I don't know how many of you out there are following the World Cup, but today was priceless. In fact, there's been a lot happening behind the scenes that really shows the true nature of countries and humans, really -- I just wish we got more African coverage to sort of expand my world...But, as far as sweeping generalizations are concerned (and, anyone who reads me, knows it's my currency), here are my World Cup highlights:
The French Team does what Frenchmen do best - they went on strike in protest. After a teammate got pulled from the team for his unsportsmanlike conduct concerning the epithets he hurled at the disappointing coach, the entire team decided to get back on the bus and draw the shades instead of train today.
This, of course, is the football equivalent of French pig farmers overturning their tractors on the highways (After all, if they didn't show a sign of strength in a very public place, it's not like the rest of us would notice if they simply stopped cleaning the manure on their farms).
And from there, it just unraveled in wildly French histrionics. The fitness coach stormed off the field, the Captain handed in his resignation, and the Team Director simply got in a car and drove away.
All I can say is, why do we never see this much action - and verbiage - in their godawful, drawn out, melancholic flicks they always send our way? This is much better in terms of protagonist conflict -- but, will it slide to resolution?
The Spaniards blamed their losses on a pretty Pandora (we'll call her Eve) who was covering the game on the sidelines. Sure, she's pretty, but she was always fairly conservatively dressed, unlike a few news reporters I've seen in the Bel Paese.
And, in today's match Italy vs New Zealand, the hearty 'All Whites' fans took off their shirts to celebrate the tie with Italy (they needed something to celebrate, seeing that they hadn't even been in the World Cup in ages). Stadium shots of the Italians showed them bundled up in scarves and red-white&green hats - just to stave off that stiff neck in the morning from the draught of air coming in over the goal posts.
Regardless, I still would have preferred to see the Italians with their shirts off over the ruddy beer-bellied guys who actually did so - and can someone please explain to me why this is a form of celebration in any country?
And finally, the Kiwis brought a bit of humour to the whole enterprise, with this brilliant article awarding my paesani the Oscar for best acting on the pitch...
They may have a point there.