Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Zidane! Zidane! Zidane!

Who would have thought you'd hear talk like this from a Frenchman? From a French soccer player, no less?
The France legend did not reveal what Materazzi said, but claimed it was "very personal" and concerned his mother and his sister. . . .

Zidane refused to say sorry to Materazzi and said he did not regret what he did after being provoked by the insults.

But Zidane, who was playing in his final game before quitting football, added: "They were very hard words. You hear them once and you try to move away.

"But then you hear them twice, and then a third time.

"Before anything else I am a man and some words are harder to hear than actions. I would rather have taken a blow to the face than hear that I can't regret what I did because it would mean that he (Materazzi) was right to say what he said."

"I want to apologise," he said. "But I can't regret it because if do that would be like admitting that he had every reason to say what he said. I can't do that because he was not right to say what he said."

Manliness on the pitch. Who would have thunk it?

Just as an aside: If this had happened on an American basketball court with some analagous type of insult, I bet public opinion would be running 80-20 in Zidane's favor.


jon said...

Had this happened in the NBA, people wouldn't be talking about Zidane, they'd be talking about the insult and poor sportsmanship, and bullying and teasing in school, and how it might not have been Dylan Clebold and Eric Harris who were mainly responsible for Columbine, and how our sports heroes are bad examples for our kids, and la, la-la, la-la...

Fact is shit-talking has and probably always will be part of life and sports in particular. [JVL, have you forgotten all the penis-pulling in the NBA and NFL?] Zidane's a big boy and he should've figured this out by now. If he hasn't heard the equivolent of this insult, then soccer is the namby-pamby sissy sport it appears to be. But I suspect all those players have gotten the business before. If he's indeed his team's best player, then his duty is to 'take one for the team' and stay in the game. I assure you, there is a snappy comeback that could be thought up to any insult. There is always time to beef the guy some other time. Or just end the argument pointing at your World Cup.

Props to Mazzerati for getting under his skin, which was exactly what was intended. Somewhere in Finland, Esa Tikkanen watched this, laughed his ass off, and looked down, counted his Stanley Cup rings, smiled, and knew that it was good.

arrScott said...

There are such things as fighting words, and even if we have so coarsened our souls that we regard shit-talking as an integral part of athletic competition, or even, for the spiritually impoverished among us, an acceptable part of life in general, there are things the saying of which exposes you to justified violence. In American law, the classic and Supreme Court approved example of "fighting words" is calling a police officer a "fascist" during WWII. Surely, in this day and age, calling anyone's mother a "terrorist whore" is equivalent to calling someone a "fascist" during the war against Hitler.

There might even be less "shit-talking" if we more commonly responded to fighting words with justified violence. That would be a good result. So vive Zidanne pour sa resistance virile!

Anonymous said...

If he was really a man, he would have held off during the game and then met up with the trash talker after the game a kicked the crap out of him.
Zidane is a loser.

jon said...


I agree with you and the USSC that there are words worth fighting over. But is bear-baiting a cop in the real world the same context of a soccer game!?! My coarsened, impoverished soul isn't so refined that if can't make this distinction. It was a "yo' mama" joke, pure and simple.

If you are implying that FIFA allow fighting like the NHL, then I am in complete agreement. That would cut down on the shit-talk and make for a much better sport.

arrScott said...


In fact I meant so small degree of self-effacement by using of such absurdly overstated language.

My point was simply that people should not hide behind "sportsmanship" in order to say on the field of play things they would not dare say to a man's face on the street. Or, at least, if they attempt to do so, they ought not be surprised to be headbutted to the ground like curs, and good on Zidane for making the point to all 100 billion World Cup viewers.

Anonymous said...

Zidane is Algerian, not a true Frenchman.