Friday, July 14, 2006

Zidane's Career Ends in Disgrace


"Zidane's career ends in disgrace," says the British announcer.

Zidane says "the guilty party is the one who provokes."

Interesting idea ... believed in some cultures, not in others. This idea of "he had it coming"? Reminds me of CELL BLOCK TANGO from Chicago.

In Italy, it isn't sexual harassment if it was spontaneous. In some countries, a man can kill his adulterous wife (la provocateur) ... after all, she had it coming. In some countries, only if the incident occurs in the man's own house.

WHAT WAS SAID? - An interesting point of honor that neither man will say. It's also rather disconcerting (as to "witnesses") that the lipreaders disagree completely.

What was said (according to Italian lipreader):

Other lip-readers have said Materazzi called Zidane a terrorist or insulted his mother or sister.

Materazzi denies these claims too, says it was just the usual type of insult.

“For me, the mother is sacred, you know that,” Materazzi told the newspaper.


"His gesture was not acceptable," Chirac said in a speech on France's national holiday, Bastille Day. "That is obvious. He said so with great courage." (I don't understand that last sentence, do you?)

Zidane apologized to children on French television Wednesday (this is good EQ modeling for the children), but said he did not regret the incident because Materazzi had insulted his mother and sister (I don't think that's a very good model).

"I didn't say anything to him about racism, religion or politics," Materazzi said. "I didn't talk about his mother, either. I lost my mother when I was 15 and even now I still get emotional talking about her."

Zidane, who retired after his 108th appearance for France, stressed that he felt no regret about his outburst "because that would mean (Materazzi) was right to say all that." "My act is not forgivable," Zidane said. "But they must also punish the true guilty party, and the guilty party is the one who provokes."

Tension release:

The headbutt:

Interview Kaka & Materazzi, Coke or Pepsi? Cute:

Who says men aren't emotional? And the comments under the videos are equally emotional.

One thing for sure, IF YOU LOSE YOUR COOL, YOU LOSE. You get a red card in life, too.


There's a video going around of the incident as the Germans saw it (neutral), as the French saw it (Materazzi walks into a lamppost), as the US saw it (terrorist attack from underground hideaway on field), and as seen in Hong Kong (martial arts).

Which is to say, the interpretation is in the eyes of the beholder.

As an experiment, I sent the video to three (3) men.

#1 - Giacomo, US, of Italian origin, over 50, politics unknown. I could not predict his reaction.

#2 - Nick, US, 34 y.o. businessman, Bush fan, fan of war, high EQ. I felt he would not attack me, and would somehow defend the US war.

#3 - Gerald, US, 62 y.o. Vietnam vet, staunch patriot, defender of war, fan of Bush, rigid personality. I predicted he would get mad about the "insult" to the US, and mad at me for sending it to him, and that he would assume I was anti-war to have sent the video, and would faily to mention soccer at all.


#1 - Giacomo's reaction? Hidden. Italy is on the line here and he wasn't going there. It may have been Italian furbo, (trickery), but there is also the Italian garbo and garbo is what I got. Relentlessl, gracious politeness. He "thanked me most kindly" for "brightening [his] day with a video" and wished me and my family well. Outcome - I revealed something, he did not; he made me feel good, I 'made' him feel nothing. Put this man at the negotiating table and put a big gold star on his lapel. Great skill to have in your EQ repertoire. If he felt provoked, he did not react overtly, not agreeing w/ Zidane that a perceived provocation demands a specific reaction.

#2 - Nick. Managed to defend the US without attacking me or anyone else. Went to what we call in the DIFFICULT PEOPLE COURSE "the computer mode." Clever and intellectual email back full of "If one takes something so seriously ... the custom appears to be ... I can see how someone might ..." An unassailable position. Gold stars here, too.

#3 - Gerald, ah the vulnerability of a rigid person ... to be so predictable. Over-reactive, highly emotional response. The sort of thing stereotypically we would expect from ... a woman.


Most people see the video as funny, humorous. I thought it was very clever.

We talk in THE DIFFICULT PEOPLE COURSE about people who have no sense of humor. To have a sense of humor re: this video, for instance, you must take distance, lose your nationality, lose your need to be "right", and your notion that YOU possess the truth and saw what really happened (and the others did not). It's META, after all, and no one gets off the hook, though the US comes off the worst. It's a philosophical statement that there is witness bias, and everyone has it, and everyone knows what everyone else's bias is. And so you laugh.

Unless you take the bait.

If you assume you know how I feel about the incident, or about world politics, you are assuming, because I haven't said. It isn't important. This is about EQ and this is a perfect example.

Zidane lost his cool. He let himself get angered over Materazzi's comment. (Kudos to the ref who called it like he saw it, having to set aside the fact that this was Zidane's last game.) When we lose ourself to anger, we can do something harmful to ourself or others. Men are just as emotional as women, they just handle it differently. (See Anger Kills, says Dr. Williams, and he asks the men in his support group for men who have had their first heart attack, when they get angry, to rate what has happened and ask themselves, "Is this incident worth another heart attack?"

Watching the video reminds me of an incident ... a high school football star here in Texas who head-butted someone in a game, shattered the bones in his neck, and instantly became a paraplegic. For the rest of his life he will require surgery, therapy, medication, and around-the-clock attendants as he cannot perform even basic bodily functions. And the loss ... He wasn't angry, he was just playing football and in the "heat of the game" forgot the rules: a headbutt is potentially dangerous to either party.

Zidane was angry and forgot the rules "in the heat of the game". One rule: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me." The other rule: when you get angry, you can't think and you use poor judgment.

Gerald, above, is fighting mad over an idea (patriotism, religiosity), a high-level emotion, driven by thoughts and beliefs.

No one can insult you unless you agree to it. Insult your mother? Why is that so very provocative? Limbic, I guess. Males protecting females and family.

Complicated subject. Great examples of emotional intelligence and lack thereof.

Take the DIFFICULT PEOPLE COURSE and learn how to deal with the Materazzi's on your playing field.

P. S. Take care of your goat. Don't let someone get it.

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