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All Star Caliber Thoughts

Well, not really.

We have more insight into what drove France's Zinedine Zidane to head butt Italy's Marco Materazzi in the chest drawing a red card during the World (Non)Cup Final Sunday in Germany.

Well actually we have conflicting accounts, one which says Materazzi called Zidane "the son of a terrorist whore" and also told him to go engage himself in a sexual act which may or may not be anatomically possible. Materazzi has since denied the claim saying that he did insult him but did not call him a terrorist or presumably the offspring of one. The Italian clamied that he was not cultured and says he did not even know what an Islamic terrorist was.

Are you kidding me? Does Itlay keep this guy in a bubble and only let him out to play World (Non)Cup games? Unless you have been absent from the planet or not living in a civilized modern society(which I am pretty sure includes Italy) you know what an Islamic terrorist is and you know that Islamic terrorism is a bit of a problem right now which means he knew exactly how horrible an insult it was. I actually think confessing to not knowing what an Islamic terrorist is in 2006 following three major attacks in the U.S., Spain, and Britain as well as two wars in the Middle East shows he may have fewer brain cells than Zidane did for cold cocking his culturally ignorant rear end onto the field of play. Materazzi obviously missed the first day of media savvy training which stipulates then when you deny having said something and you want to claim ignorance that ignorance has to be plausible on some level. Unless he has been underground or off the earth for the past six years then claiming ignorance on the definition of an Islamic terrorists is simply not credible.

I am also marveling at the incredible cross-cultural power of insulting someone else's mother as a means of talking trashing during a sporting event. And here I thought that questioning another player's parentage or disparaging the loins from which they were conceived and birthed was solely an American art form and skill. This instance proves that insulting another person's mother not only has international appeal as an effective physchological technique but it also produces far more violent responses when employed against a European player versus some street baller in Harlem. It also shoule be noted that if there were more head butts of that variety during World (Non)Cup games, the ratings would be right up there with the NFL.

And I will make brief mention of baseball's All Star Game which I used to enjoy but now not so much because (1) I do not believe an exhibition game should have any impact on how championships get decided such as determining home field advantage and (2) I also think preparation for this game or the game itself should influence the unfolding of the regular season as little as possible. In other words, managers should use whomever they want prior to the All Star Game and not have to worry about whether a pitcher will be available to start in an exhibition game on Tuesday if he pitches in a game which has actual bearing on the standings on Sunday. Players should play as little as possible during the game as to protect them from injury and not cause serious issues in their own teams pursuit of the pennant. This goes back to my first point which is removing the HFA factor from the All Star Game and allowing it to stand as an exhibition for the fans and not something that actually has any meaning. Sooner or later someone crucial to a first place team will get injured or a pitcher will blow out his elbow and then you will see some controversy.