EL BARRIO, EL FALLS – Happy Monday. I wanted to pull an Angry Ward and ignore current sports news but I will touch on one bit of current news because it is too big to ignore. And no, the Islanders are not getting any ice time from me… We’re looking at the crazy events surrounding Christian Eriksen and Copa America.
I know, I know. This involves soccer once again. Cue the harrumphs and fist slams on the table. BUT… this is a major story. Danish soccer star Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest during the the second match of the European National Championship match. Normally this tournament happens every 4 years but 2020 was moved to 2021 because of #COVID. Anyway, in about the 35th minute Eriksen took a throw-in pass then collapsed. This wasn’t a soccer player faking injury – this was an outright collapse. This has happened a few times in soccer and us fans always remember it because it is so chilling. Eriksen’s was the worst so far. He was down and out. The players around him immediately signaled for medics. It looked bleak. Friends were texting me, bewildered that the coverage stayed on him. “For the love of God, cut away!” My one friend was watching with his daughters and had to turn it off. They worked on Eriksen for 10 minutes, using a defibrillator and somehow he came back to life. He was taken to a hospital and his team was given the option to finish the match later that day or the next day. The teams finished the match that day, with Finland winning 1-0 (not on a two-out basehit in the 16th inning).
One of the heroes of the whole saga is Danish Captain Simon Kjaer. He was about 30-40 meters away and he raced over, made sure that Eriksen’s airway was clear, started chest compressions and signaled for the medics. He then then rallied the players to form a wall around Eriksen and the paramedics to provide some privacy for all those involved. After all of that, he was one of the first people to console Eriksen’s wife as she rushed down to field level after he was carted away conscious. This is some big time hero, johnny-on-the-spot stuff. I don’t know what is the title of knighthood in Denmark but for his actions he should get that rank and whatever else is possible.
Yikes! Another soccer story. I know, but this is crazy. About a month ago the South American National Soccer Championship called Copa America was moved from Argentina due to high COVID levels to Brazil. I thought the USA had an outside chance and would be the way forward but I shouldn’t be surprised, what with the hard-line government Brazil currently has. They have been disregarding health regulations… The stadiums are mostly empty, thankfully, but I would not be surprised to have a few players diagnosed with COVID before the tournament is over…
As for who will win it, the likely bet is Brazil but anything can happen and Columbia look to be a very serious threat to win it this year.
Thanks for reading, comment below and come back tomorrow for Ben Whitney, who will give you the latest news on the stuff you care more about, because I gladly failed to do so once again.