Friday, June 27, 2008

Sports: Euro 2008

A Euro 2008 round-up.

  • I had blamed ESPN for the useless statistics flashed on-screen, but now that I'm back in Ireland, I realise they are part of the official TV feed. A typical example showed that one team led the other 4-3 in being caught Offside. And what's up with showing how many kilometers a player has covered during the game? And how do they measure it?
  • At least I have escaped Tommy Smyth. Choice Tommy quote: "It's amazing the way the game can change with the flick of an eye."
  • Now I can hear proper football commentary - a rollcall of players' names as they pass the ball around. Just the way God meant it to be.
  • All the commentators were very careful how they pronounced the name of Russian midfielder Zhirkov. Hard to hear it without thinking of the joke about the manager who told the player he'd pull him off at half time. Too bad Zhirkov didn't get to play in Bern's Wankdorf Stadium.
  • I do think it's highly insensitive of ESPN to call their Spanish-language channel ESPN Deportees. The vast majority of Latinos in the US are there legally.
  • Match the players with their country.
    Petit   Germany
    Roger Guerreiro   Sweden
    Lukas Podolski   Poland
    Zlatan Ibrahimović   Portugal

  • Lookalike: Italian coach (already fired) Roberto Donadoni and Flaming Lips leader Wayne Coyne.
  • I was going to post another lookalike of Franck Ribery and the face-melting Nazi from Indiana Jones, but apparently Ribery was in a bad car accident when he was a kid. As a result, he can only grow a sideburn on one side of his head.
  • Football is being ruined by one thing: shirt-pulling. There should be an immediate red card for anyone caught tugging another player's shirt. Video replays should be used to enforce the rule. The only alternative is that all players must wear oven mitts.
  • None of the kits blew me away. I liked the retro look of the German kit. And the numbers on the Dutch shirts crack me up - they look like someone made them from strips of electrical tape. The English Premier League has a standard set of numbers that everyone must use. I'm glad I'm not the only one who was delighted by Germany's typeface in Euro 1996. (But he doesn't like the Dutch "toilet paper numbers.)
  • Best ESPN quote was from Adrian Healey when the Netherlands added a fourth goal against France: "It's a Dutch Oven, and the French are toast."

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