Saturday, July 08, 2006

Megafinale Weekend

The sports megaweekend began today with a boring-till-the-last-game Amelie Mauresmo win and a horrible game by Portugal in the 3rd place World Cup game.

Mauresmo is, despite appearances, actually a very sweet-sounding young lady who is charismatic with the press, if not on the court. (Besides, every single Wimbledon fan will adore her eternally for shutting off that gasket known as Maria Sharapova.) Henin-Hardenne is bland and colorless -- if you saw her on the street you'd think she's a check-out clerk -- and for reasons beyond my comprehension, wears a sports bra while playing. Overall, the match was mundane until Mauresmo fired up her will in the last game and forced her first-ever Wimbledon title.

Speaking of Wimbledon, I'm still debating whether Sue Barker, the BBC host of the games, wears a wig -- either that or she's got some very fake looking hair. I can't help thinking everytime I see her face how she looks so similar to Cliff Richard who she has famously shagged, as they say. The British and their sexcapades always evoke a chuckle and then a twinge -- like imagining Hyacinth Bucket even trying to kiss someone. Barker spends most of her time either stating or prompting her interviewees to state that Wimbledon is a "special place," every little tennis player's "dream come true." Gimme a break. We're talking about a center court with all its grass fading in all the wrong places, ridiculously long rain delays and an All England Club that can't even produce its own national champion. Wimbledon, like all things famously British is merely famous because it's been around so long, not at all because it offers any particular charm or wonder.

In fact, it doesn't even offer the champions an actual trophy. The overdone military affair known as the award ceremony (wherein the cavewomen in long outdated skirts who officiate the matches are paraded for our viewing unrest) involves carefully constructed photo opportunities of the champion with a huge gold plaque/trophy that s/he never even gets to take off court (merely getting a smaller silver replica). It is in short a farcical display of keeping up appearances not unlike many British "traditions."

Moving right along to a Portugal national football team that can get the ball past the midfield line only to brainlessly pass it back and forth in hopes that the opponent will (a) commit a foul in trying to obtain it or (b) simply obtain it. The Portughese, with rare exceptions, have very little idea how to get the ball closer to the goal, let alone get it in there. Germany won a well-deserved victory tonight against a team with amazing players (Figo, Valente, and Ronaldo, who despite his boyish coyishness is an extremely good player undeserving of the taunts and hisses the audience has gifted him in this World Cup) who simply can't convert.

Tomorrow will, no doubt, be far far more exciting with the Federer v Nadal final and the Italy v France. It is at these times that we witness how huge a gap truly exists between the finals players and the runners up. Let the games begin!

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