Monday, July 10, 2006

It's only a game...


...But it's also the world cup and it takes place only every 4 years. And we just lost it. I can understand that players can cry, like on this image that I just grabbed off the television. The good news is that I am through with football posts! Thanks a million for all your nice messages of support from all over the world, I am sure that helped a lot. And, of course, congratulations to Milan, Roma, Turin and Venice (although the Venice daily photo blog is actually run by a Frenchman...).

103 comments:

  1. Mais moi j'ai pleuré... Mais un peu

    Ce n'était que le jeu

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  2. ...and Sydney and Melbourne are celebrating too...

    I actually feel sorry for Zindane - his life will be hell now for one moment of massive misjudgement...

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  3. ben viens donc sur le daily a Bastia et tu verra ce que j'en pensse...

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  4. Ah, ca va ca va. Niether team played particularly inspiring football, though I'm not an expert viewer. It was a fun run for Les Bleus, and you did have some great celebrations, oui?

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  5. Ah, now you will only have to deal with the usual excess of summer tourists in the streets rather than the native revellers you pictured hanging off cars a few days ago (what a great action shot!). This was high emotion all around!
    -Kim

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  6. i couldn't believe it.....

    when zidane headbutted the guy and got a red card i actually stared at the screen with my mouth open....

    oh well...there's always 2010....

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  7. I am expecting with agony to learn what Materazzi yelled to Zidane during the match. I believe that he said something very improper - even for the football players - to make him react like that. For me Zidane was the great hero of the final. He exchanged the glory of a trophy with his pride.
    Even if the Italian players will keep the trophy after the revelations that will be publised in the following days, they are already stamped with their involvement in one of the most black pages of the football worldwide.

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  8. I'm sorry for you guys. I wanted France to beat Italy seeing as Italy robbed us Aussies. It only goes to show, Australia could have won the world cup, had it not been for an incorrect penalty at the 93 Min mark! ( No, I'm not bitter !! )

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  9. Here's my guess for the Materazzi dialogue:

    "Hey, baldy, when are you cheese-eating surrender monkeys gonna start playing football?"

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  10. I only have one question:

    What the heck was Zidane thinking???

    Sorry to say, it seems that after that moment, the World Cup Gods turned against France.

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  11. I watched from the States...cheering for both teams. I hate it at the end when they show the losing team!

    Well played for even making it to the final!

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  12. Ah, non alors, si les spectateurs se mettent a pleurer aussi, alors la rien ne va plus! ;)

    I do feel sorry for the French team. They looked a little lost for a while, when Zidane walked out, and they worked so hard to get the finals. It must have been an extreme, extreme disappointment and I totally understand the tears running down this player's face. Poor guy. Who knows if the members of this French team will ever come so close to the World Championship title.

    I guess people will be talking for a long time about what Zidane did, but remember guys, it's easy for us to think straight while sitting on a couch with our feet up and a cold drink in our hand, and quite another for a player who's been on his feet for a couple of hours, who's hot, tired, probably in pain, really defensive, overexcited, running high on adrelanine ...

    I'm not saying what Zidane did was right, of course, but if nothing else, his last exit will fuel a lot of conversations in sports bars all over the world and sell a lot of beer... Maybe he'll get signed up for commercials.

    Damn, the French team really looked depressed at the end. It was really so close! Poor guys...

    (Reminds me a little of the way half of us felt during the last Presidential elections in the States.. ahem.) OK, I'll shut up now.

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  13. We have a phrase for moments like this in English: c'est la vie.

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  14. Awww, I'm so sorry France. I really wish you could have won.

    I understasnd the crying. The World Cup is such a powerhouse of emotions. When it comes down to it the whole world is rooting for one of two teams. The hopes and dreams of millions wordlwide hang on just a handful of extremely talented men! I've never really been too into soccer...er-football, and I'm totally bummed by the loss.

    Anyways, like you said, congrats to the Italians, you obviously earned it.

    ham: English, eh? Boy, we sure do have some classy sayings, don't we?

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  15. Yeah, live it to the British to come up with the classy sayings! ;)

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  16. I feel terrible about Zidane though. But tomate put a pretty good spin on it. He should be able to make a nice little beer commercial out of it.

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  17. lol- Luggi's comment. I can picture the commercial.

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  18. Fair play died with Italy's win.

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  19. Tomate's right. You could see on their faces towards the end that they were just fried, just running on emotion and raw determination. One wrong choice doesn't change what a great player he was. Its a shame it had to come down to penalty kicks though.

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  20. So sad for the French, but so happy for the Italians. That's the way the cookie crumbles.

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  21. As someone who's never watched soccer before, it's hard for me to understand why Mr. Zidane's momentary breach of decorum is attracting such sanctimonious opprobrium. During the game itself, players collided with great force on a regular basis -- apparently at times with malicious intent. And Mr. Zidane's misconduct seems altogether trivial compared with that of other celebrities and athletes who've commited serious crimes of violence. Here in the United States, it's almost commonplace to hear that an admired athlete has been accused of beating or rape (though they don't usually do it on television).

    I wish there were some way to comfort my French friends, or Mr. Zidane, for that matter. It's much like a Greek tragedy, in which the hero's hubris is necessarily his flaw. The ensuing news coverage and analysis will surely be a constant torment. At least Mr. Zidane seems to be a person of quiet dignity -- perhaps that will help him endure, like Prometheus, the daily evisceration.

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  22. It was an incredible match watching this in Paris. With all the windows open (a hot evening), you could hear the screams from all around every time there was a missed kick, pass, or better yet, goal attempt.

    I spoke with some friends who said, "But the referee didn't even see him do it!" But for an American, instant replay tells all. Apparently, the goalie from Italy told the ref, which caused them to look at the film...something that is not commonplace in football (soccer).

    Nonetheless, it was an exciting match with overtime and the penalty shoot-out...I'm sure the advertisers were happy no matter what the outcome!

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  23. I just found this...maybe somebody could translate for us?

    Pour Raymond Domenech, l'arbitre a exclu Zinédine Zidane, dimanche, sur la foi d'images vidéos visionnées par le quatrième arbitre, ce que le règlement ne prévoit pas. "On vient d'instaurer l'arbitrage vidéo parce que c'est le quatrième arbitre qui est venu le dire. L'arbitre de touche n'a rien vu. C'est une nouvelle règle qui est mise en place, vive la vidéo dans le football!", a amèrement ironisé Domenech après la finale de la Coupe du monde, perdue par la France aux tirs au but. La Fifa (Fédération internationale de football) s'oppose pourtant vigoureusement à l'utilisation de la vidéo pour l'arbitrage."

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  24. That's a pretty powerful picture. Very emotional. Says it all...

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  25. Hi Eric! It was a very beautiful game...so many heart stopping moments. But in the end one team had to win and in this case it was Italy. I am very proud in saying that I want France to win but at the end of the day, it was Italy who finally did.

    Till next world cup :)

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  26. it is so dramatic and i felt so sorry for zidane...i don't know what to say...

    Eric, any updates in Paris on what happened to zidane?

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  27. I love seeing T Henry and Zindane play at the world cup. Even though France lost I think they had a great game and shame on Zidane for the headbutt not a very examplery thing to do as a captain.

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  28. "On est déçus"...c'est ce que l'on entend dire partout (à la radio and so on...). Oui, bien sûr on est triste mais tout cela doit certainement accroitre encore la tristesse et l'amertume des joueurs. Bien sûr, on a terminé sur une défaite mais "faudrait-y" pas plutôt mettre l'accent sur le côté positif ? Personnellement, je leur dis "bravo, vous vous êtes bien battus et merci pour toute la joie que vous nous avez donnée." Et je dis aussi à Zidane que je peux comprendre son geste. J'ignore ce que lui a dit l'autre italien et je sais bien qu'il faut savoir se contrôler mais je pense à toute la pression qu'ils devaient avoir sur les épaules avant et pendant la rencontre...C'est peut être maintenant qu'ils ont le plus besoin de messages de sympathie. Ils sont encore là les "electronic billboards" ?...(Bien qu'ils doivent certainement recevoir une belle petite somme. ça doit les consoler un peu:))

    Une femme qui ne s'y connait pas du tout en foot mais qui est marriée à un homme qui l'adore (le foot).

    PS : Quelle idée aussi d'aller crier "Allez les bleus !" :) Mais, ce n'est qu'un jeu, come on, this is not the end of the world ! Bon, je retourne consoler mon homme...

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  29. Michael, I don't know if I can do a very good translation right now but the text you quoted says pretty much the same thing the American broadcasters said to us live when they commented the game earlier today: the Referee did not see the headbut and had to consult with the outside referrees to see what they saw. Finally, one of them said he saw the headbutt on video and therefore, relying on that information, the field referee had to red-card Zidane. The problem, it seems, is that FIFA is opposed to reliance on video footage for referees. (Is that it? best I can do right now).

    I think everybody in the US heard pretty much the same thing live during broadcast anyway, except maybe the part where FIFA is opposed to referrees relying on video-footage, which I don't really understand, if you want my opinion ... If the referree is looking the other way and does not see foul play, does it mean there was no foul play?

    Anyway, the thing we didn't hear live was what the Italian player said to Zidane to set him off that way. I guess it doesn't really matter, anyway, it's all water under the bridge now.

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  30. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HblsV-urHg&search=materazzi

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  31. i'm sorry france... vive la france, encore dans quatre ans!!!

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  32. Be sad but not to much and please remember France has not lost everything this week end : It's the first time since Suzanne Lenglen in the 20s that a french woman wins Wimbledon ! And that ain't nothing !!!

    Thank you Amélie Mauresmo !

    cf : http://www.ameliemauresmo.fr/

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  33. That is the perfect picture, no one can argue with it for the end of the day...we were very sad, rooting for France, even though not usually fans of sports, got caught up in Zidane fever, I know you can't let stuff like what he did go, but it seemed like the teams were so evenly matched when they had to go to penalty kicks to decide the game -- and so it seemejd like it was the first serious mistake (that Z made) that decided the result in the end, or at least influenced it so heavily... heartbreaking but there will be another chance four years from now, and weappreciate your gracious congratulations to Italia, who are so happy now...
    L

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  34. gg -->You're right ...I'm now a big tennis fan after last week's win by Amélie!

    tomate-->Thanks...I didn't have time to translate this morning, but I thought that Eric's readers would be surprised to hear the bit about FIFA being against the use of instant replay.

    So far I haven't heard anything about what the Italian player said, but surely this will come out later.

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  35. I'm so sorry to hear the bad news. But your blog makes the hurt less painful. Hey! At least you got as far as the World Cup....allez les bleus

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  36. I got caught up in this for the first time - I rarely follow sports, but Zidane was so intriguing. And our entry into the city blog world with Eric of Paris as founder of course led to a greater interest. So I really felt sad for the French loss. After speaking with Lucy this morning, we changed the name of today's post from "Just a Game" to "The Nature of Games". After posting last nite, the title just didn't seem right. So much is invested in work and emotion by the teams and fans, that to say it is "just a game", although technically true, also kind of invalidates the efforts and passions of all and the sad feelings that the French have. This experience made me realize how fans can really be affected by the outcome of games. And that disappointment is one aspect of the Nature of Games.
    Brian

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  37. I was rooting for France, especially after the Italians "cheated" their way past Australia; such a shame that a great player like Zidane allowed a moment frustration to get to him...

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  38. Well, at least Zidane gave one of them a reason to actually fall down.

    A la vache, if I fell down as hard as some of those Italians after getting bumped into by a French person, I'd be in the hospital 42/7.

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  39. Dear Eric
    representative image of big emotions in parallel with mine on RomedailyPhoto.
    In these moments the heart pulse very quick and strong in both cases of winning and loosing .
    I'm happy for us .I'm happy for my footbal team . Thanks to Cannavaro ! our big captain ; thanks to Camoranesi, Totti, Grosso , Del Piero . Thanks. I'm happy we are the winner of world cup afther so many years . The two footbal teams are really strong and I'm with no words for Zidane expecially in his last day afther a reach carrear. He will be remembered , however, like one of the most important players in soccer history. Ciao a tutti.
    P.S. Tonight big party here in rome with Azzurri back from Berlin.

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  40. Tomate: "Reminds me a little of the way half of us felt during the last Presidential elections in the States.. ahem." ....Wasn't that just slightly MORE than half?

    To explain the signinficance of this foul: dirty play and professional fouls on the pitch in play are bad enough, they teach children that cheating is OK if you don't get caught. But mostly, the violence is incidental, a bit like Wayne Rooney's sending off. In this case, it was televised violence - I don't like what you said/did I'm going to hit you. As an bad example, it could hardly be worse.

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  41. Tomate: "Reminds me a little of the way half of us felt during the last Presidential elections in the States.. ahem." ....Wasn't that just slightly MORE than half?

    Quite right. At least, that's what people believe. And then again, there too, water under the bridge ...(sigh)

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  42. Another game. What does it feel to be Zidane?

    Play here

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  43. Sports and politics. Hmm...Tomate and others, this is always a fascinating comparison. The close elections in U.S. are considered by many to have been "won" by fouls--by penalities. And the offenders got away with it. Tomate, even though they did get caught, they still got away with it. They "won". Now, those who support the winning team say pooh pooh to the accusation. Do the Italians agree that the penalty was wrong when they defeated the Australians? Now, supposedly in the U.S., elections are clean. In sport, the officials are supposedly clean, and competent, we hope, though the Super Bowl was an obvious exception (American football). But when the officials are the ones committing the penalties, well, quis custodiet custodiens? Sports are entertainment....

    Allez liberty and justice, even though they get bruised. Let's try to be honest and overcome the penalties.

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  44. Woah - this is getting heavy

    i love it

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  45. ... though the Super Bowl was an obvious exception

    Euh, did anything happen at the Super Bowl?

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  46. Bravo l'italie!
    Pour résumer un peu l'ambiance au stade Jean Bouin à Paris, la voici :
    http://picasaweb.google.com/louchart/FranceItalie

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  47. Not meaning to add oil into the fire here. I've just read a French ipress telling that the association of SOS racism has asked FIFA to investige on the case of expulsion of Zidane last night... seems that the Italian player Materazzi has treated Zidane a dirty terroriste...
    Well, sure it was not a beautiful conduct after all... Just feel sorry for Zidane.

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  48. Thanks Jimmy. I particularly like the picture of the guy sitted with the flag around his shoulder. Says it all.

    Michelle, in my opinion, it doesn't matter what the Italian player said to Zidane; taking it out on the field at that particular time was just the wrong thing to do.

    Like I said before, I do understand that the guy had been running for hours, was hot, tired, most likely in a fair amount of pain, under extreme pressure, etc... and it's easy enough to blow a fuse under these circumstances.

    However, that still doesn't make him a martyr or a victim of racism to me.

    Now, I keep hearing people say to me how Zidane is Mr. Cool and a great role model. Why?!!

    Haven't people learned anything with OJ?!! I'm not saying that Zidane is OJ, but I really think people should be really a little bit more cautious before putting star athletes on a pedestal. They are human, you know, regardless of what their agents and highly skilled publicists try to have us believe.

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  49. Nice shot - phew I'm glad that's all over

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  50. OK, then...on to Le Tour and Jour de Bastille!

    My son wore his French jersey to his first day of "French Camp" today...the director said that he had chosen wisely. :)

    My feisty daughter, on the other hand, chose to wear her team Italia pullover! Tsk, tsk.

    C'est la guerre.

    kt

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  51. Okay, I take full responsiblity! The team I root for never wins!!! Great showing - Les Bleus have nothing to be ashamed of! Love you guys!

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  52. Farcie: thanks for your reaction. Racism is actually another issue. 'doesn't matter what the Italian player said, provocation is not a beautiful thing to do in the field'; and 'doesn't matter what the Italian player said, being violent is not a proper conduct' was what i wanted to say. Just feel sorry that Zidane ends his glorious career in the middle of these scandals after all he has done to his country, France!

    God, seems the same topic will last for the whole summer holiday...

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  53. Yes the shot is great.... Thuram's tears are like tears of any 10-year-old boy...whose dream has not come true.
    Thereis no excuse for Zidane's last action. But who knows what kind of "racist" comments Materazzi told him...Now he got a red card on the basis of the 4th referee's comment and video-footage, although FIFA does not want to have video-footage in football ... amazing isn't it?
    Let's hope that it would get FIFA reconsider including video-footage in its rules..as there are lots of other bad actions especially in the penalty zone.... Anyhow Zidane will remain Zizou. We thank him for coming back in the team last year and taking it through to Berlin....Merci les Bleus !

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  54. Michelle: don't feel too bad for him... after all, he's still making a truckload of money, and has the recognition and respect of of a lot of people, including ...

    "French President Jacques Chirac proudly embraced Zidane as the team enjoyed a rapturous homecoming Monday. And masses of fans spilled into the Place de la Concorde and cheered the captain as he bowed his head to them from the hotel balcony...

    ... Chirac called it an "intense" and "difficult" moment in Zidane's career.

    "You are a virtuoso," Chirac said. "You are also a man of heart, commitment, conviction. That's why France admires and loves you."



    (From http://msn.foxsports.com/soccer/story/5772888 )

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  55. Patoche said... :

    "But who knows what kind of "racist" comments Materazzi told him..."


    And French coach Raymond Domenech said:

    "I don't know what Materazzi said to Zidane," French coach Raymond Domenech said.

    "But it's a shame. It's sad. He (Materazzi) did a lot of acting and for such a big man, a gust of wind made him fall over. It's regrettable."

    "We regret it," Domenech added, apparently speaking for Zidane. "He regrets it."

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  56. Un autre point de vue dans Le Monde:

    http://tinyurl.com/lzc33

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  57. so sad. who is it crying?

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  58. Des caméras pour l'arbitrage...l'italien (je ne prononcerai son nom) aurait sans doute eu aussi un carton rouge pour ses paroles_ mettons aussi des micros à la disposition des arbitres. :)

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  59. Frederik de wachter....apparently it's VERY funny! I just got this message from my office web server:

    Access Denied by Websense (policy_denied)

    Websense has denied access to the requested URL because of its content categorization: "Sex;Adult Material"

    For assistance, contact your network support team.

    I didn't expect "zidane" to ring all the bells and alarms here!

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  60. That's bizarre, Michael; I don't have that kind of firewall and all I get is a 404 not found. Hmmm...

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  61. Zidane is an example for many poor french kids living in areas where violence is daily present.
    Zidane used to live in a poor area himself, and for years he could show to the kids that they can spend their energy in peaceful activities.
    For sure Zidane is a nice guy, everybody can make mistakes, but i am disappointed.
    I feel very sad, and i would have felt the same if we had won.

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  62. Sorry to divert, but this just in from Jay Leno...American comic:

    From Jay Leno's monologue, Monday July 10th :

    "Congratulations to the Italian people for winning the World Cup. ... They won after France's best player got ejected for head butting. That's the closest anyone in a French uniform has come to combat in 60 years."

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  63. Michael: Jay Leno has been doing French-bashing jokes on prime time TV since 2003 (along with everybody else) ... But to be fair, he also jokes about everybody and everything else, just the same. I guess he's just doing his job (making people laugh) [shrug].

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  64. Tomate...I found it kind of funny. Anybody who can't laugh at him/herself or country must be pretty boring.

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  65. Michael : I don't agree with you on that point. I just find french-or any-bashing just a very mean and despisable thing to do. Let anyone laugh at himself. Even at others when it's done with a minimum of kindness. I feel it's not exactly the purpose of any "bashing". But I'm not american after all and may be do not have the keys of that humor…

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  66. strange...it works on my computer... and it is no 'adult' material!!
    It's a little computer game. You are Zidane and you have to try to hit a much as italian players you can...
    If you hit enough players you get a red card.

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  67. Frederick: I think you mean this game but their server is really busy right now. You're quite right, it's pretty funny.

    Michael: about "French bashing" and really really quickly ... I think it takes a little "getting used to" and the perspective is a little different when you are French living in the US. The are frequent debates on blogs about that, and you can tell that many of the French expats are still not really "used to it." Personally, I've heard so many times the "cheese eating surrender monkey" and other stuff that I'm starting to be immune ... and, let's face it, some of these jokes are kind of funny. But not all. We could debate this one for hours, so I'm gonna shut up now :)

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  68. GG --> I understand. You have to know this guy Jay Leno though. It's pretty harmless stuff. If it's meant in harm, then I totally agree with you. Now, since it's just recently your birthday, I could start age-bashing, but I won't. ;-)

    Frederik De Wachter--> I believe you, really! It was just funny that the company smut-catcher classified it as that.

    Tomate--> Since when did you avoid a good debate?

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  69. Michael: It could be argued that Jay Leno's jokes are not so harmless; as I recall, he took a clear stand immediately after 9/11 and of course, when France made it's position towards the Irak war clear to the US, the French bashing jokes started pouring in pretty heavy.

    But I've followed Jay Leno's show on and off for a while, now, and he's equally [..ahem.. what's the world... I'll say "biting" for lack of a better expression ] biting towards anybody or anything that can be made fun of.

    I remember seeing Leno on a show at the White house a few years back, during the Clinton administration and ... he made fun of Clinton right there in front of his face. (The Clinton actually laughed harder than anyone else, too!) Probably was pre-approved or at the very least somewhat expected, but still...

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  70. oooops. I mean "When France made "its" position"

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  71. Back to the real topic of this photo, football, here's the latest from the interview with Zidane tonight: Zidane: Mother and sister insulted

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  72. You wanna know what I'm thinking? (I'll tell you anyway, so there!) I think the Italian guy "played" Zidane.

    What I'd like to know is why many people see him as a hero.

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  73. By the way, do you know there is a film about Zidane? See the teaser here

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  74. Euh, thanks Michael, I thought it was time for a change! It's a picture of me when I was younger...

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  75. By the way, do you know there is a film about Zidane?

    Didn't know that. Could be interesting.

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  76. > Eric, Younger Tomate : In fact, I've heard that movy was quite a bore…

    Anyway, Zizou explained yesterday "he felt sorry for the children". As you see it's all coming to a high level (sic).

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  77. Roger that, GG. All bets are open as to whether or not it'll make it to the US, even in DVD ... wait and see, I guess.

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  78. And the latest headlne is..."FIFA opens Materazzi investigation"

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  79. This just in! A secret video of the Italian football team in training. Enjoy!

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  80. Very funny, Michael.

    So do you know what Materazzi said to Zidane?

    - "Hi, my name is Bevis!"

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  81. LOL! It took me a minute, but now I get it butthead!

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  82. OK. We had a little talk about Zidane here in SF the other day, and it was decided that we would "forgive" him if he agrees to model this at his next press conference ;)

    (Chirac can wear one, too, if he really wants to show his support, but we don't require it. Ahem.)

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  83. um...try to expand your impression about what happened adding these facts:
    - Mr Zidane used to lose his head about 14 times in his fantastic career..
    Tomorrow all french kids playing football will over react to all mother's bad words said by the opposant.
    - If you ever travelled to France (or knows a little bit about language) you should have noticed ta All tee agers in France suburbs (as all french rappers)constantly repeats those "nik ta mère" .. translate with f*** your mother. This never upsetted mr Zizou ?
    - Fatal error to entitled the world cup final as a celebration for Zidane's adieu..what might have though the other 20 guys (for some of then certainly the last match before getting retired) ?

    Just consider over-reaction as a syndrome of something else, maybe a simple alibi for not being able to reach the target...

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  84. Wow! Thank you everyone for all of the comments. It is interesting to see all of the views expressed here about this event. I recently saw a video going around on the internet that shows how the French, Italians, Germans, Americans, and the Press viewed the famous incident. It is quite funny.

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  85. You're welcome Eric! Now here's the latest news update....

    Anger in Italy at Materazzi's ban

    Friday, July 21, 2006 Posted: 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)


    ROME, Italy (Reuters) -- FIFA discriminated against Italy when it decided to punish defender Marco Materazzi for provoking French captain Zinedine Zidane during the World Cup final, Italy's sports minister said on Friday.

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  86. I think this is the video on the web you mention eric.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcyV4yDKQ7E&NR

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  87. "Provoking Zidane... "(rolling eyes) Awwwwww!!!! Pooooooor little Zizou... Never mind, I'm just being sarcastic, now.

    Honestly!!! These guys are making me laugh! At first, I was willing to give Zidane the benefit of the doubt, you know, he's hot, he's tired, etc., but come on, now... It's not like Zidane's never heard any slurr worlds before?!!! Cause I certainly heard them when I lived in France, so if I did I'm sure he has, too, and many times, too! (rolling eyes)

    (Here you go, Michael, 91! Qui dit mieux?)

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