Protect and Defend

Welcome to my blog, Protect and Defend. You don’t have to understand me. You only have to agree with me. I can live with losing the good fight, but I can not live with not fighting that good fight at all. - Publius

Monday, July 10, 2006

Zinedine Zidane

Ok, I have already commented on the classlessness of the French players following the World Cup Final. I have also talked about the utterly stupid and classless head butt by Zidane on Materazzi which according to some reports was caused by Materazzie calling Zidane a terrorist. But, I did not bring these things up as an excuse for French-bashing.

First and foremost, Zidane is not French, and instead is of Algerian descent according to the Washington Post (July 10, 2006, Sports Section, E10). In addition, for anyone who wanted the French team, you might have noticed it would appear a lot of the French players are not from France either, although I can not say for certain.

Let’s look at this for what it was: stupid. There are plenty of reasons to not like the French and plenty of people have given personal accounts as to why, but this was not about a French player, this was about an Algerian who wore the French colors who in front of a billion or so people made what is going to go down in history as one of the stupidest acts ever committed during a sporting event.

Rather than dwell on his national team, perhaps we can change the subject a bit to if anyone can think of a worse moment in sports? The only other one that even comes to mind is Kermit Washington hitting Rudy Tomjanovish in the face in 1977 and almost killing him.

9 Comments:

Blogger Falconbob said...

"you might have noticed it would appear a lot of the French players are not from France either"

I'm not sure what to make of a comment like this. I didn't realize that to live in a country like France (or Italy, or the United States, or most first world countries) you had to be able to be determined to be French by the powers of sight alone. I'm trying to see how this comment isn't implying that the United States is the only country where people can live despite whatever nationality they appear to have. Correct me if I'm wrong, but with other comments like "There are plenty of reasons to not like the French and plenty of people have given personal accounts as to why", I can't see the above as anything but ignorance and bigotry.

Mon Jul 10, 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Well one of the reasons I did like Italy was that all the players actually played in the Italian league and all but one were Italian. To me if the competition is about countries competing, then those players should be from that country. Awhile ago I commented that I was against what seemed like “mercenary players” who have no real allegiance to the country they are representing. I feel the same about this in the Olympics too. And my powers of sight had to do with the names of the players on their jerseys; my assumption was that if the name doesn’t sound French it most likely isn’t.

My beliefs about France are not from personal experience but from other who have been to France and encountered the French and found them distasteful. I am also against their secular society and the fact that they continually side against the US in almost everything.

Mon Jul 10, 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger quakerdave said...

"You might have noticed it would appear a lot of the French players are not from France either"

Gee, what makes you think that?

Yes, some of the French players were not born in France. A number of them were born in countries that used to be French colonies, mostly in Africa. That might acccount for that business with the names. (Check the US roster, by the way.) And some are of mixed ethnic heritage.

But they all have French citizenship. That makes them French, in the eyes of FIFA. That includes Zidane. If the French say he's French, he's French.

After this week, you can bet (bad pun) that a number of the Italian stars won't be playing in Italy. Will they stay "loyal" to their homeland, or will they go to Spain or England, to maintain the lifestyle to which they've become accustomed? Does that make them "mercenaries"? Bobby Convey, Brian McBride, and Carlos Bocanegra (???) play pro soccer in England. Are they "mercenaries," because they don't stay here to play in the Mickey Mouse-iest of all soccer leagues, MLS?

"I am also against their secular society and the fact that they continually side against the US in almost everything."

A-HA! Now we're getting somewhere. Why didn't you just say so?! ;-)

Tue Jul 11, 12:08:00 AM  
Blogger quakerdave said...

FAR worse moment: NHL - Todd Bertuzzi ending the career of Steve Moore in 2004, jumping him from behind, sucker-punching him and knocking him out cold before he hit the ice, falling on him and pounding him with both fists, causing "three fractured vertebrae in his neck, a grade three concussion, vertebral ligament damage, stretching of the brachial plexus nerves, and facial cuts." Hideous.

Materazzi was up and about in around two minutes. No comparison, other than the fact that Zidane's brain-fart cost his country the title.

Tue Jul 11, 12:15:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

QD, I can have it both ways. I simply prefer that teams that represent a country should be made up of players from that country and not “recent citizens,” the US team included but even here I think you mean Gooch but as far as I know he has been in the US for awhile and his parents are citizens too.
As for Italian players going to England or Spain, well they have 4 years to make it back, and Italy and Saudi Arabia were the only two teams in the World Cup where all the players played in their home country. To me there is something cool to that and I assume to the announcers as well because they brought it up so much. You also forgot Keller.

You got one on Bertuzzi’s despicable act, but I think I was also thinking boneheaded moves by players as well, like Chris Webber calling a time-out in the NCAA championship game when Michigan was out of time-outs.

Tue Jul 11, 01:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's really amazing is that in the end, Zidane still gets tournament MVP! How can you be the MVP when it's quite possible that your ejection from the game cost your team the win?!
As for French players not "being from France" many of the players in the tournament are of mixed descent, and basically picked which country they wanted to represent, whether it was based on loyalty or the hopes of a better chance to win is probably only known by the individual players. I know it's been a bit of a topic in Europe.

Tue Jul 11, 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

Anon, from what I understand the tournament MVP award is voted on prior to the end of the finals match, so there might have been voters who voted prior to the head butt. I can understand why someone might play for another team, but I also think about the lone non-Italian player from Argentina who was ripped in the Italian press for not singing the Italian national anthem prior to the Portugal game I think and afterwards he admitted he did no sing because he did not know the words, than prior to the Final Match they showed him and he was still the only Italian player not singing. If you are going to play for another country you should at least know the national anthem; although if you watched after the match he was the player who got his ponytail cut off.

Tue Jul 11, 09:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are going to play for another country you should at least know the national anthem

WORD

Wed Jul 12, 05:41:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

Maybe this is enough to ask then. I can understand to an extent a player playing for another country if they become a citizen of that country, I am not 100% for it but I can understand it. But, how about making that player and every player on the team for that matter learn the national anthem, and as far as this country goes, learning that national anthem in English.

Wed Jul 12, 06:05:00 PM  

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