Mutually Assured Destruction

Now that I am done vomiting, allow me to share some reflections on today’s Champions League final:

—Both as a spectacle and as a sawker match, this was a freehanded mixture of the ridiculous and the entertaining. Hey, guys, how should we decide the (ostensibly) finest football competition on Earth? Why not have the players slide around on a disintegrating real/fake turf imported from Slovakia for 120 minutes, then play tiddlywinks at 1:30 am for the Cup? Da, tovarish!

—Then again, this is Big Time Football circa 2008: total Bizarroworld absurdity is integral to the package.

—Still, goofy as this whole match was, I did find plenty to enjoy. Ferdinand’s near-decapitation of Joe Cole was a nice moment, and the whole Ballad of Carlos Tevez took on a kind of strange anti-heroic grandeur, especially in extra time as he flailed about, looking ever uglier. John Terry’s denial of Ryan Giggs in the goal mouth provided the drama of a Fistful of Dollars/guns blazing on Main Street variety, with the respective participants’ fate in the penalty shootout serving as the wistful coda. Yes, I had a beer. Just one.

—I caught only the back half of this match (also known as The Part With No Goals, In Which Chelsea Hit the Woodwork Twice, Proving That God Thinks This Kind of Thing Is Funny) at Kells, here in scenic downtown Portland. For extra you-are-there English verisimilitude, there were a bunch of bald, middle-aged white “blokes” bellowing about who was and was not a “cunt,” and a drunken tramp who appeared to be rooting for both sides.

—Didier Drogba needs to learn how to put his weight behind that swing.

—Roman Abramovich needs to stick a crowbar in his wallet and buy a bloody tie. Does he think he’s OJ on the first day of trial?

—This marks two years (just about) and exactly 300 posts of Eleven Devils. Thanks to all 10 of you for reading. At some point next week, it seems I will be “guest blogging” on the far better, more useful and popular blog Du Nord. Details to follow.

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About zachdundas

Freelance journalist. Author of The Renegade Sportsman (Riverhead Books). Thank you.
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