Saturday, April 2, 2011

WC06: A Happy Ending

I need this to cheer me up.

Italy would then go on to win the tournament. One of the nicest memories I have is of that day. About 15 people packed into my family room. The Canadian Tire Boys mentioned previously were relegated to the floor by my mother just in case they spill something (very understandable and likely). My dad was in his nest on the couch watching with screaming intensity (that’s not a metaphor, I mean that in the most literal way possible). Family and friends gathered and the door to the patio was open so people could hear along on the street. Flags were waving, everyone was in red, white and green leis and blue shirts littered the ground and couches. Food was piled up everywhere, with my mum constantly coming in to lay more food on the table—and be screamed at by a dozen people she was blocking the tv—and to pass out extra serviettes. I was right up in front of the tv, eyes glued; a spot where I had once played with My Little Pony and ignored the game in the background. Everyone is yelling and screaming, commentating, and making fun od the French.

Then the game changes.

When The Headbutt is shown in reply for the first time, the room took a collective breath. There’s no Twitter to turn to, or other strong social media outlets to find out what happened. We sat there questioning what the fuck just happened and what does it mean for France, for Zidane and, most importantly, for Italy (no one particularly likes Materazzi, so we just assume he’s fine). We then watched Zidane get carded and walk off (“He should have just knocked the trophy over! Just pushed it!” My brother yells while mimicking the action, nearly hitting several people in the room). We all settle. Then, my mum yelled from upstairs, “have the wops won yet?!” and we go into penalties.

The next memory I have is my dad opening bottles of champagne in the backyard. I have no idea what happened in between. He’s screaming and dancing around, cars are honking, and the neighbours who weren’t watching with us come out to join the celebrations. Glasses are quickly passed and we’re all toasting to “FORZA AZZURRI!” Even my mum is babbling in Italian to people who are calling the house screaming shouts of joy.

And the Germans, the surly Germans who have yet to forgive Italy for their last meeting in the tournament, have give into the festivities (they’ll deny it, but I know they were happy!). The three Germans, who are now drinking champagne when 30 minutes earlier they were cheering for France, had been at the games earlier in the tournament. And even though I doubt they will admit it, the screaming and laughing and dancing and shouting of derogatory names for the French, is as wonderful to partake in as the match itself.

But, for me, the real winning game came on June 20th in Hamburg. The Quarter Finals. Italy beat Ukraine 3 – 0. I rejoiced.


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