Tuesday, July 11, 2006

July 11, 2006 - Phoenix, AZ - 12:31AM

Phoenix and the end of World Cup football

I'm not quite sure how i'm supposed to spend my days now. Football is over for a minute and i'm a little like a fish out of water. I really need to find a league to get my own game going again (and shed these pounds i put on over the tournament) and to stop this hyperventilating that is taking place because of the lack of football.

Many of the local sports pundits are talking about Zidane's head butt of the italian defender and the fact that it got him a red card and arguably (but i think this is a stretch) cost France the match and the cup. Fact is, Zidane has always been understood to be a level-headed gentleman, an ambassador of the game. For Zidane to act in what amounts to be an unsportsmanlike manner must have required quite the prodding. In the European newspapers, Italians who can lip-read have been quoted as saying that Mazzaroti (or whatever dude's name is) wished death on Zidane's family (Zizou's mother is ailing) and a few other things and this was the provocation for the brilliantly timed head-butt that lifted him off his feet and dropped hom to the ground. i myself howled at Zizou's blow because i thought it was so well delivered and powerfully struck (so i'm a little twisted).

it is no accident though that Zidane won the Golden Ball award; the equivalent i guess of an MVP for a tournament here. After all, this is not a sportsmanship award and Zizou proved that at 34 his playmaking abilities were far superior to anyone else (and this coming from a lifelong fan of Brazilian football and Brazilian ballskill). Zizou's touches throughout the tournament were sublime and in the early matches one had to wonder if his teammates were even reading his vision of the match with the same brilliance he was. They were often in the wrong place, a step slower than his miraculous deliveries and woefully always offside (does one spell offsides Thierry Henry?). anyways, enough of that...

i'm in phoenix, arizona. the temperature at night here cools to about 89 degrees. yes... cools... today it was rocking 106, about 100 in the shade. i ran across a street (one lane) and almost needed to be airlifted to a local medical facility. however, the marriott here is crazy. there are about 4 pools and 2 fitness centers and about 6 restaurants and a lobby bigger than the block i live on (no kidding). there is a glf course on the premises and lots of folks who look like they're really concerned about mexican border crossings. i'm doing some work here with maureen benson (high school principal from oakland) and we've managed to play football (the american kind) in the hallways - she throws a mean spiral, while drinking cocktails. we're trying to figure out where the ambient music, coming through the speakers that are all over the grounds, is coming from. our plan is to get into the facility exchange whatever is playing with a Snoop Dogg cd and run as fast as we can. the trick is to get the camcorder in time to catch the looks on people's faces when in the middle of the night the line "no i'm not european / bein all i can / when i get the muthafuckin' mic in my hand..." wafts out acorss the grounds.

i've got serious political statements to make about trinidad in connection to our world cup showing, but that's for another time. i'm proud of our lads and the manner in which they acquitted themselves in germany; on the pitch and off. i'm going to write a poem now.


Blogger oscar said...

but what i really need to know is this-- does phoenix have a white castle?!?

10:09 AM  

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