The Finals

I know I haven’t posted much lately, but I am still around. I’m not trapped under a large object, adrift at sea or finding myself in India. Just been busy with work and sort of taking things slowly in the college sports off season.
As I’ve mentioned before, one sporting event that I have been following closely is the World Cup. With ABC and ESPN showing all the games and with my TiVo, I’ve actually been able to catch at least some of every single game. TiVo is a fantastic thing! Despite the nearly record-low scoring, it has been a very good cup. Sure, there’s been way too much diving (so sorry to see you take it in the ear yesterday, Portugal!) and the reffing has been inconsistent, but the play has generally been top-notch and there have been a ton of great games.
And it all ends today. In about one hour, France and Italy square off to decide the 2006 winner. Unless you have some sort of tie to The Azzurri or you still eat freedom fries, I’m going to have to assume that you are rooting for France in this one. While the Italians have doubtlessly been very good and maybe not quite as demonstrative as in years past (it’s easier when you aren’t losing), they are still extremely difficult to root for. I can’t stand their constant whining and faking. The French started off very slowly and were easy to mock, but have been sensational since the knockout round began. Watching the rebirth of Zinedine Zidane has been incredible and add in the aggressiveness of Franck Ribery and the unmistakable talent of Thierry Henry and the French are just damn fun to watch. I mean, did you see Zidane against Brazil? The old, bald French-Algerian was killing the Brazilians at their own game. When he’s playing like he can, he has complete control over the ball, the tempo, his teammates and ultimately, the game. It’s just hard not to love the guy. He doesn’t whine, he doesn’t flail, he doesn’t preen. In a game filled with prima donas like the execrable Christiano Ronaldo, Zidane is a straight-up man.
So, as I bid farewell to a fantastic tournament, I say Allez Les Bleus!

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