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Suarez: "These are Just Things That Happen"

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It's deja vu all over again as Luis Suarez and Uruguay scramble to make sense of the striker's third mandibular moment on the pitch.

Think the time for hiding has passed, Luis.
Think the time for hiding has passed, Luis.
Julian Finney

Not for the first time in his career, Luis Suarez engaged in some egregiously nonsensical behaviour that left fans and detractors alike wondering the same thing: what the hell just happened? For the third time in his career, Luis Suarez had bit an opposition player. This time the unwitting victim was Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. It wouldn't take long for Suarez to share his side of the story with the Uruguayan media, a tactic that has always served him well in the past.

"These are just things that happen out on the pitch," Suarez said, obviously a voice of experience. "It was just the two of us inside the area and he bumped into me with his shoulder, and that's how my eye got like this as well. There are things that happen on the pitch and you should not make such a big deal out of them."

It's hard to know where to begin with the fallout from all of this, least of all Suarez's purposefully myopic interpretation of what happened. Jostling happens in the box, it's true, but characterizing his own open mouthed lunge into Chiellini's shoulder as the Italian bumping into Suarez's own shoulder seems a fairly liberal interpretation of that type of jostling. That these are allegedly "things that happen" yet don't seem to happen to anyone else, period, let alone more than once seems to be a bit curious as well.

His manager, Óscar Tabárez, took a different approach, choosing instead to paint his striker as the unfortunate victim of a smear campaign by the media. A very specific media from a specific country who may or may not have had their World Cup dreams dashed by a Suarez brace last week.

"This is a football World Cup, it’s not about morality, cheap morality," said Tabárez. "As we say in Uruguay, there are people who are hiding behind a tree waiting for someone to make a mistake. Suárez, despite any mistakes he might have made, is the preferred target of certain media, of certain press, who give him much more coverage for an alleged error he might have made rather than the things for which he is really in football."

One probably does not have to hide behind a tree to wait for Suarez to make a mistake given his willingness to oblige so frequently and so dramatically. And Tabárez isn't necessarily wrong: it is incredibly tragic that more ink is spilled on Suarez's antics than on his incredible talent. But fresh off a year where those attitudes had shifted considerably in that unnamed country where the press hold a grudge, responsibility for this media free for all sits squarely on Suarez's own unbitten shoulders.