Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

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World Cup Wrap-Up

And so another World Cup comes to an end. I had no dog in this fight, having no ethnic background from either France or Italy. (Well, "Standlee" and "Reynolds," my paternal and maternal family names, are probably both Norman French, but I don't identify with the French ethnically. To the best of my knowledge -- my family history gets cloudy prior to the American Civil War -- I'm Anglo-German-Cherokee.) The first half was pretty good, but the second got dull, and overtime was painful as both teams were clearly out of gas. And but for a mis-hit penalty, we might have seen sudden death go to sudden death, as the keepers stopped none of the attempts.

It's a shame that the Zidane ended his career on such a classless note. As soon as I saw the replay of him head-butting the Italian player, I said, "If any of the officials saw that, it's got to be a red card!" And it was, no doubt about it. Even if the Italian player was taunting him, Zidane made a terrible mistake. He had an opportunity to end his career like Beckenbauer, and instead wasn't even on the pitch when his teammates collected their second-place medals.

More encouraging was the show of good sportsmanship between the two teams' goalkeepers before the penalty kicks began. Also, I think the match overall (unlike most of this World Cup) was officiated excellently, with the players being allowed to play and to decide the game on the pitch. You hate to see a World Cup decided by penalties, but this one was so equal that it was possibly inevitable.
Tags: soccer, world cup
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