Monday, July 17, 2006

Italy Wins the World Cup - Sort Of

Well, Italy got to take home the World Cup. I guess that means they won.

I don't think so.

Yeah, Zidane should not have headbutted Materazzi. But I saw Materazzi come up behind Zidane, reach around him, and caress his chest. He's admitted to pinching Zidane's nipple.

I wasn't able to see what was going on behind Zidane, but I can guess.

Zidane walked away from this sexual assault, but he must have been furious. Calling his mother a whore must just have pushed him over the edge.

It was obvious to me that this was a deliberate, planned strategy on the part of the Italian team, to take out the French team's best player when they were going to a shootout. Many of those players are on teams that are being relegated for corruption, which doesn't strike me as a coincidence.

So Italy sort of wins the World Cup. It's not really winning if you cheat. Or play dirty, whether the playing dirty is technically outlawed in the rules or not.

I'm not a soccer fan, not at all. But I know honor when I see it, and I know when it's missing. And the Italian team sacrificed all honor, even before Zidane's admittedly inexcusable conduct.


Anonymous abi said...

Well, yes, but there was plenty of dishonour to go around.

For instance, Thierry Henry (France) did a blatant and embarrassing dive, clutching his head when it was his shoulder that had been bumped, during the match with Spain. Wayne Rooney (England) stomped someone in the crotch.

Soccer is full of fouls, assaults, and bad acting, to the extent that anyone who doesn't do it is exceptional (e.g. England's Gary Lineker.)

3:30 PM  
Blogger Xopher said...

I'm sure that's so. I didn't watch the whole World Cup, not being a fan. I saw the part I saw only because it was on at the gym when I was on the elliptical ski machine (which is otherwise rather boring).

But I think there's a difference between the individual, tactical dishonor of the kind you describe, and the team-level strategic dishonor that the Italian team (working through Materazzi) was guilty of.

Or maybe there isn't. I was revolted by what I saw. Maybe I would have felt the same about the other things, which I didn't see. Watching sports has never seemed like a worse idea. It only encourages them.

5:43 PM  

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