â†µIn Spain, showing up late is customary. Showing up late with a flamethrower, however, is not, and is considered to be poor form in all but the most eccentric of houses. â†µ
â†µ â†µJust clarifying a point you might be wondering about after watching the Spanish show up in the second half of the Euro 2008 semifinal and set fire to the Russians. I repeat: that's not usual. In fact, the Spanish usually retire at moments like this, as they have to this point been famous for folding when it counted most in major tournaments, especially in the dreaded yellow jerseys. What they don't usually do -- after a game where they dominated play at midfield, hogged possession, and managed to score exactly zero goals in the first half -- is explode for three goals and decimate the Russian defense in the second half. â†µ
â†µ(Note: By decimate, we mean the literal definition, as in "every tenth man killed." Spain devastated the back line of the Russian side in an unfair, piratical way illegal by several different readings of international law and treaties.) â†µâ†µ
â†µSergio Ramos was dazzling, Arshavin was quiet for Russia, and the Spanish take their graceful but murderous approach to goal-scoring into a final with the stereotypically precise and aggressive Germans. Offense should not be a problem in the game, as both teams have a curious habit of "attempting to score." Spain: not folding! Germany: kind of old! It may not be the final many predicted, but it's compelling theater nonetheless. My money's on the Spanish coming out on top, but I had that bet in the Spanish-American war, too, and lost valuable real estate holdings in the Philippines as as result. Perhaps, with my winnings off this match, I shall attempt to buy back my villa in Manila. â†µâ†µ
â†µ(Ed. Note: Just so we're clear, the Russians won't be enjoying the company of any beautiful women tonight. Not even two.)
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.