For the love of the game

Fabien Barthez clutching his nose

It's always amusing to see the French hurt themselves.

There are some times in life where you just decide to do something completely moronic, with full knowledge of how moronic it is. My activities this morning qualify as one of those times.

My activities this morning center around a game of football, played between the English and French national teams, as part of the Euro 2004 championship. Normally, exhibition of such dedication as to be up obscenely early is reserved for the pointy end of the championship, where all the exciting games are meant to be played. This game is the fourth game to be played in this championship, right at the start of the first round of the competition - so no-one is even fighting to stay in the competition. Coupled with being up at 3:30, we had to make a trip into the city to actually watch the game, as no-one has Foxtel. Our destination was originally Scruffy Murphys, but we ended up at Cheers sports bar when we were too lazy to walk any further.

Cheers seemed to be populated by a large number of impartial spectators, with a small smattering of French supporters, offset by a slightly larger smattering of English supporters. The French were the most vocal supporters, showing a great deal of contempt for the pretty boy Beckham. Of course, the non-vocal supporters became very vocal for all the goals. I was torn on who to support for this match, as I would normally support England, but France's coach (Santini) is coming to Tottenham Hotspurs. Ideally, I would have wanted to see a stunning French team, losing on a freak technicality to England.

The most amusing moment of the match came from a shot at the French goals, which bounced to Fabien Barthez, the goalie. Hilarity ensued when the ball bounced up and hit Barthez in the middle of the face. Apart from the funny stuff, the best bit of the match was at the end, with England squandering their lead to concede two goals. The winning goal was the result of a shocking back pass by Gerrard. I'm pretty sure Gerrard would have considered his back pass one of the more moronic decisions he's made. I guess it's not too fun when you don't mean to be moronic.