Friday, June 30, 2006

Un-American activity

With a couple of American defenders standing beside him like an honor guard, [Jan] Koller leaned in for a header. The dull thud of his head crashing into the ball suggested a sandbag hitting a dam. I was, perhaps, a good thing that Kasey Keller, the American goaldkeeper, just grazed the ball -- its full impact mihgt have hurt him. By the ten minute mark of the game, the Czech fans were making the universal sign of spectator boredom: the wave. The Czech players, bigger, stronger and faster than the Americans, controlled the entire game, and the final score, 3-0, was one of the worst defeats by any team in the first round of the tournament.

...The Iranian [fans], in order to salve the wounds of a 3-1 loss to Mexico, were dancing to a scratchy tape of woman singing in Farsi. The English [fans] knew that they weren´t supposed to like the Iranians, but German Pilsner had dulled their geopolitical instincts. "Fuck the I.R.A.!" they chanted at the baffled Persians.
-- Jeffrey Toobin: Un-American Activity, The New Yorker, 3 July

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