Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Italy or France

Hank Scorpio: By the way, Homer, what's your least favorite country: Italy or France?

Homer: France.

Hank Scorpio: [chuckles] Nobody ever says Italy.

That being said, it should turn out to be a hell of a game. Defense wins championships, so who has the better defense? Italy has only allowed a single goal, and an own goal at that. So take that to heart old red, white, and Azzuri, Americans can score on Italians just as long as the nearest Italian man puts his foot in his mouth (watch out Asia Argento!). The French defense has also been superb only allowing two goals (one a PK), but near the end of the match you could feel the French faithful thinking "don't you bobble the ball Barthez..." and then he did, right off his own belly directly to Figo's head. On any other day you might as well throw the ball into your own goal, but Figo knocked it just high. You lucky cheese eating surrender monkey. However, despite his occasional lack of grace, Barthez does have a world cup championship under his belt (where he allowed only two goals the entire tournament, one on a PK). And then there’s the French back four: Barthez has only had to stop the ball thirteen times in the entire tournament. For Italy, Buffon has 23 saves but he is always in position, except when his own player kicks the ball home from 3 feet. Is Buffon the better keeper? Maybe, but did Buffon and crew shut out Brazil? The French back four allowed ONE shot on goal against Brazil, and only allowed a PK through from Spain (and one other shot on goal). Clearly, Italy has had a much easier way through to the final, but zero goals is zero goals, and they stopped the home team cold in their tracks. Looks like these defenses are pretty even therefore we must have a tie breaker - and this is it - Zindane has gold shoes. Advantage: Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys. France 2, Italy 0.

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