Sunday, June 22, 2008

Janissary Alert: Turkey Triumphs

First, apologies for the service interruption on Euro 2008 blogging. Anything interesting happen?

Mrs. Quinn-Byrne and I were on a lil' 3rd anniversary road trip to see this place. (It was simply stunning.) And eat at this place. (Menu here: We had fried oysters, beet salad, fennel rubbed lamb, ribeye in citrus dark stout reduction - !!! - and devoured blueberry citrus torte and peach crisp.) And stay at this place. (Very nice; but no TV and no soccer.)

My good friend Hussein did text me throughout the Hrvatska/Turkey game as we advanced on Charlottesville -- followed by a phone call after the Checkerboard Crusaders completely choked on penalties. (Quote: "Richard, I'm watching Croats weep hysterically as we speak.") Hussein also let me know that Russia demolished the Netherlands. Thanks, pal. I hope to return the favor soon when you're out of TV range!

I did get home in time to watch Italy's classically cynical performance against Spain, which got them to the desired penalties -- and then a quintessential penalty choke. (Note to Spanish coach Luis Aragones: Bench sulky Torres if you want to beat Russia!)

Anyway, the blogging about Euro 2008 will continue here at Balkans via Bohemia despite the eviction of Croatia (sorry, Vuksha) because of the Ottoman Empire's outsized influence in the Balkans.

Best quote on the Turkey/Croatia match goes to Croatia's coach Slaven Bilic. It's a quote that should bolster us through any of life's vicissitudes, including allowing an equalizing goal on the last kick of extra time:

"Tomorrow is a new day, the sun will still rise. We'll probably cry for a few days but such is life. Things like this have happened before but these are extreme situations. My players have a strong character and will be back even stronger."

Photo: Turkey's founder Ataturk dressed as a janissary.

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