Wednesday, July 12, 2006

So Maybe Headers Don't Win World Cups...

Now that the World Cup is over, and Italy have been crowned champions of the world, I just wanted to throw it out there that despite the fact that France (the only team that made it out of my 3 favorites) lost, arguably thanks to the infamous Zidane headbutt, it's gotta be said that, well, if France was going to lose in any way, this would be it. We might never have any idea why Zidane decided to hit Materazzi with that big noggin of his, but whatever Materazzi said to him, it must've been something super serious.

Regardless of what was said, someone on Italy needed to be hit with something... I was getting annoyed with the way that team was playing throughout the entire World Cup. Only Portugal surpassed them in terms of playing to the referees, who were more than happy to reward such unsportsmanlike conduct time and time again. Every five seconds, you saw someone from these two teams rolling around in the grass, pretending to be in pain from some phantom hit to the face or something. It was disgusting.

At least Zidane gave Materazzi something to be writhing in pain for. Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

If you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, at the very least, take a look at this video from YouTube and see what happened, along with some horrible commentary, courtesy of the clueless folks at ABC Sports.

(Here's also a New York Times article regarding Zidane's silence about the incident.) [Registration may be required]

Outside of the diving and the red cards, I thought the World Cup was pretty damn exciting. It certainly got a lot more Americans interested in the sport of soccer than I've ever seen. Everywhere I turned in New York, there was someone talking about the World Cup. For a month, soccer dominated the sports headlines over the Yankees, the Mets, the Knicks, and any other sport you could think of in this city. I doubt the euphoria over soccer will last for long, but hey, at least it happened, right?


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