Monday 10 July 2006 at 10:03 am
Wow, so Italy won the World Cup. I won’t even try to make sense of the massive outpouring of blog posts on the matter, but suffice to say that I’m not the only person to be suprised.
(With my couple-of-generations-removed Italian heritage, does that make me some sort of heathen unbeliever?)
Also last night: Roger Federer won Wimbledon. Again.
I swear that this man is increasingly looking unstoppable, at least when he’s off the clay. One day I might even be able to say “ahh, back in my day, we watched Roger Federer!” and the young ‘uns will know who I’m talking about.
(Oh, and Amelie Mauresmo did a reasonable job herself the other day, nicely complementing her Aussie Open win …)
Tuesday 27 June 2006 at 11:50 am
Maybe it’s better, in an ignorance-is-bliss kind of way, that I missed the big game last night
There’s lots of disappointment, with even poor Johnny expressing sadness (on that note, perhaps we can blame Italian politics?). I can only imagine what vitriol was cast at the referees around this country’s pubs and big outdoor screens.
Indeed, there is almost universal disgust at the refereeing … although it’s probably just blame-shifting for a team that was good but perhaps not great. At least the ride was fun while it lasted.
And as many people have noted, there is an important legacy: ‘Australia’ and ‘soccer’ (‘football’, if you prefer) will never again be two words that look weird next to each other.
Friday 23 June 2006 at 11:14 pm
Aside from a ridiculous story in the Australian and some chatter about Defence procurements, today’s news was dominated by the soccer (see below …!). But there has been some mention of the political situation in Timor-Leste, which doesn’t show many signs of getting better and (I fear) might not be far from becoming much worse.
The momentary crisis caused by President Gusmao’s threat to resign has passed, with protestors begging him to stay, but the problems in the country’s leadership still seem to be simmering. In a stable democracy, ideological conflicts between a president and a prime minister are all good and well (I recall writing something along those lines in my exam last week …), but in a young country in the midst of civil unrest, that kind of conflict can’t be allowed to create a base for bigger conflict, the kind involving angry mobs. So far in Dili it hasn’t, and the foreign troops are a stabilising factor, but I’m fearful that this might not remain the case.
I wonder if the lack of attention from the Western world is making any difference? Aside from a crazy rant by John Pilger and various comments in response to it, the blogosphere is (again) quiet on this issue. The Technorati graph is telling …
Alas, I can’t resist a concluding paragraph on the soccer, and my shock that the Socceroos did actually draw with Croatia. After that first goal on the free kick I was afraid all was lost, but the Aussies seemed to finally find some form — not a huge amount, but some — by the end of the first half. I went to sleep at half-time confident that my original prediction of Australia not getting past the first round was wrong. The post-match hype shows just how much everyone’s embraced soccer, even to the point of mad-cap ideas. Meanwhile, the poor old Japanese team were walloped by Ronaldo himself in a game that their media are calling “miserable”.
Monday 19 June 2006 at 1:58 am
So much for the nebulous hopes I had of staying up to see an awesome upset.
Two-nil sounds worse than it actually was. The Aussies lost partly due to bad luck, partly because they stuffed up some crucial shots, and partly because the Brazilians were just better. But they weren’t that much better — there was none of the complete out-classing that used to characterise Australian soccer.
Down a goal at the start of second half, I was half wishing the end of this game would mirror Aus vs. Japan from the other day, and the Aussie team did lift their game a bit … but there were so many opportunities that they just didn’t convert!
And then there was that second Brazilian goal. Biggest fluke ever!
Thursday 15 June 2006 at 11:39 pm
Yay! I have survived my one exam. It didn’t quite go as well as I’d hoped, but at least I can now get back to that little thesis thing I have to write …
Meanwhile, like everyone else, I’ve been watching the World Cup (but not to the exclusion of study! no, really!) — and I was as shocked as anyone by Cahill and those ten minutes.
Now the World Cup, of course, is laden with corporate sponsorship, but this is hardly unusual and generally doesn’t cause me too much concern. I didn’t even raise an eyebrow when I heard about Joga.com, Google’s social networking ‘partnership’ with Nike. But now those folks have gotten in touch with the Mozilla marketing people and produced a branded Firefox extension!
Let me just say that again. This is a commerical partnership between Nike, Google … and the Mozilla Foundation?!!