It’s getting late now, but I still had to join in and beat on this long-dead horse. It really frightens me how many people have jumped to Zidane’s defense. Of course all of the French papers, and Chirac have all declared him a hero, but why? Maybe in France they don’t teach the whole, “Sticks and stones…” rhyme. Sure, I definitely agree that Materazzi is a dickhead. He’s a dirty player, he’s a punk, and he’s no more than a school-yard bully. He kept pushing Zidane’s buttons until he snapped. That’s exactly what the bully wants. Constant picking, insulting and bothering rewarded at last by a response from the victim. Materazzi wins. Hands-down. Zidane cracked, and he got in trouble with the principal, and as a valuable penalty-kicker, he was out for the final shoot-out.
What I really don’t buy is the rebuttal that, “it was a very personal insult, so it was justified.” Zidane made his annoucement today that he was sorry, but not regrets (is that a cliche yet?). He described Materazzi’s insult, confirmed by various lip-reading translators, as something about his mother and his sister. Translators also threw religion and race into the mix. Who knows what was really said, but I can tell you that the majority of the above reasons don’t warrant violence (I think I learned that in kindergarden). Aren’t the majority of the problems the world’s facing right now having to do with racial, religious or familial differences (let alone revenge and retaliation)? I can’t imagine what the nerves and energy of the World Cup must be like, but… oh, I don’t know. Just play the game. Leave the punkass Italian kid alone. Karma takes care of things just fine without your head-butting help.