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Monday, June 30, 2008

Truly a beautiful game

One to none doesn’t sound as beautiful as it was.

In the first half the elfin El Niño made the world class move we all wanted to see. The Spanish held the side.

Federico Tornado of Thursday City recreates a scene from the game.

In the second half both teams puffed up their chests and began trading blows like true Titans. Though no goals were scored there was a controlled and determined aggression displayed throughout the second half. One could feel the build up like the earth rumbling in preparation for a volcanic belch. And though it’s the rare volcano that is as sensationally explosive as we imagine them to be in our musings the breathtaking—gasp inducing—beauty of even the slightest of such natural wonders is not to be denied. If the Spanish are to be compared to a natural wonder it must be to some tentacled aquatic creature. They flowed in a truly organized fashion combining the ethereal beauty of the oceanic dynamo with its sublime power. The Germans roared back with a characteristic bruteness, which could only be hated or despised by the fragile things. The Germans at their best have virtually none of the graceful force the Spanish showed, but one has shut off one’s most ancient sense organs if a twinge of ancestral terror is not felt at seeing those brute giants come storming down the field, reminiscent of their Gothic forefathers entering the fray with a guttural war-cry.

Is El Niño not patently molded by the gods to be an electrifying footballer? He played a focused and bellicose game from the get-go. Is Torsten Frings not the epitome of the long haired Goth, combining rugged power with surprising agility? And is Christoph Metzelder not carved out of black forest fir? But just as the truth obstinately remains obscure behind the war of opposing views the hidden gem for the Spaniards has to be Keeper Casillas. Mr. Iker was not tested often, but he played like a lightning cloud, striking with terrible might. From punching crosses all the way back to midfield to stretching like one of the Great Cats to bring down a dangerous pass he played like an impenetrable force. If he continues to play that way he will go down as a truly great keeper.

The two teams for the better part of 90 minutes played like heroes, which, when all said and done, is what we actually want from them. One could feel the power of the human spirit pulsing through the match. I couldn’t help but marvel at the absurd heights to which we have taken our play. It makes me understand why Gods of the past have, at our best moments, been jealous of humanity. The Natural and the Divine take it as a birthright to attempt the absurd, it explains the sardonic laughter of the Gods. But at our heights—and our depths—humanity has the potential to also orchestrate such profound paradox as to challenge the divinely absurd while also tasting of fiercely ripe mortality.

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