Saturday, July 01, 2006
Roo need to control yourself!
He can now wash, iron and put away his white and red strip for another few months. Or at least Colleen can. Poor Wayne Rooney, he's just a kid, but boy can he run and kick and, unfortunately, shove other players and get sent off. England's bash at a place in the semi-finals was badly dented by his post-foul absence on the pitch; the mean, pink-faced bulldog didn't get a chance to show his stuff and while the 10 remaining players did a great job against the fiery Portuguese, holding off into extra time and penalties, it was clear that penalty practice had been an elective activity for the team.
While I was watching the England - Portugal match with G, I was screaming, shouting and crying for England to just put one away, get it out, send it up etc. and to no avail. The air waves stubbornly didn't carry my good vibes all the way to Gelsenkirchen. This evening, yet again, we have a whole posse of friends coming to our apartment to enjoy France - Brazil. At this juncture I should pause to say that none of the said gang care remotely about football during the other three years between world cups, and the commentaries flying about the room are often hilarious. Roughly translated here are some of the gems we've been treated to over the last few weeks :
Friend A : "No! He was off-side wasn't he?"
Friend B : "No way, he aimed at the ball!"
Friend A : "What?"
Friend B : "What? What is off-side anyway? Isn't when the player kicks another instead of the ball?"
Friend C : "No, that's a free kick"
Friend A and B : "What?!"
A sexist would say they sounded like clueless girls, but no, they're just Frenchmen with jobs who don't care about football until it looks like their country might win; and suddenly interest is sparked, beer is drunk instead of wine and discussions at work around the coffee machine involve words like coup franc, tirer, and Zidane.
8.50pm Let's hope that on Wednesday we can still be rooting for France and that the biting pain of England's defeat is somewhat quelled. Bon courage!
1.30am There is tainted joy in my delight at France getting through to the semi finals, I would have preferred if England had raised St George's cross in victory too, but still, that is the way of sport. Not everyone can win!
Here, just outside the city limits of Paris there are drivers beeping their horns, people whooping from windows and getting together in public squares; finally France has rediscovered a national pride which is healthy and wholesome. Not a Le Penian racism or a nationalistic arrogance, but France is happy to have won, and there's nothing wrong with that.