A moment from the World Cup final to remember? Maybe there was nothing quite as crazy as the infamous Zidane head-butt on Materazzi in 2006, but the kung fu kick the Netherlands’ Nigel De Jong landed on the chest of Spain’s Xabi Alonso came close.
One blogger likened it to the famous kick that Charlie Murphy put on Rick James. Only this one was real.
Otherwise, outside of Barcelona, the South African cup will be remembered for a couple things. One is those infernal vuvuzelas, a beautiful word for an ugly sound.
Long saddled with announcers who know little about the game, American fans got a treat in witty British commentator Martin Tyler. I nearly fell over when, late in a scoreless final, he said “It’s even getting late for the Spanish,” a reference to the infamous dinner hour in Madrid. But fear not–a tasty morsel of a goal showed up just before the midnight hour arrived, just like the tapas.
Speaking of tapa ingredients, the hero of the cup was really Paul the Octopus, who called all seven of Germany’s matches correctly and then also musseled in on the final, giving him one correct prediction for every leg. His aquarium keepers in Germany on Monday presented him with a replica World Cup, but also say the seer sucker will be retiring, to groans from bettors everywhere.
It seems incredible that people would take the predictions of a mollusk seriously. I mean, what does someone who lives in a tank know about soccer? Now if it were water polo…