Monday, July 10, 2006

Why did he do it?

For those of you living under a rock, video footage of Zinedine Zidane's viscious head butt in the World Cup final is helpfully povided here.

Bonus: The tape is from French televison, so you can laugh out loud at the French announcer's anguished cry of "Mais pourquoi? Pourquoi?" (Translation: We give up! Please don't hurt us!)

But the question on everyone's lips today was this: Why did Zidane do it?

Over at the New Republic, the noted liberal sports magazine, their World Cup blogger thinks he knows:
Rumor has it that Materazzi called Zidane's father a 'harki' - the Arabic term for Algerians who fought for France against Algeria during the occupation. It's beyond all insults, the ultimate traitor
Others are saying that Materazzi called Zinidane a "terrorist," but my sources say the offending slur was "Cheese-eating surrender monkey."

How bad was this? Well, let me put the attack into context for MoChassid and the other American soccerphobes.

Remember the home-run Ted Williams hit in his final at-bat? Imagine that instead Ted had punched out the umpire... during extra innings of Game 7 of the World Series... in front of an international audience of 1 billion people... naked.

That's a little bit what Zidane's head-butt was like, only Zidane is maybe 3.9 million times more popular than Williams was on the very best day of his life. And the really sad thing is the just a few minutes earlier, the Italian goal-keeper robbed the greatest soccer player of his generation of a Ted William's-like ending with an absolutely brilliant save.

A shame. If anyone deserved that kind of moment it was Zizou. Even if he is a cheese-eating surrender monkey.

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