post-ironic quotation marks

Slightly neurotic (but cute!) singleton looking for adventure, finical stability, and some delusion of meaning. With much thought in the topic of sincerity and the occasional film review.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

My thoughts on soccer/football.

I'm back in the States and irked that the sports headlines are not still on Zidane, but on baseball's All-Star Game. Hello? Um, far more interesting story going on here. Or at least it seems to me, but then again, against my better judgment, I have fallen for soccer. In Europe, Zidane's behavior isn't all cut and dry. While there has been some outrage, it's equally on Marco Materazzi for making whatever comments about Zidane's mother or sister.

Here, all the talking heads on ESPN are all condemning Zidane. I'm all for being professional, but I also realize that there are simply somethings which you do not say to another player, even when you're trash talking. A white player would (or should) never call a black player the n-word. That being said, there are better ways of dealing with aggression, like beating the opposing team, than head butting a member of the other team in the chest.

At least one member of the Italian team went off for legitimate reasons. You know why I don't think professional soccer will ever be really big in America? Watch Italy. They're good, but everytime an opposing player taps one of them, he falls to the ground and the drama begins. The crying, the holding of the leg. The paramedics will drag him off on a stretcher, and then someone pours water on his leg, and the guy is back up and running on the field. He was never hurt, but if a player can make it convincing enough then maybe the referee will give the player who caused him to fall a yellow, or red, card.

This irked me, and the rest of the Americans at the hostel on Sunday night. In football (real football with helmets) and the other big sports, you play until you can't. But you also play by clearly being better than the other team, not by using lack of referrering to disadvantage the other team. To Americans, weaned on a sense of 'fair play' and 'good sportsmanship', exaggerating an injury to cause a player to be expelled from the game is one step above attacking the player before hand with a crowbar. If you can't win by skills than maybe you shouldn't be there in the first place.


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