My Favorite Frenchman
In case you missed it, his action that gained my respect was the pretty much unprovoked (well, except for all the diving and crying) headbutt-to-the-chest that he delivered to some smarmy, greasy Italian player in the 110th minute of the World Cup final yesterday. Granted, it wasn't all that bright, he ultimately got red carded and France went on to lose, but personally I think it was worth showing those Italian floppers a thing or two about who's boss. The Italians wanted to keep falling down and acting hurt, so Zidane obliged them with a good reason. If our team had a bunch of guys like Zidane rather than the Landon Donovans of the world, maybe we'd actually show some toughness and grit rather than running down the field and not taking shots. And don't get me started on Jim Gray or whoever that announcer was calling the shot "vicious." If anything it was a statement. Vicious is a kick to the back of the knee or an elbow to the head (a la that Italian guy to Brian McBride). Zidane's headbutt was to the chest. Just a friendly, "Hello... stop being such a p@#$%..." (or however you would say that in French). All in all he showed the toughness, albeit not the brains, of a champion. Now I know why the only soccer jerseys I ever see say "Zidane" on the back of them. Too bad he's retiring from international play.
PS I'm part Italian so I can make fun of them all I want.