Monday, March 01, 2010

Beauty and the Beast

What a weekend in sports, worldwide. I finally watched my first rugby game in full (Italy vs. Scotland) and then was able to finally see one entire olympic competition (thanks NBC for being such “jack as*es” about what could be viewed and when overseas!), the gold/silver hockey game between the US and Canada. Both left me impressed, proud and pleasantly surprised.

A friend my mine (you know who you are) explained to be that while it may look rough (understatement), rugby is actually a very gentleman-like game. So I did my best to not close my eyes when a swarm of giants without padding/protection tackled the giant with the ball. If you could get pass the distorted faces and crunched bodies, you actually discover the game is a bit of a dance. And while the players rip, tear, push, prod, attack, the game is played with very precise and understood rules, that the teams seem to follow! Besides that, everyone claps at everything. It’s almost joyous to watch. Frightening.

The final hockey game was just epic. Two outstanding teams who played their hearts out. One had to win but there were no losers in this battle. In fact, there were three winners. The two teams and the sea of red (Canadians that is) who cheered on not only their home team but embraced their adversaries (the US that is) with a standing ovation of respect and class.

Back here on Italian soil, the 26th week of series A soccer was played. And as usual, there were “dramatic” (I use that word lightly) battles between the top few teams trying to make their way into the European league tournament or to capture the “Scudeto”. But it was business as usual: arrogant coaches talking their Svengali best (since when does a coach win the game instead of the players?), players taking low blows at other players (I do not understand why more are not reprimanded...oh wait, the referees are sometimes paid off), players on the same team bickering in the middle of the game (now that’s cohesiveness), ultra fans lighting parts of the stadium on fire - and nothing changes week after week. Inter is still numero uno and chances of anyone surpassing them is slim to none. Juve still sucks, even if there are “my” team. And Francesco Totti is more entertaining in his Vodafone commercials than on the field.

All those pretty boys of calcio and their ridiculous “tifosi” could take a lesson in class from the beast like players and fans of rugby and hockey. Seriously, who really is the beauty and who is the beast?


Heiko said...

You are so right Megan. After a rugby match the members of the loosing team will often line up to applaud the opposing team leaving the pitch. If you ever hear a rugby player interviewed, they, unlike soccer players, at least seem to have an IQ in more than single figures. The opposing fans will happily meet for a few after match beverages without any trouble. And don't get me started on the wages of some the soccer players...

Gil said...

Don't feel bad about NBC. They also screwed the events up here in the US! The news said that NBC lost money on the Olympics, I wonder why. Also, where do they store those relics (announcers) for four years?