by now, we've all seen the replay a million times, zidane head butts random italian defender, gets red carded, italians win world's third largest sporting event (behind the olympics and the super bowl....look it up). lots of talk about double z disgracing his country, but i say, the french could have used a zidane's attitude in WWII.
anyways, dr. z from SI.com summarizes my feelings nicely about the whole deal. did he lose it? sure, do we kick him out of the game for possibly the lamest alley fight move in the world. why the chest? why not head butt him in the face like the rest of the world does? someone please explain this to me. anyways, i know i'm going to be in the minority here, but it just seems like one of those deals where you hand out warnings and give the ball to italy and viola! water under the bridge. perhaps as a violence hungry american, i just don't understand these things (more on this later). could you imagine if they tossed an NBA player for every shoving match that he got in? me neither.
although there have been whispers that what provoked the head-buttin' frenchman were racist remarks by the italian defender. if that were the case...holy cow, racism might have decided the outcome of the world cup! i mean i get pretty mad about the east coast bias in sports media, no telling how mad i would be if the NBA's MVP was handed out to someone just because he was white...oh wait. never mind. anyways, soccer's recent history is peppered with all sorts of incidents involving racism. i really haven't taken the time to examine what's up, but from what i can tell, it seems that things are actually worse in terms of racism in sports in europe than they are here, which if you think about our history, that's just mind blowing. i can't quite get my head around it right now, but i do just want to point out that america is often accused of being less progressive than the rest of the world. and while that's probably true on several accounts, i still stand by the idea that the whole world is just full of assholes, so any attempt to call the US is simply the whole kettle black thing.
anyways, there's my 2 cents on the world cup. i was thinking about writing a series of posts on why soccer is not more popular in america, but it turns out, now that world cup is over with, i don't care about soccer anymore. my final evaluation is that there is no one single reason, but rather a plethora of reasons why soccer is never ever going to catch on as a professional spectator sport. but here's my new thing...why do we even care? why do americans have to like soccer just like the rest of the world? we don't go around asking other countries why they don't like baseball, do we? i fully admit, baseball can be just as boring as any sport, but i have my reasons for liking it. soccer is exciting, we know, but i just can't get into it, unless nation-states or my friends are involved. isn't this ok? actually, isn't this good since it makes our cultures different? the idea that soccer is not popular in the united states as a metaphor for the ugly american, is a reach. we don't like soccer in the same way that the french don't like to fight (except the alliteratively named arab soccer players). i'd write more, but i just don't care about soccer enough to expend anymore energy on this topic. only three weeks left to football training camp opens and i need to work on my fantasy squad.