Friday, July 07, 2006

Allez les Bleus!

Well, it’s unbelievable but Les Bleus are going to play in the finals of the World’s Cup, having now beaten Portugal. They will be taking on Italy, and as much as I would like to see them win, I suspect that Paris will celebrate no matter who wins. The free paper that they hand out on the subways is suggesting that “dans le climat moronse qui prévaut à un an de la présidentielle,” perhaps the French people “cherchaient des raisons de se réjouir.” Well, they’re certainly taking advantage of this one, riding through the streets, singing, honking their horns, waving their flags, playing bongos, and drinking lots and lots of wine.

I’ve never really enjoyed watching sports, and to be honest, I’m hardly watching this one. But, I am enjoying watching crowds of people watching these matches and cheering and embracing every time something good happens. From what I can tell, the French team’s secret weapon is their goalie; seemingly nothing can get past him, even when they’re playing a super aggressive team like Brazil. So, the other team will charge towards the goal, and the crowd will scream like they’re watching a horror film, and then he will block the goal and they will cheer and embrace. It’s a blast to watch them going wild.

Last night, I watched the match at a bar a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower. It was not quite as much fun as watching it at the café where I watched the last one. There were a lot more tourists this time, and they seemed too nervous to cheer. But, the locals were having a good time and I walked around Paris taking pictures after the team won. I know a lot of people get down on sports because the fans can be jingoistic drunks. But, they’re also just as often looking for a reason to celebrate what the human body can do, and our physical existence in the world. Sometimes that can get me out of my head and help me out a little. So, allez les bleus!

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