Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Le Fairplay

Zinedine Zidane - that amazing footballer - who so amazingly was red carded out of the World Cup final for butting Marco Materazzi in the chest has returned to France and a hero's welcome.

I predicted that he would suffer from endorsement losses, etc. But no - it's a "boof" and back to normal for the French.

The French may have a word for entrepreneur, but it seems have no word for "fair play". I watched the French manager giving a pre-match interview which went "Francais blah, blah,blah, le fairplay, frenchy blah,blah, blah". For a culture that prides itself on coming up with an officially sanctioned, authentically French term for everything - it astounds me that they have to resort to the idiom of barbarians - English - to have a word for fair play. Or maybe it doesn't.

Recently retired England captain David Beckham pulled a stunt in a World Cup match eight years ago (deliberately kicking an opponent from a prone position) and was rightly sent off. He was villified, pilloried and lambasted by the English fans and press. He cleaned up his act, grew up and became a mature leader for the team. Folks have forgiven, but they ain't forgotten. Departing England coach Sven Goran Eriksson pleaded with the press and fans not to do the same to Wayne Rooney after his sending off in this year's quarter-final. And Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is also paying the price for his winking, slimy bad sportsmanship in that same incident and may be leaving his premiership club Manchester United as a result.

There is a price to pay for bad sportsmanship, in England - if not in France.
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melusina said...

Well, we are talking about France. Since when have the French ever been good sports about anything? ;)

rogerd said...

I've got the perfect solution for Zidane's next big endorsement.

Go Vols! (MBA UT '77)

Sam said...

Is there anything I could call your mother and sister that would get a head-butt out of you?

melusina said...

How many people are prone to headbutting? Not many!

Sam said...

I'm not talking about just "headbutting", but a slap, a knee to the groin, a sock to the nose. Is there any slur or slander, any words worthy of a slap, punch, shove, or headbutt? I'm not saying there is, I'm just asking if you can imagine such a scenario.

Another thought, just in passing. I watched almost every Premiership game broadcast in the US last season, cable and pay-per-view. I saw things over the course of the season that makes Zidane's Glasgow Kiss look like a tender snuggle by comparison. These breeches of football etiquette often earned red cards but never the outraged condemnation of an entire nation.

And as for that walking stool sample, C. Ronaldo, it appears his punishment is to earn his 32 grand a week (American) on the pitch at Old Trafford instead of in the Bernabeu. And by the time Euro 2008 rolls around, will anybody care what a weasel he is?

Vol-in-Law said...

"Is there anything I could call your mother and sister that would get a head-butt out of you?"

In my case, I would guess sure (assuming you're male & not too much bigger than me!), but you'd need to know exactly what buttons to punch I'd think.

Sam said...

Yep, it helps to understand what get's your victim's goat. And sorry for belaboring the subject. My wife has offered me good advice about L'affaire Zidane..."Let it go! Jeez!"

Sam said...

"gets"...not "get's"