Live sports, clearing house

I spoke to Thistle71 last night thanks to the magic of the wireless telephone. He was sitting in the lobby of the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, watching a Stanley Cup playoff and waiting for a ride to an evening game at Dodger Stadium – one of life’s real pleasures so far as I am concerned. He had headed south for the business trip early so that he could take in the Galaxy – Chivas game on Saturday night, and informs me that the Galaxy’s stadium really is the business for design and atmosphere.

This is something of a radical departure for this blog – actually attending a sporting even in person, in place of watching parts of it and then commenting on-line. Too much more of that and we’ll have to shut the blog down.

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In an effort to make my browsing / blogging less obvious, I’ve been composing stuff offline. Unfortunately I haven’t been then posting it, although these nuggets may indicate that not posting would have been my best bet….

On InterMilan winning Serie A: Materazzi knows no fear, or, at least they fielded one Italian. This update would be more timely in an era of say reporting via morse code, you can thank the evil corporate overlords for the delay. Anyway.

I had a chance to watch portions of the Inter – Siena game the other weekend, which win for Inter officially won them the league for 2006 – 2007. Materazzi, the only Italian Inter player on the field, scored both goals via penalty. I caught the second penalty, which was a tiny bit harsh but not out of the blue. Materazzi took it twice – for a defender, he’s remarkably nerveless when it comes to placing the ball away from the keeper. Perhaps he’s not the introspective sort, given to self-doubt.

From an aesthetic standpoint, you could win a trophy in worse places. Doubtless the Inter fans would have preferred a home win against Roma, but as a foreigner, I was having a hard time not looking at the stadium in context: what looked like a small-ish American high school football stadium nestled up against medieval and rennaissance buildings on a gorgeous (Tuscan? Umbrian?) spring day. I’m such a victim of travel documentaries. I bet Rick Steves doesn’t have anything in his books about the stadium in Siena (actually, I’ll admit that I know that for sure…)

Anyway, for all that people have gone on about a tainted season and an iffy Serie A, you don’t win 17 games in a row because the opposition suck – Inter played fantastic attacking football and even remembered to defend a bit. Add in the late season fumbling as a testament to their usual strategy for the league, and it was a fairly complete season.

On Celtic winning the SPL: Only bright spot from Celtic winning the Scottish Premier League: their best players on the year were Shunsuke Nakamura and Jan Venegoor of Hasselink, both well known members of the local Catholic community. Could we not just drop the club “identities” and let the bigots fight it out elsewhere? Or am I going to have to get a “Free the Paisley Panda” t-shirt instead?

On the Dutch Eredvisie: PSV Eindhoven win the Dutch Eredvisie. I suppose I could look out my old “Ik ben gek op PSV” shirt but people tend to read it as “Ik ben geek” and I don’t need to give them any further encouragement. I have that shirt because my father picked up while in Eindhoven for a business trip when he worked for Philips. If you consider that he worked for an American company in Holland and a Dutch company after moving to America, with no relationship between the two jobs, you get some insight into the counter-intuitive thinking that Thistle71 and I both inherited and demonstrate. 

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