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Updated: 06/25/04

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Friday, 25 June, 2004

There is no joy in Mudville today. Or anywhere in England from what I gather. Portugal beat England 6-5 in sudden-death penalty kicks following a 2-2 tie Thursday night in the European (Soccer) Championship.

I was in London several years ago when England played Germany in the semi-finals, and the entire country was keyed up to watch the match. I had gone out to dinner with a client and two of our London brokers. We went to an Italian restaurant and we were the only people in the place. The (Italian) waiters kept coming by the table to tell us the score, chanting "Eng-Land! Eng-Land!" as they passed. When we finished, we left the restaurant and the streets were deserted - the tied match had gone into penalty kicks and wasn't over. We went to a pub across the street - it was PACKED with people and there was a tiny TV screen at the very front. But we could tell what was happening by the crowd reaction. When England scored, they would yell, "YAY!" When Germany scored, they would cry, "AWWW!"

And then . . . everyone got very quiet and began to file toward the exit. The Mighty Casey - or in this case, Gareth Southgate - had struck out. The whole country was in mourning for several days.

[Hopefully they'll pull it together by Monday.]

On a related note:

BERLIN (Reuters) - Passions surrounding Germany's final match at the Euro 2004 soccer championships turned violent when a woman stabbed her partner in the head because she didn't want to watch the game on television.

"He wanted to watch football, she didn't," said a police spokesman in the western city of Wuppertal on Thursday.

Police arrested the 31-year-old woman and confiscated the kitchen knife with which she gashed the man at the start of Germany's Group D tie against the Czech Republic on Wednesday. The man was treated in hospital and later released.

Germany lost the game 2-1 and crashed out of the tournament.

[I wonder what the guy is more upset about - the stab wound or Germany's loss?]

Quote du jour:

"I try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually they make the difference between winning and losing."

-- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1947 - ____) US basketball player

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