Welcome to Martino's World Cup Forum

Mr. Balsamico's view from the Vaterland
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martino
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one of a billion

Post by martino » Fri Jun 30, 2006 9:24 am

one billion people to watch the argentina-germany match today. it will be an early endgame, and a thing to remember (if they play properly) for decades.

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TONY YOU OWE ME

Post by martino » Fri Jun 30, 2006 8:36 pm

NEXT TIME WE MEET YOU IS BUYING ME A BEER

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Tommy Martyn
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Why we watch football.

Post by Tommy Martyn » Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:38 am

Thomas Kenneally (the fella who wrote Schindler's Ark, on which the movie Schindler's List was based) once described my game; rugby league as, "the grand opera of the proletariat." Watching the tears of joy and agony today, I couldn't get the phrase out of my head. As much as I enjoy Argentina going down in any event, from tiddlywinks to the special olympics, my heart went out for that guy who missed the second penalty. Cruel, doesn't begin to describe it.

I'm having my world cup party again in the morning. First beer gets cracked at 10:30. Me and the kids were at the supermarket getting in the essential ale supplies. If I'm with the kids in the checkout line, you are going to hear that I'm not from round these parts seeing as I'm shouting at my brats who are fingering all the candy by the checkout or attempting to claim sovereignty over the most choice items in the shopping cart. A very nice lady in front of me asked me where I was from. She was from the Netherlands, we talked about the Portugal game. We agreed that it was crazy not to play Ruud Van Nistleroy. The lady behind me agreed. She was English! It was just one of "those" moments. A great laugh, never to be repeated. We all sighed, wished each other well and headed off to our cars.

Martino, it will be a real pleasure.

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martino
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Post by martino » Sat Jul 01, 2006 10:59 pm

very well put, tommy. as always.

and may i add this: if you hadn't a few kids to support, you should well think about writing for a living.

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Ahh...the French..

Post by Alta Vista [Bot] » Mon Jul 03, 2006 5:54 am

Sorry if anyone had the French down and out early. As a fan, I have to admit...I am quite content with their play this tourny. Granted, my opinion is a bit biased, but you have to admit...that game against Brazil was a GOOD one. Who was the #1 seed again?.?.? I forgot, ( I am a little buzzed)? Will the French make it to the finals??...I don't know.., but it will be a good match no matter what. Good luck to you all. Maybe the bets will pay off.!.!.! Best wishes to all of the PAX family.

SJ

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Post by marky » Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:47 am

I think Martino is right, Tommy offers good writing here.

I had something to say about Zidane earlier tonight cause I saw Materazzi get into the car on the TV when I was at the pub and then they showed Zidane and I had this thing to say about it but I'll be damned if I can remember what it was.

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Post by marky » Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:49 am

It wasn't bad, I just can't remember what it was, I swear.

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Post by marky » Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:56 am

Okay wait - I remember it now.

It was this -

and you can think me naive, or biased, but I wonder if it wouldn't be easier to train a man to control his angry impulses than it would be to teach a man to play football well, physically, as Zidane did.

Also they showed a match on TV between Liverpool and Man United from February 26, 2006. There was some fantastic football going on there, better than the few World Cup matches I saw. I recognized the skinny blond guy on one of the teams as having played for England in the World Cup (I will guess it was Liverpool he was playing for, who won the match anyway). But I also kept seeing this other guy on the same team as him and thinking "is that Rooney?" but it wasn't quite Rooney. I couldn't tell. Whatever. I wanted to ask the bartender who was Scottish but I'm thinking he might not have even known if it was Rooney. They never showed the back of this guy's shirt so you could tell, you see. Anyway, whatever.

It's been way way way too many hours since I listened to some (decent, non-pub inflicted) music. I won't go to that pub anymore. There's no good music. It isn't happening. There is no jukebox for one thing, or even a DJ, just a laptop playing the likes of Alice in Chains and other bland, awful bands. Bad move, man. Bad move.

Luckily there is a pub across the way owned by someone British that has a jukebox. Isn't that wonderful? Any pub worth its salt has a jukebox and I wouldn't care if it was just filled with classic rock and...bland 60's crap, either. I'll even take cheesy old Broadway showtunes. The world can do much, much better than Alice in Chains, etc. I saw all the bands on his laptop, and I was horrified. There wasn't much there at all.

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the third place

Post by martino » Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:44 pm

what a world cup, what a final game for my home team!

the Cup has been more fun, and a greater success, than i and most anybody else had expected. it was not just a sports thing -- it had a strong element of global inclusiveness. foreigners and immigrants joined in and waved whatever flags they wanted, and they were cheered.

it was a cup of women. women everywhere; 20% of the stadium visitors were female and 40% on the fan miles. believe me: often enough, the women were sexy and smart, too.

it may sound strange to american ears but one of the most endearing pictures to me was black people waving german flags together with proto-german crackerjack types.

the nazis were among the losers, complaining that the new german inclusive patriotism was cheap and useless.

the Cup was commercial of course, but i am happy to say that one one could escape the monetary aspects. there was not too much advertising. public viewing was the big thing; it was enjoyed by millions and it was free. it is estimated that 12 million people watched the opening match (germany-costa rica) in public viewing areas and for the germany-poland match, there were 11 million out-of-home viewers. indeed, public viewing is now seen as part of a social trend, bringing people together to gain more enjoyment from the experience of watching key matches on giant screens.

(the public exhibition rights were granted free of charge to all non-commercial public viewing events including the Fan Fests of the 2006 fifa world cup in the 12 host cities.)

security was not too tight. at the public places you had police everywhere but they were lightly armed, equipped with a good sense of humor and working with pleasant proportionality. during the four weeks of the cup, i was searched a total of one time, and that was before entering the stuttgart stadium where i was a bombthrower's distance from the german government, from beckenbauer, from the portuguese president, and the fifa presidium. this lack of paranoia really impressed me -- i had thought i lived in a country never willing to err, except on the side of unnecessary security.

anyway. it was surprising for me that after all the joy and loud celebration in the public spaces, the atmosphere in the stadium in stuttgart, for the germany-portugal game, felt at first quite muted. perhaps this is in part what some say makes the World Cup removed from football: the tunnels up to the terraces were crammed with filmmakers and celebrities. the tickets were prohibitively expensive. there was no smell of rancid urine. the surrounding areas, instead of offering hats, flags and headbands or hotdogs and sugary coffee - or whatever stadiums round the world sell, these are just the ones i'm familiar with - were lined with white tents in which marketing companies hosted "hospitality events".

and the people at the stadium looked different, at first, too -- not particularly happy, not particularly enthusiastic; more like visitors to a social event. i got a little seinfeldish to my girlfriend, saying they should have more rules at the world cup stadium: you should be obliged to either look happy or look angry that your team is not good, but never indifferent.

but then the game started, and everything changeed, and it was good. kahn had his last hurrah, and we never stopped cheering him on. klinsmann and schweinsteiger had their moments that hopefully help compensate for the toil of months. after seeing them on tv so often, the teams looked small in the old-style stadium but the fuller view made the moves look more sweeping and elegant. there was much more surprise and delight. the custom of whistling every time the opposing team had the ball was annoying, but we had a great time, and it went on for hours, including the honors celebrations, the fireworks, and the celebratory auto corso traffic jams in which we were trapped until three in the morning. a memory for life.

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Post by mccutcheon » Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:42 am

I had a dream that my dad knew Der Kaiser and he told me that Klinsmann was gonna coach the USA.

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