I heard talk at a party last night that the final wasn't all that exciting -- especially since American TV viewers were treated to a 4-1 comprehensive thrashing of David Beckham's L.A. Galaxy by D.C. United (my home side) as an appetizer.
I could see how someone who hasn't been wrapped up in Euro 2008 would say that. But part of the beauty of obsessively following a tournament is that even a less-than-spine tingling finale blossoms when you've invested so much time. Knowing that Spain was going to test goal-scoring defender Phillip Lahm (and watching them do so with such vigor that he was subbed out at halftime). Watching the amazing Torres show in the first half after bashing him the whole tournament. (Some players just step it up on the biggest stages.) And the sheer perverse delight that I took (shared by my pal Hussein, at whose place we watched the game) in German coach Joachim "Jogi" Löw's increasingly desperate substitutions. (Mario Gomes?)
So as international soccer's most metrosexual coach tries to figure out what went wrong yesterday, and as German goalie Jens Lehmann bashes the ref, I conclude my Euro 2008 blogging with a fond look back at the good, the bad and the ugly.
File under Good:
Finding a public domain photo of Ataturk as a janissary.
Weaving Robert Musil and the Kaisergruft into a blog post on Austria's ouster from the tourney.
Spain banishes the curse of the yellow jersey.
File under Bad:
My predictions. Ugh.
File Under Ugly:
The ugly Croatian traveling party at the quarterfinal.
The Trix and Flix video. (Scroll to the bottom.)
When I last glimpsed Euro 2008 mascots Trix and Flix yesterday, they were waving tiny Spanish flags and hanging with the victorious team. What happens to them now? Where do they go? Can they stay in Vienna and somehow be used in the Parallel Campaign? Or will they head to the Holländische Meierei at Spiegelgasse 1 in Zurich to found a new artistic (dis)order?
Wonderful mascot image by Flickr user JBalázS, used under a Creative Commons license.