South Africa. U2 has already cancelled all future concert dates in Paris. Just kidding (but if we were U2, we would definitely threaten to do that). This whole experience made us think about some of sports' more controversial endings and games we'd like to see replayed:
Roy Jones Jr vs South Korea's Park Si-Hun, 1984 Olympics: Anytime "boxing" and "the Olympics" get together, you can count on something dubious happening. Jones destroys Park for three rounds, landing 86 punches to Park's 32. Somehow, the judges vote for "quality" over "quantity" and give Park a 3-2 decision. In our replay, Roy comes out like a lion and drops Park in the second round, then turns to the judges and says, Ya'll Must Have Forgot!.
Colorado-Missouri, 1990: The Buffs were one of the best football teams in the land that year and ended up winning a share of the national championship. But it never would have happened if the refs didn't award them a 5th down at the end of the Missouri game, which they used to scored a touchdown and win 33-31. In our replay, the refs give the ball back to Missouri but all anyone remembers is Ralphie, Colorado's live buffalo mascot, getting loose and stampeding the field.
Ohio State-Miami (FL), 2003 Fiesta Bowl: Miami leads 24-17 and OSU is down to it's last down. They throw into the end zone. Incomplete. But wait, there's pass interference. OSU goes on to score and then win the game in the 2nd overtime. In our replay, Miami wins, Maurice Clarett stays in school and goes on to become one of our favorite fantasy RBs of all time.
West German-Austria, 1982 World Cup: A little research taught us that the France-Ireland debacle wasn't even FIFA's first time in the Replay This Sham Spotlight. Back in Group Play in the '82 Cup, the West Germans and Austrians literally spent the better part of 90 minutes just kicking the ball around to prevent Algeria from advancing to the second round. Unbelievable, right? Apparently some West German fans were so embarrassed that they burned their country flags. That feels like a whole new level of anger, doesn't it? "He's not just mad, he's Burn-Your-Own-Flag angry."
US-USSR, 1972 Olympics: Thirty-seven years later and this one still cuts deep. The transgressions are too numerous to list here, but we all know what happened. The US gets royally hosed and the Soviets "win" gold. The US refuses to accept the silver and the medals remain unclaimed. In our replay, the US wins handily and then after the game, Doug Collins takes a microphone and addresses the crowd, Rocky IV style.
If France can change ... and FIFA can change ... Everybody can change!