I watched last night’s World Cup final with my colleague Rich King on an HDTV screen so big that it showed not only the complete pitch, but the stadium and parking lots on the sides. Closeups of the presenters’ faces were like watching dermatological microsurgery.
About the game itself: I was inclined to support the Netherlands, partly because of the somewhat jolly reputation the nation has, partly because I know Adriaan Tijsseling and had lunch with Adam Curry at BloggerCon I (before he and Dave Winer fell out), and partly because of that whole Armada thing. I have to agree, though, that too much of the Netherlands’ game involved brute force instead of elegant football. (I just can’t imagine what Van Marwijk is complaining about; it was only Webb’s sheer indulgent love of the World Cup final as event that kept de Jong from being red carded in the first half, and the late tackle by Van Bommel was questionable as well). I might have had a change of heart and cheered Spain to victory, but Arjen Robben was playing so admirably — keeping his own play relatively clean, and striving desperately to score — that I couldn’t abandon him. I’d deplore his having been interfered with on his second big scoring chance late in the second half, but by that point I couldn’t really blame Spain for playing the game on the terms Holland* had set. Anyway, well done to Spain, and a qualified well done to the Netherlands, and I’m supporting Scotland to win the World Cup next time.
Rich made a brilliant broccoli pesto for dinner, and as soon as I got home I looked for a recipe by which I could replicate his triumph. As it turns out, the BBC has a simple recipe that sounds quite do-able even for a culinary simpleton such as I. Rich’s recipe came via an intricate chain of transmission, and I’m sure it involves subtleties that the BBC omits, but I’m already imagining giving this a try in a few days.
* Margaret and I chatted about the propriety of using “Holland” vs. “the Netherlands,” so I looked up the “terminology” page of the Wikipedia and learned that although it is inappropriate to use the regional name “Holland” for the whole nation, for team-sport purposes “Holland” is an acceptable designation. Plus, as I noted to Margaret, “Hup, Hup, Holland” is a more euphonious cheer than “Nup, Nup, the Netherlands.”