Monthly Archives: July 2006

Doing the Math…

The verdict on the head butting incident is in, and it has caused stirrings from all over as well. Personally I didn’t like the decision one bit, but then again, here are some comparisons. You do the math.

Players

Zinedine Zidane

Marco Materazzi

Nationality

French

Italian

Court Name

Head-Butter

Provoker

Status

Retired

Active

Reputation Highly regarded as one of the games’ greatest midfielders, ex-FIFA World Player of the Year, etc.; Reputation somehow has put his numerous scuffles on and off the pitch in the shadows. Known as a bad boy for some scuffles on the pitch, esp in the EPL
$ Fine

7,500 Swiss francs ($6,014)

5,000 Swiss francs ($4,010)

Matches Banned

3

2

Immediate Consequences Since sudah retire, he’ll be doing charity or social work instead (head-butting tutoring, maybe) MissesВ Italy’s opening two Euro 2008 qualifiers againstВ LithuaniaВ on September 2 and, ironically, France on September 6
Injury Status Some sweat taken off Matz’s jersey to gloss his bald head… Bruises to chest area. Must have been rather painful too.
External supporting statements “It is intelligent, measured and reasonable. It shows knowledge of the world of football…The provoker of the incident has been punished.В В It’s a penalty that hits the one who, in my opinion was responsible. Zidane wasn’t the guilty one. You have to keep control but the responsible one is the one who provokes, the one who decides to destabilise a player by means other than sporting means.” – Jean-Pierre Escalettes “It’s scandalous to suspend a player for having said something. It’s the first time it’s been done and it’s only because Materazzi is Italian and because they wanted to justify the action of a great champion (Zidane) but who was in the wrong.”В – Paolo Maldini

“It’s a disgraceful sentence that shows yet again howВ Italy’s football federation carries no weight at FIFA.”В В – Maurizio Lupi

Some thoughts:

1.В В В В В В В Do football players need to play with their a duct tape over their mouths?

2.       Comparing the punishment for both players, I’m sure Matz would have felt he should have head-butted Zizou first…heh heh….

3.       Will this type of verdict actually promote more head-butting now that everyone knows how ‘severe’ the punishment is…

———————-

2,500 – Swiss Francs. Difference between hurting people with your head and getting bruised instead. Go do the math. ;-P

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Klang Book & Feast Adventure

Had an unbelievable book and feast adventure in Klang yesterday. After church, took a drive down to Klang where we all rendezvous at the house of a Klang-bred girl. Like wolves, we quickly moved like a pack of wolves to a bak kut teh eatery, recommended because they served both the dry and soupy types. Although the meal can be considered overall rather satisfactory, the soupy version couldn’t compare to other places (in Klang as well as in Serdang) I’ve tried before. The dry-type was an interesting introduction for me though. The way that it was cooked excellently brought out the natural smells of the sotong, shrimps and all. Best part of lunch was that the entire meal was almost illogically cheap! Cost per head was approx RM 6!…

Like clockwork, we proceeded toВ WestВ PortВ to visit the book fest onboard the MV Doulos. This oldest floating bookshop in the world travels all over the world and is currently docked in Port Klang for about a month. The last time it was here was like 4 or 5 years ago, so one can imagine the crowd that just wanted to climb aboard this historical ship.

Reached the destination at around 3pm and was shocked to see the queue of people starting from the car park area right to the port terminal! Frying our brains in the desert-like heat of a Sunday afternoon wasn’t exactly fun, to put it bluntly. An hour later we finally managed to move into the partially air-conditioned terminal and move towards the boat. Was stopped again halfway coz due to the max capacity of the boat, people had to come down form the boat before others could go onboard. Think of those ware-house sales concept and you’d know what I mean. ;-P. Only managed to plant my feet onboard the boat at around 5pm. About the length of a football match. :-o.

My jaws dropped when a friend that has been working on Doulos for some time shared that the crowd we saw yesterday does not even come close to the crowd inВ TaiwanВ where the total per day visiting was around 26,000 people (about 5X the crowd that Sunday)!

Amidst the stuffiness and sea of people , I managed to buy some books before disembarking the boat at about 6.30pm. Replenished fluids before shooting off for Teluk Gong for an excellent seafood dinner at Coconut Flower. Lotsa crabs, fish, mutant-sized la-las, etc. Ironic thing was that the house specialty was the salted chicken…no kidding.

Reached home and unloaded stuff close to 11.00pm. Stomach has definitely been well-treated that day. Haven’t weighed myself after the trip though. Hope the loss of fluids through sweat during the 2-hour queue would minimize the damage to the scales. ;-P

—————–

Numbers from the Trip:

Cost of port entrance fee – RM 1

Cost of 1.5l 100plus to replenish fluids – RM 3

Cost of toll charges to and fro. – RM 6

Cost of car petrol used for journey (est) – RM 15

Cost of fantastic rich-in-cholesterol bak kut teh lunch – RM 65

Cost of books bought onboard MV Doulos – RM 150

Cost of superb rich-in-cholesterol seafood dinner in Teluk Gong – RM 222

Cost of hanging out together with old uni friends for an adventure of fattening, sun-bathing, laughing, chatting, updating; and also meeting up with Doulos veteran and also ex-Uni mate Simon – PRICELESS.

Thanks you guys for an exhaustively wonderful time together! ;-D

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Hidden Games

One month of football madness around the world is finally over. Three days already. *pause*

OK. So it’s true. Gotta get on with life now. ;-p Congrats to the Azzuris for claiming their 4th world title amidst all the courtroom drama back home. They did so by breaking their own WC penalty jinx by beating France 5-3 after it ended 1-1 at the end of extra-time.

However, what I would like to highlight today is that throughout the one-month carnival in Germany, football was NOT the only sport played. If one had been following the tourney closely, one would at least be able to spot other games interlaced with the beautiful game. Here are three examples of games that I noticed…

1. UNO

The Holland-Portugal match would be the perfect example of the ref having played one too many rounds of UNO the night before. And throughout the tourney, cards of yellow and red were wildly drawn out and flashed to players; cards changing colour (another classic ref blunder); three of a kind (wait, that’s poker..); reverse of decisions (ref Eli’s overrule of the linesmen offside flag still invokes anger in all Korean hearts; right decision though..); of course not forgetting the other colors of Uno – the gree of the beautiful stadias in Germany and the blue and black bruises from the Italy-USA street fight match….And in the end,В ItalyВ proved to be Numero Uno.

2. DIVING

A sport that has gained popularity in recent times, this WC edition saw a deluge of dives (most amateurish and beginners..) from various countries. Statistically, this was an improvement over previous editions where certain countries only practiced this dark art. Most notable ones include Grosso’s masterpiece that broke Aussie hearts, Henry’s theatre act that put out Portugal n the semis, and Maulada’s 9.95 score in the final. Even FIFA prez Mr Blatter himself admitted to be a diver in his coloured history. If there were to be a spinoff from the greatest sporting show on earth, it would be diving.

3. MATADOR (Bull-Fighting)

A classic Spanish sport where the fighter bravely steps in front of a bull with a red cape and performs heart-stopping acts of last-second evasions from the bulls’ charges. It was also on showcase in the final when Zizou literally gored Materazzi and earned a red cape, err, card, thus ending his illustrious career on a sad note and promoting bull fighting to thousands of French kids who idolize him.

——————-

Number of the Day:

24 – years of suffering before Italy won the World Cup again this year. In 1994, Brazil also ended 24 years of suffering by claiming the trophy on US soil. So, I’ve laid my disappointments to rest and look ahead to South Africa 2010, exactly 24 years since my Argentina last won the Cup….;-D

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Bitterly Swallowed

Sale! Cheap cheap sale! If you’re thinking I’m taking about the upcoming August Malaysia Mega Sale, you’re mistaken. The dizzying sales have already started and is currently on-going in a big way in a particular country in Europe where football is being celebrated for a month. And, no, the WAGS are not involved at all in these sales…

No kidding. The cheapest sales aroundВ GermanyВ are the men in black. (sometimes grey, yellow, etc. now..;-)) The Referees, who have been under heavy criticisms throughout the competition, played a really significant role in the quarters, especially in the tragedy where myВ ArgentinaВ were sent home after a cruel penalty shoot-out with our German hosts. With that calamitous loss, my interest in the World Cup edition this year effectively and prematurely ended.

The ref (fromВ Slovenia) was crystal clearly biased in his favourisms towards the host team the entire 120 minutes of the match. Even a neutral friend observed that many decisions were strangely against the Argies! Besides that, some painful decisions from the match included:

  1. Lahm’s final minute tackle on Maxi Rod inside the penalty box. Such an obvious foul but the ref had no guts to point to the spot. He even got a pat on the back from the Germans and also dished out a yellow for poor Maxi for poor simulation. Though known for our theatrics, that incident was a very real foul on the Argentines.
  2. Towards the end of the match, the stats showed Argentines committing about 50% more fouls than the Germans….meaning 50% more freekicks to the Germans! Stats certainly don’t lie…
  3. Ballack committing two fouls in two separate incidences – one was where he handled the ball unnoticed. Two was when he dived to the ground and clutched his face as if hit by the Clothesline from Hell with Ayala’s slightest touch. Ref gave a free-kick to the Argies but no yellow card…Germans must have bought that colored card from their mega sale as well.

Another bitter thing about the loss was that we lost our 100% record in WC shoot-outs, not helped particularly with our penalty specialist and No. 1 keeper being stretchered off in the second half. Ah well, sifting through the various factors to blame (bought refs, wrong tactics, wrong subs, penalty woes, etc.) the fact remains that Argentina is out of the World Cup already…sigh….sob sob…;-((.

Heartbreak. Gutted. Crushed. Stunned. Disappointment. Tragedy. Catastrophe. Disaster.

While the remaining teams continue to bargain for refs or other tactics to move to the next round, the devastated Argentines will instead be bargaining for chewable or liquefied versions of that terribly bitter pill….

——————

Number of the Day:

4 – teams left in the competition, all European. Sigh. Even the Argentines are not doing too well in the Wimbledon either. Double sigh.

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)