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Author Topic: world cup bloggers  (Read 3086 times)

Offline Qnsnative

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world cup bloggers
« on: June 19, 2006, 01:46:15 AM »
like the title suggests share blogs here about each game, or your "deep" thoughts on the social, political, psychological, economic, spiritual, anthropologic essence of the world cup....how ambitious, i know...

i'll post a couple of mine to start:

Italy v. USA: hot headed game

Well what can I say, perhaps as a direct result of the environment that I was watching the game in (Beer Garden full of revelers whose nationalist bravado gained momentum maturing into vintage hooliganism with each guzzled mug of beer) the match seemed ultra aggresive. Not so much because it had too many strong tackles or fist fights, although it did have some of the former, but mainly because a sense of unusual even by world cup standards urgency (bordering on desperation) carried in the way both teams played on the field today.

Perhaps it was pride and the heavy weight of expectations that each team had to shoulder. For the Italians perhaps it was also a bit of the scandal ridden present of their soccer culture, but mainly it had to be a combination of their 70 year old history of being in the world's elit and most resented top teams and the unforgiving, zero sum "affection" of their national suporters. On the pitch this would roughly translate into an identity of player's as soldiers representing their tribe on the international stage; God forbid or rather "hell awaits" should the lowly soccer imposters of the otherwise vaunted America mess with that 70 year old mythology of what it means to be Italian. This later reality seems to have been eclipsed by delusions of granduer and clueless enthusiam on the part of the American soccer watching public and to some extent the team playing mentality as well. Seems like our collective fixation with wining has lead to irrational expectations to "matter of factly" repeat the miracle of '02 when we finished in the top eight. But of course miracles are special if not singular occasions. Mythology on the other hand....is a hard won and hard fought victory of lasting bliss. It is perception built around laboriously accrued instances of self-validation and persistance rising to soaring heights of nationalism and self-esteem. In the Itlalians' case that mythology is a leaning tower of Pisa. In America's case today our mythology smacked of Rambo, give or take a few red-card tackles, a bloodied face and a sometimes beligerant coach on the sidelines. In the end the old adage that this is more than just a game, which is usually reserved for the sublime imagery of Brazilian soccer culture, is so pattently true in the case of the world cup......and I suppose in all other world cup like human endeavors. Bring em on then. One nation's glorified notion of self takes on anothers.
opa!

Offline Qnsnative

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Re: world cup bloggers
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2006, 02:02:37 AM »
#2

does Brazil have a coach?

The answer to that question is in the negative: Brazil does not have a coach. What Brazil does have is an unrully legacy and a taboo driven footbal hierarchy that looms far larger than any one coach could ever tame. It is an entrenched system of thought, an ideology which dictates implicitly what is and what should never be. Rule numero uno "Don't f___ with the good old boy network" because you are part of it. Ronaldo remains a superstar in the minds and psyche of Brazilian culture. The nation is not yet ready to let go of his legend. Like the blindness of passion or the clinging to a painful love affair that has ended long ago Ronaldo and the rest of us are being tortured by the experience of seeing him drag the corpse of his past-greatness around the field, but neither he nor his compatriots and even more so his so called coach in the national team are "ready" to face reality. I suppose reasoned thinking in any instsance where denial and taboo roam freely is usually lost in the face of other priorities. What is evidently clear is the wishful thinking that Brazil's coach Pereira eminates about Ronaldo's fitness and expired greatness and the fact that this delusion has turned into an embarassment that is almost certain to become a fiasco if someone doesn't put an end to it. What is most unfortunate is that it has clearly affected or should i say infected the rest of the team and fucked royally with its composure and chemistry. In my opinion, the psychological burden of carrying this 400 pound gorila with them every time they step onto the field makes the Brazilians less cohessive and less bonded. And frankly speaking i don't blame the players. It is a major distraction becasue it opens up a whole pandora's box of issues pertaining to group dynamics (selfishness, double standards etc.)

Another significant factor contributing to distraction and spiritless team efforts by the brazilians and which btw is probably interrelated with the whole Ronaldo taboo is the mythology surrounding "jogo bonito" aka "the beautiful game" and the notion that Brazilians (and this national squad in particular) are gatekeeprs and protectors, heirs and rightful rulers of its legacy. I mean Ronaldinhio steping on the ball and faling down a few steps before scoring?? what was he thinking? certainly not the shortest distance to a goal, but perhaps a more dazling one. Self consciousness is the last thing that should be prescribed to or forced upon the Brazilian team when it comes to creating football chances. But of course their trials are just proof that they are human after all. We are all responsible in a way for having created this image of them that is even larger than the players themselves turning them into glorified and perhpas even deified objects. It's a sure way of ruining natural beauty and contaminating an otherwise flalwless footballing imagination with artificial expectation. It induces a kind of inadvertent but inevidable micromanagement, which for the Brazilian players stems from being more in tune with what the world's expectations are of them more so than being themselves. I am optimistc though...ok i'm lying, i'm just wishful like Pereira... that Robinho (Ronaldo's masterful 21 y/o heir) will enter the starting line up and we will finally allow the corpse of Ronaldo to be layed to rest in the dignified and trully respectful manner that it deserves. He has been nothing short of a phenomenon in his career and he hopefully will be remembered for that, as opposed to having suffered a less than dignified death at the '06 world cup and becoming a story to scare children with. 
opa!

Offline Qnsnative

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Re: world cup bloggers
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2006, 08:55:41 PM »
an overwhelming repsonse to this open blog.....what a waiting list...

blog numero tres:

so Ronaldo scores: it's not his corpse any more it is his shadow

yes indeed the goal scoring record for combined world cups has been tied by the footballer formally known as "el fenomeno" and order in the football universe has been restored if somewhat clumsily...the guy cannot, does not, and simply refuses to run, sprint, or otherwise pretend that he can get to the ball before his opponent...he spends about 40% of the time on his backside while on the pitch and amazingly still has the capacity to mesmerize oponents by virtue of his reputation even though the most he is capable of is jogging...... this is the same player who at the peak of his form seemed quicker than Flash Gordon (how dare I) and had more artistry on the pitch than Borishnikov did on the stage (double how dare I)....... he has been reduced by injury to a static threat with a great shot, diminished but still fancy footwork and a legend that affords him far more respect from opposing defenders than ordinary footballers. the only reason he is in the line up is the good old boy system of Brazilian football culture (see previous blog), which reminds me to just stop obsessing about Ronaldo....so hard to control myself sometimes....i can't help it though since i am as infatuated as everyone else with the poetic fantasy known as "jogo bonito" and i follow the Brazilian team like a good addict follows a utopian football high....

in any case, if i'm permitted to continue ranting somewhat aimlessly i'd like to bitch some more.......this time it is about the apparent or self-concocted "void" i see between fans who folow the European leagues (the best international football there is) regularly and those who don't: aka average American fans....my apologies in advance for the blatantly elitist under and over-tones in this paragraph but i admit i am no humble man when it comes to this subject........it is of no big surprise to anyone who follows the Euro leagues that the Americans were no better than they showed in this tournament and that Ghana, for instance, which advanced at our expense, albeit, with a little help by the ref, was as good as it showed......of course at this level of play games are fluid and outcomes can sway either way..... but let us not be surprised with Ghana.........i mean Michael Essien, Steven Appiah, Amoah and company?? these are all solid players who have consistently proved their skills in top football teams in Europe and i mean top teams: Chelsea, Juventus, Borusia Dortmund etc. and perhaps most importantly have done so in the toughest/best leagues in the planet.

A simple glance of the leagues/teams that Ghana players practice their craft in versus those of American squad players and it becomes plainly obvious that Ghana has a solid bunch of four or five players who compete, for example, in the Champions League (the top tournament in the planet on par with the world cup), whereas, Da Markus Beasley is the only USA player who does........so it shouldn't be a major surprise that Ghana beat us out today......once again these pseudo-rants are all about setting the record straight and frankly i can't blame fans here who simply do not have easy access to Euro leagues and have to go out of their way (Nevada Smith's on 3rd and 11 st.) to watch the best international football more regularly....and one last note about the USA team: they did REALLY WELL on the whole. they showed that American soccer is PROGRESSING (on the whole). when seen in a vacuum they did not do very well, but similarly to how the spirited 2002 world cup campaign was seen in a vacuum and therefore mislead people to believe that we've become one of the top teams in the world we ought to avoid narrow conclusions and instead appreciate the game of soccer through its vast history, legacy, and depth....it just takes a lot more than six MLS seasons to build a lasting soccer culture ....not to mention an educated fan base....so team America keep your head up
« Last Edit: June 22, 2006, 09:04:01 PM by Dimitri »
opa!

Offline Qnsnative

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Re: world cup bloggers
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2006, 11:58:45 PM »
don't cry for me Espana

blog numero quatro

Ronaldo you are making me look bad :wink:....i still can't believe that goalies defenders and the footballing world in general keep falling for that classic step over move he made so popular, which admitedly is sooo sweet to watch..... even though he does it in slow mo nowadays (compared to the warp speed dance moves of his early days). but nevertheless, as much as i am jubilant about the intrigue of a possible el fenomeno come back, today i am more inclined to write about the ongoing melodrama known as the national team of Spain. i mean are there really any words with which to describe the very precedent setting tendency of Spanish national teams to simply loose by virtue of their own legacy? heartbreak after heartbreak after heartbreak ...... today's disappointment seems even worse considering that the team appears not to have learned anything from past lessons and to settle for humility and persistence as opposed to the hyped logic of an underachieving giant. they remind me a little of the impatience of an adolescent who wants to be seen and treated as an adult.

consider exhibit (A): all the nonsensical hype before the France match fueled by such epic moments is Spanish football as having beaten neophyte Ukraine and two John Does of world soccer (meet Tunesia & Saudi Arabia) by several goals. consider exhibit (B): Fernando Torres the rising star of Spanish football merely 22 y/o and with only scarce sensibility to show for his inexhaustible soccer talent prior to the France game was quoted as having implied a less than deferential insinuation about Zidan who at the twilight of his legendary career is hardly in need of acolades but can still produce mastery on the pitch.....and i would aver especially if crudely challenged about it. so pure naivette on the part of Mr Torres? unlikely....as far as the Spanish national football character is concerned imaturity is a lesson that keeps repeating until it is learned.

of course, as i've said before, at this level of football things are never simple. the game is dynamic, results can always sway and momentum usually supplants all other factors in affecting team morale and chemistry. the France team for instance, otherwise not short on individual talent, had a very good result prior to the game with Spain not so much because they beat a John Doe African team but because by advancing to the next round they partially quelled rummors that their best days were way behind them. after that the team had more of an insentive to bond together even more, put aside menial diferences that can loom large when results aren't favorable and if given a chance by a less than experienced opponent, or as in Spain's case a more self-absorbed one, to take advantage and do what they already know how to do very, very well: win important matches.

looking ahead to Saturday's rematch of the '98 final, as good as Brazil is (miles apart from its nearest rival) momentum can carry even a mostly unimpressive team like France, which with its quality footballers at this level is not incapable (a break or two and whole lot of team purpose provided) go from a big victory to an epic one...and beyond...stay tuned, Saturday's game between France and Brazil is a defining test for both teams just as today's was for Spain. only problem for the later was that somebody forgot to tell them that they can't pass this test before they actually play the game. la lucha continua...
opa!

Offline Qnsnative

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Re: world cup bloggers
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2006, 11:56:10 PM »
to be or not to be: Germany v. Argentina
blog # five

I love this Monday morning quarterback stuff….it just makes me feel so smart and special all over!! But this time acting on the advice of my shrink (not really) I’ve decided to put an end to this charade of self-indulgence and speak before the actual game(s) are played. So here we go, it's Germany v. Argentina:

I like my momentum theory (see previous blog) and am willing to put it to a test with these two. Germany keeps on keeping on mostly by feeding off their wining ways and subsequent joy of their home-crowd. Their team chemistry has really benefited insofar as they have not lost any games or fallen behind in the score (which makes me skeptical of how they will respond if down by a goal or two) and their play showed exponential improvement in the Sweden game. I was impressed! I admit it. But where does my momentum theory leave Argentina then? Well in not so good of a place if we were to judge them from their last (Mexico) game: flat, uninspiring, predictable and dare I say somewhat daunted. Yes, I know most mortals were keen to jump on the Argentina and every other bandwagon that rolled through this world cup early on during the group stage matches, but this is “win or go home” territory and there are no Saudi Arabias or Kosta Ricas left to showcase one’s “greatness” on. Thus, if team psychology from the previous game is any indication Argentina will have a tough time against the home team tomorrow. That having been said, I do expect that a seasoned and experienced team like Argentina will arrive on the field with added urgency and focus and that the game will be a close one with possible lead changes between the two teams and very likely an overtime or penalty kicks decision.

It would not surprise me if we saw a 2-2 tie in regulation with both teams giving it their all and rewarding fans with heart and bravado during the match. I really do wish that players like Mesi and Tevez from Argentina would start though, rather than come off the bench, simply because they produce so much energy on the pitch and accelerate the pace and rhythm of the game so well. Their presence would allow for more goal chances and perhaps a more attacking friendly style. But the Argentinean coach is obviously not crazy and thus unconcerned with wishful fantasies about exciting, fast paced football and more interested in winning the cup. Argentina will likely start more conservatively than the Germans. I do expect more pressure by the later early on, which can help to make the game exciting still since the Argentina team has the potential for dangerous counter attacks and could score first. In such an instance we will surely see a more anxious yet entertaining game. My prediction is Germany wins: I love tango but Maradona will only be in the stands not on the field and I am still in disbelief over how fast the Germans were running in that Sweden game (I mean did they take something before the game or what?) as well as how flawless and strong their passing game was.

As far as the Italy/Ukraine game is concerned I really wish FIFA would enact a rule against boring soccer play so that we wouldn’t have to waste our time with such games and instead I propose that we could just watch the Brazilian team practice…. or something like that. Needless to say of course that I hope I am dead wrong and that it turns out to be an ultra exciting game, but please don’t forget to exhale people………
opa!

Offline Qnsnative

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Re: world cup bloggers
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2006, 11:16:19 AM »
ungodly machinations
blog 6

Man what a pain in the ass it is to write a predicto-blogs prior to games. I just couldn’t enjoy the match thinking that my prediction totally sucked cause Germany sucked (big time) and Argentina was simply THE better team (clearly). I so wanted to root for the team Che Guevara would want to win but couldn’t help to feel terrified that I’d be sooo off about the German team…gosh they were terrible…..very suspicious how vastly their level of play had changed for the worst since the Sweden game. Anyway, never doing it again! From now on blogs only after games….well except this one last time…I mean I can’t resist…I just have a feeling that a huuuuuge upset is brewing in the underworld and Haydes himself might intervene to oust Brazil (how dare I go against God) from the tournament.

I just have a feeling that Zidan has sold his soul for one last taste of (world cup) immortality in this physical plane and will rally his French teammates to a seismic, tectonic, momentous realignment of order in the football universe. I mean can you imagine the panic that’ll strike Latin America if both Brazil and Argentina are “eliminated” by ungodly machinations i.e. penalty kicks? My God! Trade and commerce will cease, armies will be mobilized, the two continents will never speak to each other again………..hey listen I maybe Euro by birth but when it comes to football God is with Brazil and when Her will is upended biblical s___ happens….but no one can imagine a world without this particular Brazilian team sitting at the throne of world football (well no one except the remaining teams) but voodoo is voodoo and it’s been reported that Zidan took a quick overnight flight to Haiti yesterday so we’ll see…

momentum theory revised: i see the French playing unified, cohesive, solid defense throughout the match with only a few mistakes happening, which should make or break the game for either team. whether teams can/cannot capitalize on the few true chances they'll get will determine the game. Brazilians will employ magic of their own to create chances and lord knows they can do that. however, as i said earlier Zidan is voodoo protected in this one. the ball will refuse to enter the French net. nevertheless, i must remain Delphic about it: match outcome remains unknown......may the best voodoo win
opa!

Offline Qnsnative

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Re: world cup bloggers
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2006, 12:38:11 PM »
the loss of innocence
blog 7

How to kill the game of the world’s best footballer and erase his creativity (and smile) from the field? Put him in the context of a squad that is full of players who are (were) as good as he is and tell him what to do (or tell him to think twice about what he does)….rather than have him lead the squad toward a unified “goal.” Once again the Brazilians prove that only the Brazilians can beat the Brazilians.

Put simply, this particular Brazilian national team lost what up until yesterday was rightfully theirs (title of best in the world) because it was Ronaldo’s team and not Ronaldhinio’s. And that I am afraid was the coach’s doing, not so much consciously, but through his acquiescence to the entrenched system and hierarchal philosophies that pervade the church that is Brazilian football. Because I’ve written about it in my first blog in this thread I won’t go into it verbatim. It is safe to say, however, that sadly, having to carry the psychological monkey that is Ronaldo’s bad knees on their collective back became an all too powerful and disorienting virus for the team’s mindset. It infected their morale and concentration. For the players (as would be true for any living creature) knowing that they were on the Titanic and that it was sinking triggered a natural inner panic and a tendency to make individualist decisions when faced with the potential loss of some precious objective. Dutifully setting the stage for this quiet panic was the coach’s silent insanity and his pandering to the taboo inducing ways of a decadent system. Thus, for the Brazilians the band kept playing even as the ship was sailing straight into an iceberg that was the byproduct of the very football system that made them.

How do you take Ronaldhinio, the finest combination of footballing imagination, speed, strength and skill there is at this moment and instill in him self-consciousness? How do you take a superstar with no equivalent, at the top of his form and make him question his own purpose on the field? Only some thing far greater than any one coach or person can do that. Rigid cultural structures like the ruling elite of Brazilian football are conservative by nature and in their thinking because they are more inclined to preserve the status quo than they are about rational decision making. My only hope is that that incredible smile with which Ronaldhinio has graced football fields and the ebullient spirit with which he approaches competitiveness, laughter above subordinating an opponent, isn’t contaminated by this somewhat degrading experience. If his soul has come out intact, we might count our blessings and continue to rejoice in his unparalleled imagination. Otherwise, this would go down as yet another big loss for innocence. Jogo bonito will live in our dreams…like the melancholy of a ghost of some utopian football fable.
opa!

Offline Qnsnative

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Re: world cup bloggers
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2006, 12:51:01 AM »
Damned if I do: the Gods have murmured...something

There is a certain futility in trying to predict winners out of title matches and this world cup final in particular is too esoteric even for the mighty oracle of Delphi. But I knew I’d have to write a predicto-blog sooner or later so why not later rather than sooner? Procrastination has helped put me through grad school and besides the midnight hour is ideal for runaway prophecies.

Let’s start then with the easiest and most self-evident of observations about the final: in the hearts and minds of French folk everywhere Zinedine Zidan and his teammates are already heroes, winners, and immortalized overachievers no matter what the final score of the championship game is on Sunday. Point number two: it isn’t at all obvious nor certain that the Italians will be celebrated winners of anything unless they can bring home the golden trophy. Such is the seeming imbalance in the national and international footballing perceptions at this moment about each squad’s world cup legacy that vastly differing emotions will fuel respective fans’ ououhhs and aaahs in the stands and outside of the pitch. On the pitch itself, however, two near identical mind sets will accompany two somewhat disparate playing styles. Both squads are high on momentum right now and feel as poised and confident as can be. Barring any extraordinary locker room circumstances (remember Ronaldo’s “seizures” prior to ’98 final) team spirit is and should remain high throughout the match. The main difference between the two teams then is in their respective styles of play. France will have a clear and unequivocal moral leader and creative maestro in Zidan, not to mention Henry, whereas the Italians are comprised of a roughly equally skilled roster of veterans whose game on the field should amount mostly to role fulfillment and rank and file tasks. Each formula has its advantages and disadvantages. The composure with which Zidan can execute in the most critical stages of a game (i.e. penalty kick against Portugal, controlling the tempo in 2nd half against Brazil) and the unmatched skill, speed and cunning moves of Henry up front can single handedly alter the course of a game. Nevertheless, Italy, one can say, is at an advantage in terms of quantity. They possess more skilled and experienced players of roughly equal talent than does France. Case in point is Italy’s defensive and midfield lines which as a whole inspire more confidence than do France’s. But one cannot say the same about their attacking line. That is because France possesses an advantage in terms of having two players of extraordinary brilliance and genius in Henry (forward) and Zidan (attacking midfielder). Zidan is a legend with unparalleled one touch skill and Henry the finest forward playing in the game today. It can be argued that for the past couple of games both have been at or near the top of their form—and that’s saying a lot. Ironically, in having pointed out France's greatest asset one has automatically highlighted their biggest weakness as well. Italy has built her status as a powerhouse of world football through a reputation for defensive tenacity. Her players can and will swarm the creative space that each of the two French stars still needs to get going. I am not in the least bit afraid that the remaining French players like Ribery, Viera and Sagnol for instance will not perform at their best. On the contrary, they have shown special dedication and spirit as their team has progressed. But I do expect the Italians to place man to man coverage if not double teams when possible on the Zidan/Henry duo and I believe that the outcome of those match ups will most likely determine an otherwise closely fought game. My sense is that the Italians will do such a good job at guarding the two Frenchmen that for the later finding a break on one of their counterattacks will seem a little bit harder and that may lead to frustration which the Italians can then take advantage of. But this is such sheer conjecture on my part that it’d be blasphemous to continue. Really there are way too many ifs involved.

One of those ifs is scoring. If the Italian team can score first it’ll be to their advantage if it is late in the game but not if it is early on because they can fall back on their lines and overprotect giving Zidan space to create and blah blah blah…. You get the point. It is too well balanced of a match up.

It would be intriguing however to mention a couple of bits of trivia at this point. First bit is that in 2000 this same French team broke Italian hearts with last minute goals to win the Euro championship. Oh yes! This is a fabulous rematch of that fateful game, which at the time solidified French preeminence in world football. Six years later with the tables having turned on the French who were maligned as “has beens” prior to this world cup (and for good reason I might add) this final has the special quality of a rendezvous with destiny so to speak. Each team having a diferent dream at stake.

Trivia two pertains to the bizarre, comical-tragedy that has griped Italian domestic football all the while that their national team has been chasing historic victory at the world cup. In brief the scandal involves the behemoths of Italian football who are on the brink of relegation from the Italian major league to what essentially would be the minor leagues (to use baseball terminology) for match fixing. Imagine that! Steinbranner busted for paying off umpires and the Yankees banished to playing with the Brooklyn Cyclones instead of the Mets. Cool huh! Well what bearing will that scandal have on Sunday’s game if any? In a strange twist of human psychodynamics I think it actually helps Italian players through some warped Stockholm syndrome kind of way to bond together in a self-contrived delusion of strength. How does the fact that the French players are already champions in the hearts of Frenchmen everywhere affect their play on the field if at all? It can hurt them if they are down by a couple of goals in a tightly fought game cause they can just take their metals and still get to parade down Chaps Elysees with millions of adoring fans at their feet. But the more you write about these things the more jumbled they may seem. Sorry to leave it at such an anticlimactic point but I’m happy to say that this world cup final is really anyone’s game. For the most part these two teams are really well matched. Only details set them apart and no matter how large our analytic microscope is there are always some details that are impossible to discern. The sentimental favorites are Zidan and the French simply because they have outlasted their willing and unwilling critics to produce one thrill of a ride. As much as I don’t want to disappoint my heart however, I will have to go with Italy on this one; they are too close to let it slip past them and frankly speaking there are too many of them. Too many rugged, excellent game grinding, stalemate producing midfielders, defenders and defensive forwards (if there is such a thing) who can stretch this game out to a penalty shoot out if need be. They will not loose in regulation if it is up to them. So prepare yourselves for extra time and maybe even some gelato ice cream for after the game.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2006, 01:05:12 AM by Dimitri »
opa!

Offline Qnsnative

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Re: world cup bloggers
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2006, 12:03:06 AM »
“If you really want my jersey….

…I will give it to you after the game” said Zidane (seconds before turning into a bull) staring down at Matterazi in disdain right after the later held onto his jersey, apparently for the umpteenth time and away from the referee's prying glance. In my however many conscious years of playing and following this game I have not encountered a more banal and regular exchange than that. A clearly superior, albeit frustrated and cocky, athlete annoyed over the antics of a clearly inferior opponent and vice versa. I have been both on the giving and receiving end of this comic theater during soccer matches and do not in any way consider Zidane’s or Matterazi’s frames of mind in that instance as unusual, shocking, out of bounds, or otherwise un-soccer like. In fact I am tired and frankly a bit indignant at the type of attention that this matter has received in popular media around the world. I mean why are media types acting all startled about this? Why the sensationalism? In a way it sems like a naiveté fueled big deal over a more or less ordinary part of soccer that takes place every day in every single match around the planet bar peewee league games. Don’t get me wrong I am not suggesting that head butting is normal. But the crux of the coverage about this incident has centered not on the head but itself but on the nature of the mindset that drove Zidane to react the way he did; as if to say that it was something extraordinary or an entirely new mental phenomenon in the realm of football save competitive sports.

Rather than the mindset, what is really unique is the rarity of the context that this particular incident took place in; with this particular French captain being a legend, ten minutes away from the end of a world cup run that because it took so many pundits by surprise solidified his legacy as a kind of larger than life football figure. Instead the inquiries have contained a sort of collective gasp about the incident as if this was the first time the world had been exposed to soccer’s Shakespearean theatrics and brute drama. "Could it be possible that one is capable of such seemingly aggresive response out of repeated provocation in what is only the bigest game of their professional career?" Well f___ yeah!
Where have all the sports writers been until now? Covering the PGA or what? Either people are stupendously uniformed and thus their “Why would he do such a thing?” sobbing reflections are justified or they are subconsciously gloating about it through a veneer of self contrived naiveté and don't deserve much of our time.

No penetrating analysis implying a grotesque moral dimension about Zidan'es motives is needed to understand his mindset. He was frustrated and annoyed that a football imbecile like Matterazi who can barely walk and chew gum at the same time would not only have the audacity to question his explicit superiority and use dirty tactics to stop him, but worst of all, that he’d repeatedly get away with it. Patience has its limitations in such a context. In Zidane’s case it took 110 minutes and who knows how many insults, slurs, unpunished kicks, pulls, shirt-tugs, pinches, taunts, threats, ridicules, spits, and whatever else players come up with in the heat of competition to attain an edge over opponents. At this level games are winnable even if your opponents are players of the caliber and talent of Zinedine Zidane. That is why all kinds of crazy s___ goes down during mathces and away from the spotlight of cameras. Dirty tricks, provocation and aggressive responses have been institutionalized for millennia in nearly every competitive form of human interaction. I don’t know what that says about human culture in general but I do know that it isn't news.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2006, 12:12:35 AM by Dimitri »
opa!


 

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