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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 02:32 pm
The World Cup final between Italy and France begins in … oh, I don’t know; a few hours or so. Or maybe Thursday, or next month. Anyway, Houston’s Bob Carter emails:
Tim, I don’t know about you but watching hyper-sensitive Euros falling to the ground every time they’re touched and whining to the officials is not my idea of sport. As a suggestion I think you would enjoy the fine American sport of anvil shooting. Better than NASCAR since it combines heavy metal, booze, the same kind of women, and explosions!
I like! Still, we’d better pick a nation for the big Euro ball-kick dive-a-thon. Simon Heffer has advice:
Are we supporting France or Italy? It is, I admit, a tricky one, like choosing between Marshal Pétain and Mussolini, or snails soaked in garlic and gnocchi. However, just think how good it has been for the arrogant French to have had a bit of adversity in the past year or so.
First, their president is humiliated in the referendum on the European constitution. Then they lose a prime minister. Then they have two lots of riots, one about racial questions and the other about the economy.
To cap it all, they don’t get the 2012 Olympic Games. Have they suffered enough? I don’t quite think so. Viva Italia!
Italy it is, then. That’s if Gaia allows the match to proceed:
A state of emergency was declared in Berlin for seven hours as a violent summer storm lashed the German capital, local authorities said …
Meteorologists said Berlin had more than half its average monthly rainfall for July in just a few minutes.
It’s wassernacht! Those watching the contest are invited to provide coverage in comments.
- Hrm. Not sure about that. Generally speaking, the French can be obnoxious about, well, pretty much anything. I grant you that. In contrast, the Italians are generally not obnoxious people. HOWEVER, the great exception to this rule can be found in anything involving soccer. If the Italians win, the gloating will be appalling, and far more insufferable than a Gallic smirk. They must be stopped.Posted by James Waterton on 2006 07 09 at 12:35 PM • permalink
- Am here in France about ready to watch the pre-game on TV. Streets deserted, pubs full and youngsters primed to riot if the Republique loses….or even if they win.
Shall be watching from the safety of the 6° arr. of Lyon and thus out of the way of the rioters. Lets hope we survive the night, unlike the poor souls who didn’t when France went through to the final: linkage
Allez France!Posted by Villeurbanne on 2006 07 09 at 12:35 PM • permalink
- I agree, Paco. You guys rock in a scarily large number of ways. Must go there one of these days.Posted by James Waterton on 2006 07 09 at 12:40 PM • permalink
- I have arrived at the Father-In-Law’s house to watch the game. Other avenues of pleasure (bar, pub, town square) have been denied me tonight.
The horn honking has already started, though I wonder if this is just coincidental and more a result of my slightly ‘under the weather’ (that is, two bottles of French vin rouge later) state than any pre-game ritual
Game starts in 30 minutes (or, if you are watching on a French keyboard): “à mintues.Posted by Villeurbanne on 2006 07 09 at 01:38 PM • permalink
- Hang on, I for one am still on The Great Rolling Pig-Out. A full one half of the roast Siberian tiger stuffed with Great Auk to go. Can’t watch some soccer game AND pig out at the same time, not when there are endangered species involved. Can some-one ask them to hold the game up for a while please?
Another yard-glass of the Grange ‘62 please.Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 09 at 01:52 PM • permalink
- Live-blog countdown at worldcupblog.com,
4 Minute Countdown: All of France is singing about death, killing and all that good stuff. The players know the words by now and many of them are putting Shakira to shame with their singing skills.
6 Minute Countdown: We start with the anthem of Italy. Death, kill, and all that good stuff sung to a cheerful tune as the players are locked shoulder to shoulder.
- Italy equalises – France goes well…not so crazy, I guess.Posted by Villeurbanne on 2006 07 09 at 02:20 PM • permalink
- Half way through – Italy lookng the goods but France still in it (1-1).
Cheering for France but only because I have to….Posted by Villeurbanne on 2006 07 09 at 02:52 PM • permalink
Hang on, I for one am still on The Great Rolling Pig-Out.
Me, too. There’s a Greek festival happening a mile from my house. I’ve been walking there every day and eating mounds of food I’ve never heard of.
Favorite so far – gyro (OK, so I’ve heard of that one before, but never knew what it was. Now I know. It’s yummy.) Oh, and that baklava stuff rocks for dessert.
- Hmmmph. Just saw a replay of the French ‘penalty’. Another cheating dive resulting in a goal or at best a perfect display of effete frogs unable to run without falling over.Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 09 at 03:30 PM • permalink
- Isn’t Gyro the Italian Post office? Any difference between ‘yros’ and ‘gyro’ in greek cuisine?
My brother marries a greek lass and we started attending the family’s ‘Greek Easter’ celebration in the local park. As you say, mounds of food. The first time i made the mistake of (finally) clearing my plate only to realise to my horror that that was the signal for it to be filled to overflowing the gunwhales again.Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 09 at 03:34 PM • permalink
- Just a thought. Will we get a car-be-cue if the French win, or lose?Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 09 at 04:19 PM • permalink
You relieve me. A modest amount of frenzy is perfectly justifiable when a truly important event is in the offing.
Via normblog, a German innovation promises to make kickball even less interesting, though perhaps more telegenic—easier to focus on a group concentrated around an immovable object.
- Um, aren’t you supposed to hit the ball with the head, not your opponent? Au revoir, Zidane.Posted by Eric Jablow on 2006 07 09 at 04:25 PM • permalink
- Wow, a new low for me. I’ve actually been watching some of this France-Italy thingy on TV.
A couple of observations:
Head butts to the chest are a no-no? It’ll never replace the WWE.
And, they claim golf is boring? A bunch of guys running around chasing a ball that they can’t even put into a net the size of a small house more than about once an hour is somehow more exciting?
- So the winner of the Soccer World Cup is the side that cheated its way past Australia a week or so ago?
And the Championship is ultimately decided by a penaty shoot-out?
ROFL!Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 09 at 04:47 PM • permalink
- I decided to make myself watch it. And I fell asleep half way through. Better than watching “Painting A Picture” on Public Broadcasting System. Best nap I’ve had in years.Posted by wronwright on 2006 07 09 at 05:17 PM • permalink
- SCD — Yes.Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 07 09 at 05:42 PM • permalink
- So what is the lesson for the 206 member nations of FIFA as each country prepares over the next few years for South Africa.
The only lesson to be learnt is: Act like the Italians.
Thespian classes will become as mandatory as physical fitness. Drama and acting a necessary adjunct to playing this code. Whinging and whining; feigning every possible injury and tippity tap. Needling an opponent with some succulent offensive backchat (probably racist if we ever get to hear what was said)is already part of the game and has been so for a long time although soccer and AFL variously have secured a niche in this area.
It is when six year old kids starting acting Italian on your local park that the trouble will start.
Apart from that it was a great party. Shame the wrong team won, but the sport of soccer will have to be taught vital lessons the hard way.
Back to Real Men thumping each other in Rugby test matches and AFL final series in September.
- It was the most soulless, most boring World Cup in living memory, won by the team which was the least awful of the lot.
This World Cup put soccer back by 50 years.Posted by Honkie Hammer on 2006 07 09 at 06:15 PM • permalink
- Anvil shooting?
The Honourable and Ancient Hyack Anvil Battery
… since 1871.
Anvil propelled up …
CheersPosted by J.M. Heinrichs on 2006 07 09 at 07:01 PM • permalink
- typically I have found that this
It is when six year old kids starting acting Italian on your local park that the trouble will start.
really isn’t a problem…It’s when kids start acting like Sicilians, and show a fondness for 22 cal. weapons, kissing men on the cheek, cement and wood chippers…THEN you get concerned.
- Also, could some-one teach Zinedine Zidane how to do a proper Liverpool Kiss? Head-butting another guy’s chest, for God’s sake! Nancy boys to the last….Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 09 at 07:31 PM • permalink
Things are going pretty well.
As an acquaintance from LGF says eggsellent.
Howz by youz?
Real well, thank you.
For the first summer is six years we are tracking the average temperature instead of our normal waaay above.
Mountains here in TN been toasty. Black Bears even find it irritating. The seem to have overcome their fear of humankind and taken a few swipes at folks. Course the person or persons the swipes have been taken at, put themselves between Mama Black Bear and her cubs. That just may be the reason, and holding food in ones hand (for the cubs, so pictures can be taken) will do that though.
Wasn’t it ‘Forrest Gump’ that said, “stupid is, as stupid does”?…lol.
- El Cid
I’d bump that up a few levels to Coyote Stupid! Kerryistas! “But they’re so cute!”
Yeah, but “toasty” in the mountains of TN carries a tad different meaning than “toasty” in Tucson! A few summers ago we set a record for 25 straight days at 105 or better. Went to 104 or something for one day, and then did another 10 or 12 at 105 plus.
I’d say hello for ya to our UA psych prof but she is recently departed to Duckville!
- The F1\NASCAR fans in my family were incredulous when they heard the news about Montoya. All I can say is that I sure hope the Ganassi boys have Tony Stewart’s anger management guy on speed dial. In the meantime, me, my dad and my brothers will be taking a roadtrip down to Salt Lake this weekend to catch the American Le Mans race and see the second American appearance (the first being the 12 Hours of Sebring) of the Audi R10s. Should be a lot of fun (especially considering reports I’ve heard that ALMS allows pre-race access to the starting grid by fans…)
As for Zidane, have they got a Witness Protection Program in France? Given the past history of what happened to people who screwed up that bad in the World Cup, he just might need it.
“But they’re so cute!”
It seems you have the relatives of OUR numbskull’s out there.
Yeah been reading about Ms. Frisch(sp?). MENSA member, huh?…LOL
Ummmm, I do have to admit, that there is a difference in the “toasty” terms. I’m assuming that anytime someone utters “Yeah but it’s a dry heat”, weapons get oiled.
- What, the World Cup is still going on?Posted by Aaron – Freewill on 2006 07 09 at 09:11 PM • permalink
- “Weapons get oiled”
Not only oiled but put to full use.
We don’t even have a dry heat for most of the summer. Tucson gets a summer “monsoon” from July through some of September. Our afternoon and evening climate is straight from Mexico. We have a high pressure system that sets up around the Four Corners region and pulls moisture from Mexico. Dew point and humidity in the 60 degree and percent areas. Temperature at 10 PM is usually still about 90 degrees. We are New Orleans only hotter.
One would think that, with the avid imposition of soccer on the youth of the US, we’d have more fervor going on. Can anyone explain why we don’t?
Because in the U.S., soccer is a middle-class white game that Volvo mommies like their children to play because (1) the little darlings won’t get hurt, (2) it’s rarely competitive and emphasizes “good feelings” (to the point that leagues in Massachusetts and elsewhere don’t keep score so there won’t be a “loser”), and (3) kids who are good athletes – and are competition-minded – go into football, baseball, and hockey.
Soccer is not a sport of competitive fire and athletic prowess here. It’s just a game – a sububan game for kids who aren’t good at sports and whose parents don’t want their feelings (or limbs) hurt.
- Actually, I spent far more time than I care to watching youth soccer this weekend (my two brothers maintain a complex of 16 soccer fields nearby, and I was helping them out during a tournament weekend) and I didn’t see a lot of good feelings going around. Granted, this tournament attracted close to 160 teams of various age groups from 11-18 from all over the place, but I saw coaches shouting down the refs, I saw several teams run up the score on weaker opponents, and some very aggressive play… And this was on the girls side. I suspect this one would be a bit more competitive than your average hippie-dippie local league, but the whole thing was anything but good feelings.
- “Signior Montoya, how did you like your first NASCAR race?”
“Blessed Virgin, they are so bumpy! Look at my paint!”Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 07 09 at 09:37 PM • permalink
but I saw coaches shouting down the refs, I saw several teams run up the score on weaker opponents, and some very aggressive play… And this was on the girls side.
Well, there ya go. The best female athletes and competitors aren’t going into football, baseball or hockey. I was speaking in relation to the World’s Cup, which is male. Remember, our women’s teams have actually been good, and had some fire in ‘em.
My analysis is obviously a generalization. On the whole, I think it’s valid.
- There is a God. He is italian.
Garcon, champagne, please!Posted by LupodiGubbio on 2006 07 09 at 10:33 PM • permalink
- Well, it’s nice that Italy won their game, but I find something I heard on NPR news (I was listening to the classical radio station in my town, and they are an NPR station). I believe it was from a BBC News broadcast; the British announcer sounded hysterical and more than half tight—he was screaming about how soccer (football, whatever) was “a religion” in Italy and how winning the game “brought back hope” to the nation and so on. That just doesn’t sound healthy to me. And I thought Boston Red Sox fans were bad.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 07 09 at 11:09 PM • permalink
- #69. Andrea. As they say, the Europeans can be relied upon to take seriously the things that don’t matter.
Typical WC game I’m afraid. Conformed to the trend – the least WC goals scored since about 1982. That’s progress?
One goal was a referee’s gift anyway. Easy.
One Man sent off for responding to abuse, but the abuser stayed on. Aussie Rules has 3 umpires to stop this sort of unfairness. Bad language is penalised. No team is short-changed in numbers. In the World Game it means a win if you get away with it..
About 100 minutes of no scoring, then a farcical ‘shoot-out’ [The game can’t get enough scoring, so make it near certain so we can all go home.] Did the final score read 6-5?
I don’t know.
And we are supposed to worship all this?
- saltydog, the kids like *playing* the game. No American likes *watching* that crap.
Iowahawk, I was at the first Indy Superpull in Indianapolis in 1973 (I think—could have been 74). It was also the first indoor pull, I’m pretty sure.
What I remember is the Bobb Bros team (central boys) having three tractors in the finals powered by Pratt-Whitney 18-cylinder 2500HP WWII aircraft engines. At one point they had one pulling, one revving up on the sidelines, and one in the hall roaring while waiting to come in. The Building (the Colesium?) was shaking. I never heard so much noise in one place.
I understand that they kept two full-time mechanics tending the engines and a ‘scrounger’ looking for parts. Good times.Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2006 07 09 at 11:28 PM • permalink
the British announcer sounded hysterical and more than half tight—he was screaming about how soccer (football, whatever) was “a religion” in Italy and how winning the game “brought back hope” to the nation and so on.
Football is “a religion” in Italy and a criminal activity in, or anywhere the British play….lol.
British Soccer Superhooligans:
Emergence and Establishment:
British police on lookout for World Cup hooligans
Suspected British Soccer Hooligans on Way to World Cup via Thailand
British hooligans turn in passports
Newsbrief: Portugal Uses Reefer to Calm Soccer Hooligans 6/18/04
These are just some of the first page ‘headlines’ of at least 10 pages of ‘headlines’ at
- slatts—er, dunking for pig’s feet beats out sending anvils up in the air with explosives? So. Not. The USA still rules in the pointless sporting activity stakes.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 07 10 at 12:27 AM • permalink
- Shooting anvils? Wimps.Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 07 10 at 12:36 AM • permalink
- Just for the record, I once played soccer- for 2 whole years- (without mentioning 20 years later refereeing the damn game)
The local Yugoslav team fresh out from war torn Europe, had to field a junior side so they cleaned the streets up of would be bodgies and fielded an Under 14 team.
As fullback my only job was to boot goal kicks somewhere over the half way line.
The old man thought it was a game for poofs (having played Aussie Rules back in the 1920s) and refused to buy me a pair of decent boots.
Instead he went to the Army disposals and bought a pair of huge leather Size 14 Army boots and nailed dirty big studs into them with one inch nails.
They had the effect of not only deflating the coarse leather balls in use at the time but decapitating opposing forwards.
One prize example was a poor little nobody from an Italian side who went off to hospital and to this day is still missing a set of kneecaps.
From then on the refs refused to let me take the field, so I found a home holding up the scrum in the front row, with instructions to remove opposing forwards but never handle the ball. Those days front row League forwards stood 200cm and weighed a ton, much like the Collossei in Rugby Wallabies/AllBlacks etc. The little pansies packing down in the NRL at the moment (apart from Willie) wouldn’t know.
So when Argentina threw a hissy fit at the end of their match, I can relate to that.
I can’t relate to the wussy theatrics that the Italians showed. Even female soccer players in Australia play with a lot more manliness and spunk than these bits of flaccid sphaggetti.
They humped in their first game and they humped again in the final. This time it was just a pair of them.
God save us from wusses in blue.
- France’s 1998 World Cup-winning coach Aime Jacquet told Canal Plus TV: “A penalty shootout is always a lottery. I’m deeply disappointed because I was expecting a goal for France at any moment.
There. An expert says it’s ‘always a lottery’.
So why the hysteria about such a result?
For ‘at any moment’ read – ‘logically, about every forty minutes at best’.
- Don’t want to labour a point. But remember the history of soccer in Australia.
It was introduced by post World War II migrants, the Poles, Slavs, Italians, Greeks, etc and they were allowed to use their own ethnic names- eg Polonia, Hellenic, Azzuri…
The games were rough- senior teams arrived in FJ Holdens or Harleys and everyone carried a bicycle chain and flick knife.
Some sides absolutely hated each other and games would end in an all in brawl. Police made sure then never arrived before everyone had departed for hospital to have their entrails sewn back into their gut.
These days mummies run onto the field if little johnnie falls over.
And SBS castigate Zidane for a little foreplay. The bloke has just won himself another 1million franc advertising contract for God sake.
The current Australian side, descendants of these Real Men Migrants, were regarded by the World Cup refs as “physical”. Race memories!!!!!
The Azzuri teams that played on our local paddocks would roll over in their grave at watching the Italians play today.
Thank God FFA are transferring soccer to Foxtel and away from “beautiful” SBS- they know their demography.
Maybe there is hope for the game in Australia yet- there is no reason why it cannot get up there and mix it with the other manly codes of football.
- Here’s a nice sport alternative to suck..I mean, soccer.
- Roundup of some of the more interesting reactions to Zidane’s headbutt in animated GIF format:
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