jump to navigation

the sweetest thing July 15, 2006

Posted by d.w. in sports.
trackback

i was at jon littledike’s house and he said, “that head-butt was the sweetest thing i’ve ever seen,” and i’m starting to agree with him. perhaps you didn’t follow the world cup final very closely and you missed the fact that zinedine zidane, the best french player and one of the best midfielders ever, head-butted marco materazzi in the chest around the 110th minute of the world cup final match. the main ref didn’t see it and neither did the line judges, but the 4th judge claims to have witnessed it. i personally believed that he just looked at video footage of it. here’s a good view of it in case you missed it. zidane has the best joke right before it happens, too. materazzi was holding his shirt and zidane said, according to the transcript, “if you want my shirt, i’ll give it to you after the game.”

according to reports, materazzi issued racial slurs of some sort. some reports say that he called zidane a terrorist (because he’s a muslim anti-racist from algeria) and others say that he insulted zidane’s mother and/or sister. it’s not really surprising that it happened. materazzi has been known to heckle players involved in anti-racist campaigns and zidane has been known to react violently in high pressure games (like the 1998 world cup final).

is this incident just a manifestation of the larger problem of racism in football? brian mentioned in an earlier post that european football has suffered numerous instances of racism and dave zirin from edgeofsports.com wrote a great article about the zidane-materazzi encounter. so the only thing i would like to add is that espn is probably racist. in their coverage they briefly mentioned zidane’s accusation of being insulted and followed up with a quote from materazzi, “I never called him a terrorist : I am not that educated and I have no idea what would an islamic terrorist be.” they treated the quote as if it was the definitive version of what happened and indirectly suggested that zidane was a liar. i’m not excusing zidane. people get upset and they do things that they don’t plan on doing. zidane apologized to the fans and the children for getting thrown out but said, “I don’t regret anything that happened…because that would mean (Materazzi) was right to say all that.”

my initial reaction to the whole thing was that i couldn’t believe zidane would do that in his last match as a professional football player. i couldn’t believe he would get himself thrown out right before penalty kicks. i couldn’t believe that he could head-butt that hard. and then i was sad that he did it. but now, after thinking about it for awhile, i think it’s pretty gutsy to head-butt someone in the world cup final. with that much at stake, it’s impressive that zidane was willing to take the red card and ejection from the match. it makes the stand that zidane took even bigger. so i agree with jon: that head-butt was the sweetest thing i’ve ever seen.

Advertisements

Comments»

No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: