Bianconeri Blue

As you may have heard, former Juventus and Italy defender, and current Juve sporting director Gianluca Pessotto apparently attempted suicide (unsuccessfully) recently. He was found, as all the articles are sure to detail, "clutching rosary beads" in the street outside Juventus headquarters, apparently having jumped from a window 15 meters up. Pessotto is and was not charged in the match-fixing scandal that threatens to relegate (yes, relegate) Juve and strip them of last season's Scudetto (The tribunal formed to look into the allegations against former Juve general manager Luciano Moggi started today, b/t/w). A few of the Italy players have flown back to visit their former teammate in hospital.

Strange, but stranger still are how these three articles (and even the Guardian piece) progress from worrying about Pessotto's condition into speculating on what effect this will have on the Italy team, to what their chances are in the next match. Off-putting to say the least, but sadly it's what you get when you're the press at the precipice of the World Cup quarterfinals.

[Secretly, watch for the Italian press to somehow spin this story into some sort of contributing scandal should the Azzuri get bounced by the Ukranians in Hamburg on Friday night.]


Chicken Gristle Eatin'...Slim-Fast Blendin'


Always knew "fat" dudes could move like that. And that skinny dudes are always the greedy ones: Adriano, Cafu, Roberto Carlos (we'll stretch that definition a litttle for the latter). But who knew that "ginga" meant "selfish"?

And far be it from sour grapes, but the red card doled out to Ghana's Asamoah Gyan was karmic justice for the revolting display of Ghanaian rolling about on the pitch during the last 25 minutes of the U.S. v. Ghana match (They deserved to win that match simply because the U.S. showed no desire to score.)

Watch: Brazil beat Ghana, again. Or maybe it's just Portuguese beating English...

"SOOPA-Pass," went the German announcer, re: Kaka's visionary dish which was just about all you could say. It came so early, I was still trying to check for the field level sign telling me what city the game was being played in; luckily the space opened up in the section of the screen I was scanning, so I didn't miss a thing. Which reminds me...

Gerhard, You Ignorant Slut

To step away from the game for a minute: here in Germany, it's customary for games to be called by a single announcer for the entire game, in opposition to the American way of play-by-play + color man. This has its pluses and minuses. There is a certain calming linearity to the match: no snide interruptions, coy insiderism, or egotistical grandstanding, but at the same time, a boring game is absolutely unbearable without a Walton to interject a "Throw! It Down! K-Mart! Throw it down!" Germans prefer to save their commentarial interplay for pre-, during, and post-match, where former footballing superstar G√ľnter Netzer and Gerhard Delling trade personal quips as sharp and ridiculous as "Point/Counterpoint" with Aykroyd and Curtain on vintage SNL. And without the laugh track that is Terry Bradshaw or any of those Fox dopes. The barb is exchanged, gruffly, with nary a smile, and the commentary goes on. It could be Python, but I'm not sure if even those guys could deliver these lines as well.