Another crap penalty; the risk of waning excitement…

I dated a girl in college who had a dog that could be persuaded to sit up and beg for food, and would track the food until it fell over backwards — repeatedly. (A metaphor for our relationship as I think back on it, but that’s not my point). She contended that her dog was not the dumbest on the planet, as a friend of hers had a dog that would deliberately limp past to get attention, but could not remember from one lap of the house to the other which leg it was limping with…

Anyway, this came to mind as I was watching Totti get clipped on the left ankle, go flying, and come down clutching his right ankle.* Thanks for the memories.

I wasn’t sure that I could watch the Telefutura rebroadcast of Italy – Australia, another elimination of a team that broke with convention by playing like they wanted the win but who couldn’t quite make it happen. But watch I did. A late dinner and a brief power outage (because nothing says “Capital City of the Wealthiest Country in the World” like above-ground power lines and 19th century storm drains) meant that I came in at the second half, in good time to see Greg Louganis playing for Italy in a Del Piero replica shirt. That guy falling all over the place and contributing nothing was the real Del Piero? Oh.

Anyway, I realise that the Italians were a man down at this point and retreating to catenaccio for comfort, but it was frustrating to see Australia not quite able to put the ball in the net. Almost as frustrating as watching periodic Italian counter-attacks where they flew up the field, passing with intent and guile (aside from Del Piero of course).

And then another crap penalty. Lucas Neill had the gumption to go for the ball against Grosso, missed both the ball and Grosso, and was rewarded with a penalty against…

Are there going to be any decent teams left in the tournament? What happens if Brazil and Ghana combust? Can we look forward to the bonita joga-ing of (heaven help us) an England – Germany final? Surely not… and yet, playing like crap and coming away with a narrow win seems to have worked for the Ukraine and perhaps it will continue to work for the English. Is it possible that this team which flatters to deceive could end up in the final game?

Well if so, bet according to the famous aphorism: football is a game played by 22 men and the Germans win on penalties…

*I’m sure that there must have been a legimitate reason, but it was too easy to take the shot. However, not only is Totti supremely better at football than I could ever hope to be, he gets full points for being a good sport in the form of a book of jokes about Totti which the man himself authorized raise money for charity.

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4 Responses

  1. we will be alleviated from an england/germany final as they are in the same half of the table. though fear not as a germany/england semi final is on hand!

  2. I may be addled from lack of sleep but that’s not how I read the bracket on the FIFA world cup site… Oh if only you are right.

  3. i just got really depressed. i mixed it up. i thought it was winner of germany/argentina against winner of england/portugal. alas, it is not. lame.

    how can i blame this on marcelo balboa?

  4. He makes everyone who listens to him get stupider by 1 IQ point per 15 minute increment. It’s a gift.

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