Oy Zidane

Wow. What a final game. The Italians looked strong in the first half but seemed to be getting served by the French in the second. Early goals and a good pace made for an entertaining match, worthy of a cup final. But Zizou, oy! What was he thinking?!

I don’t care what Materazzi said to him. He’s the captain of the French national team, in the World Cup final, at a crucial time – and it’s the last game of his career. He should have kept himself together and just walked away. How does he know they weren’t trying to rile him on purpose because he’s known to be unpredictable when he’s angry.

That was pretty shocking to see.

But the Italians took it in penalties and all glory to them. Forza Azzuri!!

I have to admit to not really caring about the final. I was watching just hoping for a good match but without Argentina and Brazil … I’m not too fussed. I’m still not sure about the Germany/Argentina match. With the history of match fixing, I wouldn’t be surprised if that one wasn’t rigged to let the hosts get through. I hate the thought of it because it takes away from the German team. But so many stupid yellows to the Argentinians? I dunno. I guess it could just be another case of strange reffing.

So, the great tournament is over. The big impression I have is too many cards. Cards for this and cards for that. Enough cards for a yellow hat. Hell, I could write a Dr. Seuss book about it (I got it started there). The best games were the ones where the refs allowed play to flow, but some matches were as stop-and-start and bloody NFL games.

I’ll need to reflect more on what my favourite moments, games, players were. But I found this WC to be entertaining and fun. I guess primarily due to the Warriors appearance. If only they’d gotten a goal in. *groan* And it’s always fun to watch something through your child’s eyes. His excitement was so much fun.

But now it’s over and I’m just left wondering about Zizou’s huge head.

Germany in 3rd

Loverly birthday treat as Oliver Kahn took up the gloves for Germany today. He’s one of my faves and it was great to see him in top form. A great game and Germany get the bronze.

Much too full of Indian food … mmmm …. to say anything more. 🙂

It’s been a good day.

World Cup goodness

Ok, so I thought I wouldn’t write about it again with Brazil going down to France (again! sacré bleu!), but can’t help myself. France did play a muuuch better game than Brazil. Sadly. 😦 Well, they’re gone and Argentina are gone and the spicy play is out of it but that certainly doesn’t mean that there isn’t any good play left. Italy was spectacular against what was a very tight German side. Poor Klinsmann – he was going nuts on the side during that one. So Italy and France play for the Cup.

I’m actually enjoying all the upsets (admittedly once I stopped weeping into my Brazil scarf). To end up with two teams in the final that weren’t all that convincing early on … Makes the game beautiful. And great news here in T.O. about a new club, Toronto FC and stadium! Looking forward to it and hoping this brings folks out to watch some footie here in the city!

Italy/France should be a good game. Both teams are looking good. I have no particular vested interest in who wins, so it’s all for fun now. Onwards and upwards!

Quarters

Today was a really interesting one in the World Cup. Germany and Argentina played a very tough, very tense game as expected. Seemed to me that Argentina had the dominance on the pitch although they were unable to pull off a winning goal.

I guess people feel all kinds of ways about the penalty kicks. I don’t like them. I don’t like the shoot-outs in hockey either. Why not just play for the Golden Goal? Isn’t that more satisfying than this kicking? Especially when the keeper is really just standing there in the net; he doesn’t even get to come out and play the ball. The win or loss just never feels satisfying with these things. I’m not entirely sure what skill is being showcased by them. It’s about as decisive as tossing a coin. I’d much rather see two sides playing for the win.

Ah well, that’s my business I guess.

So my heart breaks for this Argentinian team. Some unfair yellows, bad luck in the penalties, some strange choices from Pekerman, and they go home. The Germans go through to the semis and although they didn’t look to be the better team today, they’ve played excellent football so far. Really looking forward to that game against the Azzuri.

Hope I won’t be here writing this story about Brasil later today.

Happy Canada Day, eh to all my Canadian pals. And to all the folks heading over to The Gathering – have yourselves a blast!! xo

I love this game

I’ve been watching football (soccer) day and night for a couple of weeks now. The world fleets by. Stock prices go up and down. Israel and Palestine have some more conflict. Iraq gets messier. We deploy more troops to Afghanistan. Angelina Jolie talks to Anderson, both of them getting cooler by the minute. But all I can see is football. All I can think is football. I’m loving this World Cup. I’m soaking up every glorious minute, every penalty call, every goal, every win and loss. Loving it.

Finally the Cdn network boys’n’girls figured out that football is what people want to be watching this month, even here in North America. Finally we have coverage of all the games, along with replays. Finally. And you know what I miss? Switching over to Omni or RAI to see the Argentina game in Spanish. We did watch the Portugal/Holland game in Portugese until it became so crazy that we wanted to know what was going on and we switched back to TSN/Sportsnet. I’m so used to watching these stations since they were the ones who picked up the games and they definitely have the more passionate announcers. But the British guys are great for a laugh when they butcher the names of the players or come up with great things like “Kingson was interventing for Ghana” or “they had the greater majority of possession” (as opposed to the lesser majority I assume). Their commentary is still fun.

My mother finally gets the fact that I’m a footie nut. I guess she never really noticed my prowling around the TV at crazy hours, watching games in foreign languages but now she can’t escape. We watch games live, replayed, taped, analyzed and replayed some more. We’re making her nuts. But it’s only a month! And the month is almost up. I’m dreading the last game because it will be another 4, long years before I can revel in football like this. Ahh well, no point in looking ahead to all that.

So onward we go. Watched the Brazil game a couple times yesterday just because it’s Brazil. I really wish Ghana didn’t have to come up against them because I would have loved to see Ghana go through to the quarters. What a fantastic team. If only they had connected a goal for themselves. Agh, the frustration! But Brazil is Brazil. When you see them give the ball those feather-light touches or running with it so smoothly, passing without even having to look at the other guy … Oh, when they play it doesn’t look like defense, offense or strategy – it looks like love. I find myself smiling all the way through their games because I just love watching them play. I hope they redeem themselves against Les Bleus on Saturday for 1998 (that was a truly terrible Brazil game).

And that Zizou. Between him and Ronaldo, it was a triumphant day. I gave Spain the slight edge over France but they pulled through and did a good job to win the day.

And so today I find myself not rushing out the pub to watch the game over my lunch. Not, heh, extending my lunch to catch the beginning or end of a game. I’m just here … sitting …

But I did finally find the site for my fave “Jose +10” commercials by Adidas. This is an ad campaign gone right! It’s brilliant and magical. I love how it’s done completely in the mind of Jose but you don’t register that until the end. It just brings to life the hopes and dreams and the joy a little bit of football can and does bring to boys and girls in most of the world. It’s so simple and quite wonderful. I can’t imagine how those boys felt meeting such football greats as Beckham, Zidane, Defoe, Riquelme … The magic is very real. Check out the ads for yourself here (click “Watch movie”) or at the Adidas site – and enjoy. 🙂 (You may have to wait a bit for the page to download.)

I also found a blog that rates ads. Might be interesting to any marketing nuts junkies there.

Sweet, sweet T&T

Well, this is the end of the World Cup road for the Warriors. It’s been a great run and I have never, ever been so hyped up for a sporting event. Never. Ever. The World Cup is just a different animal in sports. It’s bigger than everything else. No matter what you love, this is bigger. And I finally know – I know – what it feels like to have your own team there. Your boys, your bredren, your brothers in football. Oh, I wouldn’t exchange that feeling for anything in the world. I have loved watching the Warriors amazing run up to the 2006 WC and I have cherished every game they played.

I think they did us proud as a nation, as a people. They played excellent football and showed the big boys that they are right up there with them. The most joyful sound to my ears would have been “GOOOOAAAALLL for Trinidad & Tobago!!” but it was not to be. So instead, I’ll settle for the announcers’ refusals to count them out. That was a signal that “We reach!” – we were there, right up there with England and Sweden in terms of respect. We came, we played, we conquered. And now we go home.

It’s alright. The boys can hold their heads up and Beenie can give us that gruff smile of his. We’re leaving but without any shame at all. Warriors to the end.

And this, this is what it is to be a Trini. To step on a world stage and show what you’re made of. To find that you are an equal to titans, to try your best, from your heart so that even if you fall short of your goal, you have earned respect. I hope we remember this, savour it and live it. Respect, my people. Peace and love now and for always.

T&T+flag