Argentina and Colombia were knotted up 1-1 after 90 minutes in Tuesday night's Copa America semifinal. With no extra time in play, the two sides sprinted directly to penalty kicks for maximum drama. It was apparently the moment Argentine keeper Emiliano Martinez had been waiting his entire life to experience.
And he was determined to experience it with maximum trash talk. Martinez, playing the ultimate head game, was a non-stop firehouse conversation as Colombian players marched to the penalty spot. A lack of fans allowed everyone to hear what he was saying, which was absolutely soaked in thick, syrupy confidence.
Martinez's hands cashed the checks his mouth was writing, saving three of the five attempts to become a hero and lift his country into a dream final against Brazil.
Having no choice other than being a prisoner of the moment, I must wonder why more keepers don't employ such a strategy. Stopping a kick from that distance is incredibly difficult without some operator error from the person trying to score. So why not throw a little bit of a monkey wrench up there in the ol' brain and hope it causes the focus to dull a little.
Sure, there's a downside of being the goaltender who didn't stop a single attempt despite running a big mouth. There's also a tremendous incentive structure. Like getting your name on sports blog for being undeniably badass.
Best things in life are free.