Friday, July 14, 2006

Right at the End...

For those who may be dismayed (or dare we say, caught up, in Zizou's stupidity, er, excuse)... lest not forget what the majesty of a dramatic end of season moment sounds like. And that idiotic headbutt denied us all, worldwide, of his (perhaps, such magic) potential.

I like Materazzi all the more - the worse the insult, for the clarity. If only I were alive and an Arsenal fan in '89, when Michael Thomas burst through the midfield... Who were the fortunate sons, who were the fathers who were teaching them how the world worked, then. And at that most dramatic, failed so.

Right at the end. Perhaps the most dramatic finish? Oh magic becomes us.


Blogger Devin said...


I am disappointed to hear you say that you like Materazzi all the more. Admittedly, we don't yet know what he said; but, if he made derogatory, and arguably racist comments, about Zizou's family, then he should be punished. In a sport where there is too much of this kind of crap in the first place, Materazzi is a chronic offender.

Zizou lost his cool and his actions are inexcusable, but Materazzi should face sanctions as well.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Devin said...


You were alive in '89.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

I appreciate the "STOP RACISM" campaign flag and spiel at the start of each game was probably aimed at sometimes riotous fans. Yet some of us assumed the players including Materazzi would be on their best behaviour, too. 'The whole world's watching!' Trash talking in sport is BS that reflects very badly on the trash that talked.

6:13 PM  
Blogger James MacDuff said...

If you start punishing athletes involved in sporting competitions for things they say in the heat of the moment, where does it end? If Zidane didn't fly completely out of control, we wouldn't even have any idea what was said, nor probably care. Base and vile trash talk as is alleged is odious, but isn't the whole point to get under the guy's skin?

How the hell could you even begin to draw the line on what words are "acceptable"? The idea that Materazzi should face sanctions because his trash talk proved so utterly successful is ludicrous.

Perhaps saying I like Materazzi "all the more" was a bit much, but I really just meant in the post that I like him all the more for crystallizing the debate in the first place. I don't see how you can police onfield hectoring of the opposition (entire stadiums engaged in clearly racist heckling is on a different, public plane) and these efforts by some to somehow rationalize the boneheadedness of Zidane's move is rather weak.

Martin Samuel of the Times probably has the best word on the subject. He also cites one of the most hilarious moments in the annals of trash talking as follows:

The most memorable exchange at the crease concerns Eddo Brandes, the Zimbabwe tailender, and Glenn McGrath, the Australia fast bowler. “Hey, Brandes, why are you so fat?” McGrath asked. “Because every time I f*** your wife she gives me a biscuit,” Brandes replied.


7:45 PM  
Blogger Devin said...


I also think that there is a place for trash talking in sports, and that it would be impossible to police what is said in the heat of battle -- especially on a field as large as a soccer pitch. But when you do have situations like this one, where someone is proven to have made racist comments (if that is in fact the case), punishment should be swift and severe. There is clearly a big difference between Materazzi's alleged actions and, for example, the rather comical retort of Eddo Brandes to the apparently game McGrath.

My favorite trash talk quote is Patrick Roy's response to Jeremy Roenick, who had bragged in the press about embarassing him on a breakaway goal. Roy said, "I can't hear what Jeremy is saying. I've got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears." Not bad.

In no way do I condone Zidane's behaviour. My comment is only intended to express my opinion that Materazzi should also be punished if he did say the things he is alleged to have said.

9:17 PM  

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