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eat the cup, part 12- i will refuse

i now remember why i don't follow sports. it's not that it's anaesthetic for the masses (which it is). it's not that these events are magnets for the kind of might is right jocks who i hate (which they are). it's that, no matter what anyone says, they aren't fair. sporting events are supposed to be the apogee of fair combat- equally matched opponents fighting it out, the champion being the one who is able to marshall the skills and the wits to eke out a victory.

except that it doesn't work that way.

1. deciding games on penalty kicks is bullshit.

strangely, i've discovered that i have fairly strong opinions on this subject. if you have two teams, well-matched, they should bloody well play until somebody wins or somebody dies. everything in the course of play of the world cup final dictated a french win. even when playing a man down, they clearly outclassed their favoured opponents. with penalty kicks. you have men who are trained to score goals shooting at a giant open target with one poor sod standing in the middle of it having to make his best guess as to what way the ball is going before the kicker makes a move. neither goalkeeper stopped a single one of the shots taken.

2. power concentrated is power corrupted

i'm not usually one to resort to this kind of thing, but the referee clearly sucked ass. i'm not saying this because it was the same ref who basically cost england their quarterfinal match. i will allow that that call was deserved. but he clearly missed a couple of vicious attacks by the italians that should have, in a fair match, resulted in penalty kicks for the french squad. considereing that they buried the only penalty kick they were awarded, it stands to reason that those missed calls were the difference in the game.

3. the underdog gets screwed

come on. the french team were booed off the field by their own fans in their last game before the tournament. they made it out of the first round bascally on luck and what do they do? they turn into the classiest team on the field, playing with the kind of heart that normally resides only in hollywood movie scripts. how much heart? i live with someone who went into this tournament saying that he didn't care who won (although he had his favourite), as long as it wasn't the french. as we were watching the opening of the game today, i was astonished to see him turn jubilant when france got their one penalty shot six minutes in and remain on the side of "les bleus" for the rest of the game. playing hard apparently can win over even your most virulent enemies, but it doesn't win you games. instead, what apparently allows you to win is playing dirty and faking injuries. not exactly a great lesson.

so in theory, tonight's dinner should be italian. at the least, it should be franco-italian fusion. but tonight, i don't feel like cooking. i once again feel like standing on my balcony and throwing rocks at the cars going by with their horns ablaze. which, ironically, brings me back to the point where i was eight years ago at the first world cup i paid attention to. i think i'll be ordering take out.

and so, the circle is complete.

ps- zizou, what the f*@k were you thinking???

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