Wednesday, July 05, 2006

And then there were two...

Two snooty, vaguely irritating European countries vying for Soccer supremacy (PINCH ME!).

All in all that was some pretty exhilarating futball to see during the semis. And though most of Germany/Italy was a snoozefest, the final surges by both sides where extremely dramatic. Meanwhile, the shockingly clean calls issued by everyone's least favorite Uruguayan (the same one who hosed the US against Italy) allowed France and Portugal to play open and free. Sure there were moments of absolute terror for anyone rooting against the Flopper's Final (i.e. any moment the ball went towards Fabien Barthez) but by and large this has been a set up for some (hopefully) fantastic final matches.

Sure, there were still moments that were, quite simply, UG-ly. Sure it was hard to hear Dave O'Brien talk about Odonkor's "flaming red boots," and the 45 second close up on Frank Ribery was completely overkill. But those fleeting seconds are easily forgotten when you watch Zidane continue a magical run towards retirement and when you savor the Italian team's reenactment of Ceaser's death every few minutes.

And in true world class tournament fashion 7 beloved friends and I tore our hair out diagramming every possible match to arrive at finals that included neither Italy nor France, my beloved friend Jeff said quite simply and plainly: "France." That was his one pick, nothing more and nothing less, just "France." So ladies and gentlemen, take it from my pal the Air Force pilot and repeat after me: "Allez les Blus!" Allez Zizou! Allez Henry! Allez Ribery!


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