No Ordinary Princess

...anything but ordinary...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Apparently, It Translates into French and Italian, Too

"Yo Mama" is an insult not limited to the African-American community.

On my way to see my therapist this morning (at the unGODly hour of "before 10 AM"), I heard a news clip on NPR's Morning Edition that French football star, Zinedine Zidane (here is a link to a great online translator if, like me, you don't happen to be fluent in French.) claimed Italian defender Marco Materazzi insulted Zidane's mother and sister, prompting the Zidane head butt that red-carded him, removing him from Sunday's World Cup final game. Apparently, Zidane is retiring, so this horrific incident marks his departure from the sport, not just the game and the tourney. Damn shame.

(Aside: Zidane happens to be one very fine-looking young man...no wonder they love him in La France!)

I don't follow world football much but developed a taste for the World Cup while vacationing in Barbados last month. The whole island was caught up in World Cup fever. For those of you who know little about sports and nothing about "world" football (as opposed to the typically more brutal American football), the world cup is the "Olympics" of football in the rest of the world. Soccer players (sorry, but "soccer" is more convenient for the American audience, which comprises a majority of the folks who visit here) play for professional teams during the regular seasons...teams like AC Milan, Arsenal, FC Barcelona and Manchester United, the British team that seems to be the local Bajan favorite in Payne's Bay, St James. As in the Olympics, every four years players return to their home countries to play in the tournament for their national teams.

I found the World Cup wildly exciting, the interest of the locals and tourists (except the few Americans) on the island was infectious. I became an "Argentina fan" because that's the team most of the locals rooted for. The bulk of the tourists, mostly British (or "English," as the Barbadians refer to them), were rooting for England, of course. By the time the teams were whittled down to the semi-finals, I'd already made a wish for my ideal final: Germany/France. I didn't get my wish. Germany was ousted by Italy, the ultimate winners. (S'alright...Germany performed well and has a very young team so they will be a force in 2010.)

I know enough about soccer from having been a Soccer Mom (see the Urban Dictionary for alternate definitions, most of which did not apply to me), I know enough about the game to be upset that so many important games in the tournament, including the final, were decided by penalty kicks. It seems such an un-American way to end a game. It seems to this Yank they ought to just keep slugging it out. I understand, though, that soccer is a very physically demanding game and they simply can't keep doing all that running after ninety minutes. If any stars in American sports (American football, basketball, hockey...baseball is in its own little universe) had to play for the bulk of a ninety minute game, then beyond, they'd never make it.

The real shame of the final game, though, was not that Italy won or that the game was decided in penalty kicks but the unfortunate incident of Zidane's departure from the sport. One would have to wonder what the catalyst could have been. Surely these guys talk trash on a regular basis. Surely they are steeled to ignore these taunts. Soccer is much more demanding of sportsmanship from its players than any major sport in the bloodthirsty US...it's the fans who have the bloody brawls in world football.

Today I heard that Materazzi hurled insults of Zidane's mother and sister during the extra time of the final game, prompting Zidane's violent response. (As an ER nurse, I cringed. That kind of blow to the chest really could do a great deal of harm, including inducing a lethal disruption of heart rhythm.) Materazzi is now being investigated by football's governing body, FIFA. Zidane is already under investigation, of course.

Zidane claims Materazzi insulted the women in his family. One account from a Chicago Tribune columnist reports the Italian allegedly called "French women named Zidane 'terrorist whores.'"
I suppose that would include the mother and sister. In my opinion, Mme. Zidane's response is just a tad excessive. (If you didn't click the last link, she reportedly called for the '"blagos" of her son's 'Italian tormenter be delivered to her "on a platter."' I'm making an assumption as to just what "blagos" are. You jump tp your own conclusions.)

Materazzi claims he's not intelligent enough to "
even know what an Islamic terrorist is." Okay. I'm guessing that might be considered a good thing in Italy?...

Whatever. Doesn't matter. The Italians, rightfully and in accordance with the rules of the game, have the World Cup.



**Flash**

From the
United States Department of State, the latest advisories for Americans traveling abroad caution citizens to use care when uttering the following phrases:

In Madrid, Buenos Aires or Mexico City, "su madre."
In Stuttgart, "Ihre Mutter."
In Stockholm, "
ditt fostra."
On the isle of Sappho, "η μητέρα σας."
In Lisbon or Sao Paolo, "sua mãe."
In Amsterdam, "Uw moeder," though the residents might be too stoned to care.
Anywhere on the European continent for the forseeable future, "votre mère."
However, you could probably shout "la vostra madre" with impunity while stealing coins from the Trevi Fountain til the cows come home (or at least for the next four years) and only get in trouble for the theft. (Also see "Amsterdam," above).

Because Italy has the World Cup.

Technorati tags, mine: bitchy / humor / life / US politics / women / word politics
others: football / soccer / sports / sportsmanship / World Cup

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