Friday, June 30, 2006

World Cup Sideshow

I can't really bear to think about tomorrow morning, about what might happen.

So I'm looking round at other soccer items instead:

Zach writes a fantastic piece about visiting the Chicago Fire and their supporters' group, Section 8. An earlier piece he wrote about some of the geopolitical implications of soccer inspired me to link to this post on a blog written by an Iraqi woman about the affect of the growing fundamentalism in the country on soccer fandom. She doesn't have a lot of love for the American forces, so in the interest of remaining fair and balanced (actually, just because if anybody's head explodes in here we'll be the ones to have to clean it up), I give you a link to buy a soccer ball to be distributed by soldiers to the children of Iraq courtesy of On the Pitch, a blog I've been liking lately written from the perspective of an American youth soccer coach.

Of course, like all right-minded people, you have been reading the World Cup Blog, but have you clicked on the referee's blog? You might have missed it as I did in the early days of the Cup--it's tucked away as the last flag in the row on the front page--but I've been enjoying Aaron's perspective on things (and his civility amidst some rather abusive commentators--but he's a ref, I suppose he's used to it).

The Italian footballing trial opened today and the story grew more bizarre (and tragic) this week with the apparent attempted suicide of former-Juventus-player-turned-acting-executive-manager Gianluca Pessotto, who was found post-defenestration clutching rosary beads outside the club's Turin offices. For the record, Pessotto has not been implicated in the scandal. This is awful, and reports seem to vary as to the severity of his injuries; he was visited shortly after by players from the Italy squad, Alessandro del Piero and Gianluca Zambrotta.

That's all I got. In thirteen hours the game will be over, and whatever happens, I hope I won't let it spoil my World Cup.

But I may not be a very good sport for a day or two.

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