Old-world charm. And that doesn’t even include Italian player Marco Materazzi allegedly calling Algerian-born Zinedine Zidane a “son of a terrorist whore.”

I live in an Italian neighborhood and am part Italian myself, which naturally means I was rooting — hard — for France. As would you if you knew that an Azzurri win would mean being sideswiped for the next two day by morons with Italian flags taped to the hoods of their cars racing down the boulevard. Way to go on that red card, Zizou. Clutch.

Speaking of Zidane, I challenge you to make it through this essay by Bernard Henri-Levy with a straight face. Let me just toss some of the choicer words and phrases at you:

myth
providence
savior
Achilles
super-Achilles
Agamemnon
Myrmidons
Achaeans
Pantheon of stadium-gods
giant
Titans
Glory, then Exile, then Return and Redemption
redeemer
blue angel dressed in white
Olympus
apotheosis
cast him into hell

That’s from the first three paragraphs.

If this guy was any more jacked up he’d be sporting a rod. So much for French ennui.