Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Not Quite As Sophisticated As Pong...

...but Zidane vs. Matterazzi: The Game will still make your life at work enjoyable for at least a minute.

Oh, and watch the incident in French. The poor French announcer. Pourquoi? Pourquoi? POURQUOI!!!!????


At 1:45 PM, Blogger Alex said...

The French announcer's reaction has made me realize that Jim Ross needs to be kept on retainer for every major sporting event, just in case something like this ever happens. It's the moment he was born to call:

By god, what is Zidane doing? Why you son of a bitch? Tell me why?

At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Brad said...

On the whole Zidane Matarazzi thing Zidane has spoken on what's happened. I guess Materazzi insulted Zidane's mother, who is gravely ill in the hospital right now:
It’s too bad Materazzi felt he needed to go down that road, because he actually had a really good tournament. Now nobody is going to remember that he got two goals and did really well replacing the best defender in the world after Nesta got hurt. They will just remember the classless scumbag who insulted the best player in the world’s mother while she was on her deathbed. I love the fact that Zidane doesn’t regret doing it as well. He’s sorry for letting France down but not sorry for hitting Materazzi.

At 3:57 PM, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

Apology without regret? A meaningless construction.

Unless Zidane has bypassed the primary definition of apology ("An acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offense") in favour of the word's second definition ("A formal justification or defense"). Very sophisticated of him.

As for the rationale that "The guilty person is the one who provokes," Zidane's clearly taking a page from the Grabia book. Remarkably, no legal code supports their innovation.

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

As for the rationale that "The guilty person is the one who provokes," Zidane's clearly taking a page from the Grabia book. Remarkably, no legal code supports their innovation.

No legal code supports the innovation of self-defense?

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

To be fair (and mudcrutch can correct me on this), provocation in Canada can be used to get a murder charge reduced to manslaughter, but I don't think that really helps your case.

In that context, the Criminal Code defines provocation as "A wrongful act or an insult that is of such a nature as to be sufficient to deprive an ordinary person of the power of self-control." However, the fact that person lost control does not mean that by definition they were provoked.

In Materazzi's defence, the Code goes on to say that "no one shall be deemed to have given provocation to another by doing anything that he had a legal right to do".

Based on what Zidane has said, you'd have a hard time convincing me that the alleged insults rose above the level of schoolyard taunts and into the territory of provocation.

Provocation also comes up in the context of assaults, but not in the same way. In that context, provocation includes "blows, words or gestures." If you provoke someone, then they assault you, you can justify the use of force in your own defence.

Going back to my "Andy, your sister's a whore" comment from the other day, if you then headbutted me I could use s.35 to attempt to justify my subsequent Rochambeau attack.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Based on what Zidane has said, you'd have a hard time convincing me that the alleged insults rose above the level of schoolyard taunts and into the territory of provocation.

Calling his Algerian mother, who is in the hospital by the way, a dirty terrorist whore, is much more than a schoolyard taunt. But then again, you probably wouldn't have been persuaded if the man had been black and Materazzi called him a "nigger" or a "porch monkey." They are just words, right? No matter that they were probably much more harmful than the tiny physical blow to Materazzi's chest (see, two can play that game). I won't have this conversation with you anymore. You want to persecute this man, regardless of what was said to him. I respect him for defending himself, even in the face of huge loss and ridicule from people such as yourself. Hell, I'd almost consider buying his jersey!

And by the way, if Blatter wants to take away the Golden Ball from Zidane because "FIFA's executive committee has the right, and the duty, to intervene when faced with behavior contrary to the ethic of the sport," they better also consider taking away the World Cup Championship from Italy. Ethics are ethics, after all, and though the ref may not have caught Materazzi, his actions were at least as unsportsmanlike as Zidane's.

At 6:13 PM, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

If it had happened on a street-corner, Zidane would've been charged.

There was no indication in Zidane's comments that the word terrorist was used. And if a racial remark was uttered, I'd be all for FIFA taking appropriate disciplinary action, as it has in the past. The place for those disputes is off the pitch.

And where did you stand on the Bertuzzi/Moore incident? In that case, you were delighted the attacker had been sued. Couldn't be because his name sounds Italian?

At 7:15 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

There is no way Zidane would have been charged. And if he had, a jury wouldn't convict him. Self-defense, you know.

Funny you brought up Bertuzzi, because I was also thinking of him. It was mostly on how quiet you were on breaking a guys neck, though, as compared to the moral outrage you feel about a love tap. I can't prove he called him a terrorist? You can't prove Materazzi didn't jump back and exaggerate the blow.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

Andy, you will note I have been entirely consistent: I called for stiff penalties against Bertuzzi (but by the league rather than by the courts), and this spring I called for the head of Brooks Orpik. Specifically, I wrote that: "I’d throw the book at Orpik: a mandatory one-year suspension, and a return-to-hockey predicated on Cole’s successful return. The latter would set a clear and brutal precedent: take the risk of ending someone else’s career, and you take the risk of ending your own."

That generally describes my atttitude towards outside-the-rules violent conduct in sport: the penalties should be so high that they constrain what's considered acceptable conduct by the players and coaches.

Now I'm defending the decision to award a red card for a behind-the-play head-butt of another player: an act that has absolutely no place in soccer, and which the rules demand be punished.

You began the comment on this incident by saying that "I agree that he should have been sent off."

That position quickly evolved into "I am confident that once the truth comes out, Zidane will be cleared, and Materazzi will be villified," despite there being no new evidence on which to base this belief.

You then went for the brass ring, and declared the head butt positively virtuous: "Some greater good has been served here...If Zidane's act gets some of this racism and unsportsmanlike play out in the open, then history will be kind to Zidane." There has yet to be any evidence that Materazzi uttered a racist statement.

Finally, you declared a bold new doctrine of self-defence, under which those provoked with words could respond with their weapon of choice.

How or why you have contorted yourself into this escalating series of bizarre positions is beyond me.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Alex said...

FIFA is investigating Materazzi's conduct as well.


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