My heart went out to Brady and crew this week when I learned of the cruel fate of his beloved Nati at the hands of the Turkish National Team in Euro ’08. Losing in the 90+ minute is a terrible way to go. And with Federer losing too, it made for a very terrible, horrible, rotten Swiss cheese kind of day. Ouch.
But I did take great delight in watching the Azzuri fall 3-0 at the hands (or perhaps I should say “feet”) of The Netherlands on Monday. For those with long memories, you might recall my feelings about Italian footballers.
Number Two Son has always had good vision on the pitch, threading deftly-placed, eye-of-the-needle through passes onto the feet of his attacking teammates with amazing consistency from his left back and defensive mid positions over the years. But apparently his good vision extends to officiating as well.
When Ruud van Nistelrooy scored the go-ahead goal for De Oranje, everyone in the known universe it seemed, including the announcers, Number Three and me, thought that he was offsides by a country kilometer.
Everyone thought he was cherrypicking, that he had set up a pup tent and was roasting weiners next to the endline–everyone except the linesman who made the call and Number Two.
“They missed another one,” I cynically opined, remembering all the creative offsides rule interpretations from World Cup ’06.
“No they didn’t,” Number Two replied, and he pointed to the Italian defender who had flopped (big suprise, that) just beyond the endline and who had technically (oh-so very technically) kept van Nistelrooy onsides.
It took the soccer world 24 hours or so to sort things out and come to a consensus that the call was correct, but that linesman and Number Two figured it out in an instant.
Not that it mattered anyway. The Netherlands still picked up two additional goals; 3-0 in international play is a butt-kickin’, plain and simple. The Italians cried so hard that their makeup start to run. All the mousse in the world couldn’t have kept their hair in place in that match.
As for Number Two, that boy can flat out see. I appreciate good vision, regardless of what form it takes.