Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Zidane meme

My favorite GIF of the headbutt. I wish I could give credit where it is due, but I'm not sure who originated this image. I first saw it the day of the match in a Fark thread discussing the headbutt.

It was the headbutt seen around the world. And within seconds of its airing, various GIFs and JPEGs had appeared of this headbutt and were flooding discussion boards and forums across the internet.

Then came the media frenzy - the attempts at deciphering what Materazzi could have said to Zidane to provoke him, attempts at disparaging Zidane, attempts at psychoanalyzing Zidane.

Not only that, but today I was sent a few gems by my friend Dave, including a comparative analysis of Zidane and Camus by Roger Cohen, and a song in French about Zidane's headbutt.

Few sportsmen have had the capacity to capture the public imagination the way Zidane has. Moreover, few sportsmen have exited a sport in such an unpredictable fashion.

Despite the criticisms of Zidane, many seem to support him. Whether or not you agree with his actions, his headbutt was a glorious thing to see. And the insta-meme that it resulted in exemplifies the power of the internet to disseminate information with a never-before-seen rapidity.

I wanted to stay away from World Cup discussions. I rooted for France. I asked myself, much like the French announcers did, why, why, why when Zidane performed his headbutt. And in the end, I've got to admit that I have nothing but respect and fascination for Zidane. Getting carried away by his emotions like that was foolish, but as many other commentators have said, very human. And he is one of the most elegant football players I've ever seen.

Whatever real sports experts and responsible adults think of Zidane, the internet loves him. I love him. And I can't help but watch the headbutt over and over again and marvel at his perfect form.


Blogger kaki33 said...

and the flash game

2:24 PM  
Blogger Jaron aka Bananatree said...

I'm in love with Zidane, and it kind of broke my heart when I knew that was the end.

However, it soon turned to pure joy after I realized how hilariously savage and efficient the head-butt was.

World Cup history? Of course, they still talk about 1966 in England.

2:47 PM  
Blogger quatbol said...

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a hell of a lot more interesting and sportly than any bullshit series of penalty kicks. The worst thing that can happen to any football game is surrender to the idiotic anti-sport of penalty kicks. The excellent Lindsay Berenstein over at Majikthise concurs and says they should just let overtime exhaust them.
(The reason they do the penalty kicks instead of a second game at a later day, by the way, is pure television age thinking. Why preserve the game when you have advertising dollars to count?)
There is no reason to argue about the possible racisam of an Italian team that, at home, throws bananas at its own black players. I hate to say this but I have come to accept a morality with a certain amount of consequences (the "correct" answer is that we should all be good for goodness' sake, but this is like all other correct answers).
If you want to throw around the N-bomb in Crown Heights or Hamtramck, joke that hurricane refugees who have lost everything and are committing Goebbels-style family suicide never had it so good, babble about escaping retail in a bunkerful of Kachists and Kookies, or even disrespect certain vegetarians in certain pasty gun-loving Pacific Northwest communities, I have no sympathy for whatever follows.
Yeah Zizou was out of line for this, but it is cowardly racism to pretend that this headbutt was some kind of self-initiated independent action begun in a vacuum. A person seriously concerned with order would worry more about the provocation. And the dishonest Italians, doing honor to their satereotype in every other field, were faking penalties and provoking reactions every step they took. It is entirely fitting that their cheating team will be taken apart and their cheating players sent to an inferior league.
I felt like all through this World Cup, despite pedantic nonsense about German racism, the real race problem was one the field, where Henry couldn't misplace a toe but white players could get away with plenty.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous ┼áirin said...

I like him despite that. Maybe even more ;)

1:24 AM  

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