Since my occupation is essentially stay-at-home dad, I was able to watch the entire UEFA Euro 2008 tournament. Though I tend to root against European teams in international competition, it was still a fun little tournament and I got into it. To me, the big story had to be Turkey. Their three come from behind victories and narrow defeat at the hands of Germany provided for some very entertaining soccer. I also found a great deal of enjoyment watching the Netherlands destroy France and Italy in back-to-back games. The other major story was Spain's ability to finally win a major international tournament for the time in several decades. Truth be told, I found myself rooting for Germany in the final even though I dislike Jans Lehman, who essentially pulled a Rex Grossman as his team got to the finals despite his best efforts. I'm not disappointed that Spain won, it's just that I can't bring myself to root for teams with hair like this and Spain was third only to Italy and Czech Republic in that department (for those of you keeping score at home, Argentina is world champs of bad soccer hair).
The TV coverage was decent. Adrian Healy, Derek Rae, Tommy Smyth and Andy Gray are all solid broadcasters. I thought it was a little cheap on the part of ESPN, however, that none of them was actually in Europe. Rather, they just gave their commentary from the studio in Connecticut.
One final thought: it was interesting how good Brazil looked in this tournament. That is to say, the many Brazilian players who found loopholes to become eligible to play for these European countries looked good. It gets me all the more excited for the World Cup in Serth Efrica in 2010.
1 month ago