Friday, July 07, 2006

The Long Weekend

The entire last month seems like a long weekend to me, but the end of the 2006 World Cup is unfortunately here. It's been a blur, exhilarating, disappointing, euphoric, frustrating, and sometimes just plain sad. But I wouldn't change a thing--other than perhaps incorporating some new rules or at least modifying them, like no longer giving a point to teams that draw during the knockout phases of the tournament. Over at Zach's always enjoyable and intelligently opinionated Eleven Devils blog, that was one of the suggestions that came up in a discussion regarding how to "improve" the modern game, which by some accounts is broken. Is it? Bring the noise over here and let's get this debate rolling! I'm still thinking about it, but the one that really made sense to me was the no points for a draw. I also like the idea of employing another linesman instead of a second ref, which I've heard FIFA is interested in doing. The second ref sounds like a disaster to me (who's going to ultimately be in charge? Not that I'm some authority fetishist or anything) and would only lead to more confusion during difficult calls/games, I think.

Also over at Zach's pad, he's posted some "personal bests" about the Cup watchin' and gives some thought as to the big blowdown that arrives Sunday. I'm pulling for France all the way, though if Italy does win, they will have earned it. Just as long as they don't kill someone during the game, of course. Having watched all of their matches during the Cup, I've been impressed by their tricky balancing act of incorporating a brisk offensive style with their oddly engaging (for me) defensive tactics. I know I'm not saying anything new here or even intelligent, but Italy's super glue marking has been fascinating to behold. Oh yeah, I said fascinating.

But Les Bleus have my heart, and they have Zizou and Ribery(!). So there. In my dream, the match would be 3-2 France. One goal for Ribery, one for Zizou, and one for Barthez when he baffles the world by kicking it into Italy's goal from his own line position, making the otherwise ace Buffon the game's buffoon. Hey, it's my dream damn it!

4 comments:

Zach Dundas said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Derek! This has been an exhausting (in a good way) month, and I'm *almost* looking forward to going back to concentrating on the Timbers (can they ever overcome the Whitecaps?) and pondering who will win MLS, FC Dallas or DC United.

Now, just to be clear, I say no points for a 0-0 draw only. Split the baby as usual in case of 1-1, 2-2 or 18-18, should Tonga and American Samoa ever meet up.

Derek said...

The World Cup exhaustion really hit me last week when I realized all my teams were knocked out. I started focusing on the Timbers and Barca again . . . .

That lasted a day. Then I got sucked into the tournament again and started to feel the bruises fading. But I'm still looking forward to following my clubs again, and having a somewhat normal schedule/life. Though I can't wait for Euro 2008!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the Euro 2008 qualifiers to start in ernest! It should be a cracking contest especially when you see both Northern Ireland and Kazakhstan providing shocks this month.

Derek said...

I can't wait until the Euro qualifiers start either. Forca Czech Republic!