Monday, July 10, 2006

Au revoir Frenchie

I was rooting for Italy anyway. But when you watched the World Cup Final on Sunday and watched France's top three players leave the game (two because they were tired, one because he was a jerk) you really started rooting against them. Maybe Earl's right, and karma does play a role in the universe.

Let me set the stage. First, France got its first score on another bogus penalty kick. Another Freanch flop in the box got French national hero Zinadene Zidane another shot at the goal in his final match before retirement. He nailed the crossbar, but it bounced it in for the goal.

I felt doom for Italy. But the Italians countered just 12 minutes later and it stayed even through the two overtimes. Let's not get ahead of ourselves though. First in the second period Ribery checked himself out. I can understand that one. That guy literally runs from one side of the field to the other the entire match.

Then at the start of the second overtime, the best player France had to offer, Thierry Henry checked himself out because he was cramping. Look, stretch it out. You're one of the best players in the world. Can you imagine Jordan taking himself out of game 7? It just doesn't happen.

Then the clincher. Zidane, arguing with an Italian away from the ball turns and delivers the headbutt heard round the world. Straight into the chest. And he was ejected. So France goes to penalty kicks for the World Cup without it's three best players. Italy won 5-3 on PKs. That's karma, baby. When your best players takes himself out and the national icon goes Rob Dibble in the middle of the pitch, you don't deserve to win.


BRATCH said...

You are pretty much dead on, but it should have never gotten to OT because Italy tackled a French striker (Ribery?) from behind almost in the 6-yard box muchless the penalty box.

Right up until that tackle from behind, tackles from behind usually got you a yellow card about 60 percent of the time.

Either way the World Cup was awesome. I heard someone on ESPN radio or somewhere say that ESPN/ABC was "forcing" the World Cup upon us and all I can say is that ESPN needs to force some Premiership games upon us as well.

I think they've tried MLS, but nothing beats European soccer where everyone lives and dies by the ball in 100 year-old 50,000 seats stadiums.

Piccu said...

Ask Bratch who predicted Italy would win, like months ago, or something. This guy!!! Anyway, I was checking out Cold Pizza this morning before work, (I know, I know, nobody watches Cold Pizza, but there was nothing else on) and Woody and Skip were both in agreeance (thanks Fred Durst) that Zidane would be remembered for this headbutt for the rest of his life. Woody compared the headbutt to Buckner's misplayed grounder in Game 6. They pretty much said even though Zidane was one of the greats all time, he would be remembered for only this headbutt.

As I was driving to work, I heard on ESPN Radio that Zidane won the Golden Ball(?) as the best player in the World Cup. Can you win the MVP award win you very well may have cost your team the championship? This is one more black mark against soccer. What American sport awards the MVP award to a player on a losing team in a tournament?

Travis said...

We've discussed this off line, but that missed call made up for the bad call that got France it's only goal of the match in the 9th minute. And I don't think it was Ribery, but I could be wrong.

Nothing on TV is forced down your throat. Turn it off if you don't like it. I can't stand these people who are borderline militant anti-soccer. If you don't like it, don't watch. You don't hear me whining and complaining about tennis which is 30x more boring than soccer. Or for that matter women's golf, men's golf, college softball, poker, billiards, hot dog eating contests, or any of the other junk ESPN puts on because it's cheap programming.

Like it or not, the World Cup probably got decent ratings. I know it beat out the NHL Finals when they were both going on. So while hockey enthusiasts continue to laud the glory of their game, I can point to the "scoreboard" and introduce them to a game with a bigger net, a bigger "ball/puck", and better appeal.

BRATCH said...

Hockey is dead. Sure it's still on TV, but they are going to have to pass out weapons for the fights, that should be banned, before anyone will watch.

As for militant anti-soccer folks, I don't have a problem for those who don't like it. Provided that they've actually watched more than a single half of a girls under 12 match. The complaint that there are too many rules is also mind boggling.

There isn't a year that goes by that I don't find out about a rule in football that I've never heard of. In soccer, don't foul people, touch the ball with your hands or get past the last defender before the ball is passed to you.

How hard is that?

And by the way, Piccu's prediction was more of a "some dude on ESPN radio told me Italy was going to win" prediction. I like to listen to good radion so ESPN rarely comes into play anymore, so I actually made my prediction on my own.

Piccu said...

You are a liar!!!!!!! I heard it on PTI and you are just mad because your little Frenchies couldn't keep their heads long enough to win. They had to go all Junkyard Dog and start headbutting people.

Hockey is dead. The World Series of Dominos on ESPN DePortes gets higher ratings than hockey. Of course, hockey would be helped more in that area if it were on a real network and not Outdoor Life. Outdoor Life, isn't hockey played indoors?