Sunday, June 11, 2006

Getting Tough With Iran

Mexico 3 Iran 1:

NUREMBERG, Germany, June 11--Symbolism rarely trumps soccer at the World Cup, but it came close today, as Iran played its first game of the tournament in this northern Bavarian city--a politically isolated country playing in a place that echoes darkly with history.

The score, a 3-1 defeat by a masterly Mexico, did little to relieve Iran's fraught role at this World Cup.

After a scrappy first half, the Iranians seemed to lose their composure, allowing Mexico to score back-to-back goals late in the second half. For the tens of thousands of sombrero-waving Mexico fans who outnumbered Iran's cheering section, it was an afternoon to yell Bravo--as in Omar Bravo, the forward who scored two of Mexico's three goals.

I have to admit that I took no small pleasure in watching the Red, White, and Green clean up on Iran today. Viva Mexico!

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports on the struggles of a group on the fringes of American society:

Adam Chilenski has endured the put-downs for more than a decade. The 26-year-old health-care attendant in Columbus, Ohio, says friends still chide him about his favorite pastime. His dad thinks it's "a little peculiar." This week, Mr. Chilenski even made up a fake doctor's appointment so he could leave work early and join others who share his passion. "I told my boss I had to get my foot checked for an ingrown toenail," he says.

Mr. Chilenski is not a Trekkie, or a comic-book geek. He's an American soccer fan.

And he probably gets less respect than either of the aforementioned bizarre subcultures.

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