Monday, July 10, 2006


Like most of the one billion plus humans who watched yesterday's World Cup final between Italy and France, I'm perplexed by the ruthless red card/assault that Zidane committed on Materazzi in overtime. The ref and most of the television audience may have initially missed the arguably provoked retaliation, but the entire football loving world has had to endure the fallout. And I suspect that Zizou has already taken a long look in the mirror, but God knows what he ended up seeing.

I actually dreamed about him last night--he was moving his things out of his spacious rural digs and the a pretty move crew was helping him. I honestly can't recall much about the "storyline" of the dream any longer, but I do remember him drinking all of the wine in the place (we were invited to partake as well and imbibe we did) and dancing by himself in the corner until he slouched down to the floor laughing. Really. Eventually he got his composure back and ended up dancing with Lisa until he made her sick from all of the spinning. He then proudly exclaimed to the three of us that he was done moving and now it was time to go hunting. Then he grabbed a shotgun from over the fireplace, nestled it in the crook of his left arm with the barrel down, and marched out. I don't recall Zizou and I actually exchanging words, but he sure did smell good and he was easy with the laughter and smiles. A charming thug if ever there was one.

Zidane is no stranger to red cards. He's received something like fourteen red cards over the course of his long and distinguished career, most notably in 1998 when he stomped on the back of a Saudi Arabian player. I haven't followed Zidane's career and I've only seen the Zizou of recent vintage, the "old guy" (he's only thirty-four!) who plays for Real Madrid with the other dinosaurs and who was going to go gracefully out to pasture after this tournament. But like most of the world, I was easily seduced by his comeback story and, more importantly, by his exceptional performances against Spain in the knockout stages and Brazil in the quarter-finals. He was fluid, intelligent, and he had the strength to help carry his team to victory. But when it was time for him to take his parting bow, he blew it. And a billion plus people across the globe gasped, sighed, cried, and laughed all the way to the final penalty kick.

In Monday’s edition of the New York Times, a young French woman was interviewed in the aftermath of her beloved team’s ignominious defeat. “Zidane had this great ambition about how to end his career,” she said. “But the player got overtaken by the man.”

I couldn’t have said it any better. But at least he's not stingy with the wine.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Man, that is the best dream. I wish I'd had that one. And I bet he really does smell good.