Monday Musings

This summer is really turning out to be quite a lot busier than I thought it would be. Sadly, the consequences for FBF are readily apparent, are they not? Regardless, I do have a couple of things on my mind coming out of the weekend.

(1) I was out of town at a family wedding but managed to catch the "condensed" 0-0 draw between United and the Metrocows (sidenote to broadcasters: how about a more reasonable time-frame for delaying the availabilty of the "archive" version of the match? 12 hours? 24 hours?). Still not enough scoring punch, but there were chances and the defense looked reasonably solid. Draws won't spark an unlikely dash to the post-season however. Nor will having McTavish on the back line...

(2) I did manage to watch the World Cup final since ABC was among the channels available in the soccer dead-zone that is the in-laws' house. Predictable? Sure. You can add the problem of high-pressure cup finals to that list of speedbumps to soccer-adoption in the USA. No matter that there are some supremely talented individuals on the field and teams capable of magical play. Shove them in such an intense pressure cooker, apply copious amounts of hype, and the result is inevitably dour, defensive, and boring—perfect ammo for the footie-doubters in your life.

(3) Still, there were some dramatic (Robben's breakaway failures, Iniesta's late winner, Busquets' rolling around on the floor), horrifying (de Jong's kung-fu treatment of Xabi Alonso, anything van Bommel, Busquets' rolling around on the floor again), and even touching (Sneijder and Iniesta exchanging laughs when the former, never a defensive stalwart, dove to stop the latter's progress through the Dutch box; Casillas in tears) moments. The better team won, and any lingering sentiment that would have swayed me to the Oranje cause evaporated in the wake of their destructive approach.

(4) Anybody else find the siding-board reminding you that the final was being played in Johannesburg particularly apt, considering the lasting influence Johan Cruyff on both the Dutch and the Spanish (via Barcelona)? Shame both sides didn't embrace that heritage...

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