Calling All Sports Fans for the First Down

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Postby Ian » Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:14 am

Annika wrote:I think that what Zidane did was wrong but what the Italian guy did that lead up to the incident casts a bigger shadow over the Italian team...


Does anyone actualy know what was said to Zidane to make him respond in that way?
I for one, would love to know what provoked that attack.

It must be something in the make up of 'the Gallic genius' that makes these French players snap at things, that others would just let wash over them.
It may not have made world news but a certain Eric Cantona, whilst playing for Manchester United, leapt into the crowd, aiming a 'kung fu' kick at a fan of the opposing team. Obviously something had been said to taunt him but surely these guys are professionals and have heard all the abuse under the sun and should be able to let it ride.



I must admit to having a slight preference for the French side, going into last nights final but enjoyed watching the game with impartiality and must say that it was one of the better finals (football wise) that I have seen in a long time.
I had not been overly impressed with either of the sides in the group stages and would imagine that many American soccer fans felt hard done by that their side did not beat the Italians.
However, in the final, I thought the Italian side played some good football and was particularly impressed by how their defense would try to play their way out of trouble, rather than resort to the 'big boot' up field.

I see that Zidane has been given the 'Golden boot' award, for best player of the tournament. I sincerely hope this moment of Gallic madness can be forgotten and that he will be remembered for the greatness that he has always shown on the world stage.

Unfortunately, it seems that the Italians moment of glory is to also be tarnished by revelations about match fixing and other such corruption in their domestic leagues.
Juventos and other top clubs look certain to be punished with hefty fines and worse still, relegation to lower leagues.

WC 2006 will be remembered for some great moments but will always stick in my mind as the age when soccer cheats and poor referees took away some of the enjoyment from the great game that I love.
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Postby marybeth » Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:30 am

well put, Ian!

The best part of this for me was the great atmosphere we had going for days on end in Germany. Optimism, pride and just having fun in the sun. I won't forget it!
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Postby Annika » Mon Jul 10, 2006 3:32 pm

I'm not defending Zidane, I just thought that Materazzi got off too easy... No one said anything about what he did...
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Postby Our Kid » Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:28 pm

I really enjoyed the World Cup Final. Italy and France both played a great game and there was plenty of drama.

By the end of the first half, I felt that Italy was going to win the game easily. They carried the momentum going into the interval and I was thinking they would come out in the second half, get a lead, and then lock the sucker down.

Lo and behold, the French came out and showed great spirit and purpose as they carried the play to the Italians for much of the second half. This is where Ian's comment about the Italian backline hits home. I agree with him wholeheartedly:

Ian wrote:However, in the final, I thought the Italian side played some good football and was particularly impressed by how their defense would try to play their way out of trouble, rather than resort to the 'big boot' up field.


Time and again, the Italians held posession as they moved away form the 18 and looked to come back at the French with pace and skill as opposed to kicking themselves out of danger. Great observation, my friend.

I also agree that this was one of the better finals in some time. Watching the Italians win took me right back to 1982, when Paolo Rossi and Bruno Conti led an inspired Italian side to the championship. Somewhere in storage, there is a Trapper Keeper folder from my sophomore year in high school with VIVA ITALIA written on the inside of the cover. Those were the days when my love of the beautiful game was really taking root and the Italians of that World Cup in 1982 had a lot to do with it.


As for the incident with Zidane, I was shocked and saddened to see the man, a LEGEND of the game, go out on such a wrong note. I have seen the replay many times, and there is NO indication that Marco Materazzi did anything other than run some smack down (talk some trash). You might find that type of behavior distasteful, but it is a huge part of sports when men face each other and nothing will stop it. Moreover, no amount of "chin music" justifies the head butt. In a sense, it was not a shock as Zidane has a history of having a temper. I refuse, however, to let the red card cloud my judgement of him as a footballer. He was one of the best and the game will miss him.

I know that there is no comparison between professional athletes on a field and those of us fans who get a bit fired up, but I have a soft spot for smack talking. On December 28, 2005 I received a phone message from Scott (Big Brother) Zimmo prior to his Blood Red Nebraska Cornhuskers facing my Maize 'n Blue Michigan Wolverines in the annual Alamo Bowl. Despite the fact that, after taking some smack, my team got the smackdown from his team (Nebraska 32 - Meechigan 28), I have NEVER erased that message. For some of us, there is nothing like a little smack - even when we wind up on the wrong end...

"Eh, you know (clears throat), maize is really corn, and uh Tim, there's Blue corn. Well there's Red corn too, buddy. Uh, sorry you're not there. This is my last chance for some quick smack before the game..."



Anyway, thanks to all the PattyPeeps who chimed in about the games and followed along with such a fantastic tournament. A BIG SPECIAL THANK YOU to MB who kept us up on the vibe around Hirschespheffelistemicit. It was a blast and we'll see what happens in South Africa in 2010.



Kelsea, I expect that you and I will have some comments for each other after all US Women's Team matches as time goes by, now that I know I have a compadre in that area. We face Sweden on July 15th and the game is on ESPN, as we move toward CONCACAF Qualifying matches for the 2007 Women's World Cup. Let me know what you think of the game if you get to see it!

Cheers to all,

Tim
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Postby Annika » Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:24 am

Our Kid wrote:I have seen the replay many times, and there is NO indication that Marco Materazzi did anything other than run some smack down (talk some trash).


You didn't see him (I don't really know the English word for it....) pinch (?) Zidane's chest...?
Look at the first seconds of this video... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zy3YbEiYMc
He definitely does something there..
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Postby Our Kid » Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:35 am

Annika wrote:
Our Kid wrote:I have seen the replay many times, and there is NO indication that Marco Materazzi did anything other than run some smack down (talk some trash).


You didn't see him (I don't really know the English word for it....) pinch (?) Zidane's chest...?
Look at the first seconds of this video... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zy3YbEiYMc
He definitely does something there..


Annika,

I saw the grab on that angle, yes. However, I am not sure that such a thing is worth a foul. I an could comment on that with more authority, I am sure. He has played the game and knows all about the little oatmeal globs that sometimes ring the edge of the pitch and such.

In my book, what Materazzi did (even after seeing that video) wasn't enough to incite Zidane's reaction. As I said before, the Frenchman has a history of letting his temper get the best of him. Just don't let that take anything away from his status as a top-flight player!

Skol!

Tim
"You could write a song about some kind of emotional problem you are having, but it would not be a good song, in my eyes, until it went through a period of sensitivity to a moment of clarity. Without that moment of clarity to contribute to the song, it's just complaining."

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Postby Ian » Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:19 pm

For anyone interested in seeing BBC's angle on the Zidane headbutt incident, here is a YouTube video of the incident and interviews with Italian speaking lipreading specialists (for once this is not one of my cheap jokes, although there are plenty of humerous videos relating to this incident on YouTube)
Zidane

OK, so Materazzi insulted Zidane's mother. Not a nice thing to do but anyone who's played sport competetively in recent years will know that it goes on.
Tim called it laying some smack down, I believe it's called 'sledging' in some quarters and is a form of gamesmanship, designed to psyche out or otherwise put an opponent off his game.
Is it sportsmanlike? Fuck no. Have I ever done it? Personally no but I have played alongside a lot of people who did this sort of thing.
To be honest I was always surprised that people fell for this shit. Even when my own father was dying of cancer, any insults to my family were quite honestly like water off a ducks back.
The first time some guy groped my genitals while I lined up to defend a freekick came as a bit of a surprise but it only served to stiffen my resolve :wink:

Since I'm unlikely to ever meet any of you on a soccer pitch, I can tell you that there is one thing that does wind me up to the extent that I would seek revenge and that is if someone spits on me.
It's only ever happened to me twice on a soccer pitch. The first time, was at school and the guy was a foot taller and about fifty pounds heavier than me. So I waited till he was in the shower then I pissed in his shoes :lol:
The only other time was in a cup game where I was playing for a pub team who were up against their arch enemies from another town.
I didn't share any of the animosity that was going off between these two teams and when this guy gave me some serious face to face abuse. I was genuinely amused and suggested he tried it on someone who might be bothered by such childlike behaviour.
This is when he spat in my face... behind the referees back.

Zidane's reaction was to headbutt, openly in front of camera's and the possible scrutiny of the officials. What he should have done is waltz past the Italian with the ball, the next time he got it and made a match winning pass or scored a match winning goal.
Then he could have had a few choice words of his own to say back to Materazzi.

Me? I'm not a skillfull or clever as Zidane, so I just bided my time and left my opponent with some nice stud marks down the back of his calfs the next time we went in for the same ball.
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Postby Annika » Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:18 pm

In the beginning everyone seemed to just talk about what Zidane did and forgot to look at what happened before that... now everyone is curious about what Materazzi said to Zidane to make him do that so I'm kind of content with people seeing that angle too, even though (I agree with you) it did not justify what Zidane did...
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Postby sandina » Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:46 am

Ah yes! Please, I know! I am a glutton for punishment when it comes to Detroit Lions Football. But the first pre-season game is tomorrow night!!! And I am so excited! I can't wait to see what this year brings to the team. We have a new coaching staff, new faces on the team. It should be interesting, and yet, I have no idea what to expect out of them. But I do know I will enjoy every second!

Yay! Football is back!

Liz, looks like we're pairing up for the first official game of the year! Hope you're not too hard on us!

Make sure you have some nice dips on hand for the game!
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Postby Annika » Thu Aug 10, 2006 6:31 am

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Are there any speedway fans in here? Maybe some of you English guys??? There are some speedway in the US too, in California I think...

Here in Sweden it is pretty big and I love the sport..
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Postby Turk » Sun Sep 17, 2006 2:08 pm

Okay, I'm a baseball fan but since my brother is into this thing called football and I'm spending the day with him and his fanatic friends, I'm learning alot about the game.

*I'm supposed to be routing for the Atlanta Falcons since I'm from Ga. and they are the only Ga. pro football team. I don't really care for the name "Falcons". I don't know why that is so since I'm not really a huge football fan. I didn't think I was supposed to care that much anyhoo.
Whatever.

It could be worse, I guess. The Atlanta Falcons are playing a team called the Tampon Bay ButtInTheirEars, which is what my brother calls them and is a far worse name than the Atlanta Falcons as far as I'm concerned. It may have something to do with the color of the Tampons uniforms. They really have ugly pants but I don't think that should merit quite an offensive name, do you? I have noticed that when the ButtInTheirEars sweat "down there" it leaves a less than decorous stain and could use a rather rapid deployment of treatment on the sidelines by the people who tend to those things, and I also contend that their uniform tailors could remedy that permanently if they really tried. I just know it.

Anyway - My brother is happy because the Falcons are winning over the Tampons with a score of 14 to 3. He said that we're ahead by 2 Touch Dans. I'm not sure who Dan is but I'm positive he's not supposed to be touched that much. I'll let you know more when the game is over and I can explain it to you better.

I just wish all the yelling would stop because the noise has already made my bundt cake fall.
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Postby Mis » Sun Sep 17, 2006 9:35 pm

Here we go Hawkeyes...here we go! *Clap Clap!*

I am SO happy that football season has started again...let's go Big 10! :D
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Postby Turk » Sat Oct 21, 2006 2:54 am

GO Image TIGERS !!
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Postby Our Kid » Fri Nov 03, 2006 12:47 pm

From ESPN this morning...

Louisville slugs West Virginia to jump ahead in BCS race

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- With thousands of fans on the field, swarming all around Brian Brohm and chanting "BCS! BCS!" after perhaps the biggest win in school history, the Louisville quarterback smiled and took in the whole satisfying scene.

"It's been a dream since I was a kid for Louisville to be on a stage like this," Brohm said.

If Brohm and the fifth-ranked Cardinals keep playing the way they did Thursday night in a 44-34 victory over No. 3 West Virginia, the stakes will only get bigger.

Welcome to the national championship hunt, Louisville.




In unrelated sports news, Stoke City Potters returned to form after drubbing Norwich 5-0 by falling to Leicester, 2-1. SCFC spokesman Ian was unavailable for comment, although the plaintive bleating of an apparently rather uncomfortable sheep was heard from his general locale...
"You could write a song about some kind of emotional problem you are having, but it would not be a good song, in my eyes, until it went through a period of sensitivity to a moment of clarity. Without that moment of clarity to contribute to the song, it's just complaining."

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Postby Ian » Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:32 am

Scuse me for posting here instead of just PM'ing these to Tim but hey! there may be other soccer fans out there curious enough to see these excellent youtube highlights of my beloved Stoke City beating the scum from Manchester United 2-1 back in 93.

A packed Boothen end exploding into delight as Steino scores his first goal (6'30 into the first section) was just something you had to experience.
"Footie can be better than sex" suggested a friend at the time.

And with 45 minutes each way with a pint and a Wright's pie inbetween....


I have to say I'm inclined to agree :lol:



Part 1

Part 2

Part 3
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