I will admit to you, I watched the World Cup after the Ivory Coast was eliminated, but not until the semi finals. I enjoyed the games. I have come to appreciate the strategic nature of soccer and have always known that these guys are amazing athletes. Their conditioning is really unmatched. The NBA athlete is the only thing that comes close and even then basketball games are half as long.
I am not a fan of France under any circumstances, but I even found myself rooting for them against the Italian team. I found the Ribery/Zidan relationship touching, Ribery having idolized Zidan as a youth and then being able to play with him in his final World Cup.
Also, I am a fan of Thierry Henry, actually knowing who he was before the World Cup. He and many of the ethnic minority players that play in Europe are forced to deal with indescribable prejudice and horrifying treatment from the Neo-Nazi fan groups that permeate the circuit.
So all those little human interest stories actually had me rooting for France. What happens? Not only do they not convert in overtime after totally outplaying a tired Italian squad, Zidan turns out to be a jackass and Ribery and Henry are subbed out right before the penalty kick phase.
Zidan's headbutt has to be one of the worst things I have ever witnessed in sport. Blunt trauma to the sternum can result in a loss of heart function. What that means? Hitting an already exhausted guy in the chest like that is basically attempted murder.
The French lose on penalty kicks. Not because the Italian goalie made some spectacular save or anything, but because one of the French guys hit the crossbar. What an anti-climactic finish.
I said finishing the World Cup on penalty kicks was like the NBA finals being decided on a free throw shooting contest.
Annoyed said it was like deciding the Super Bowl on a football tire throwing contest.
Jon Stewart said it was like deciding the NBA finals on a game of horse. (Editor's Note: Sorry, it was Stephen Colbert who made the horse comment)
Include your own "deciding the world cup on penalty kicks is like," analogy in the comments. I will publish any and all of them later in the week and include a link to your website if you like.
No 1 of Consequence