It’s interesting to compare the exits of the two finalists France and Italy from the World Cup. Italy, remarkably, just faded away after some remarkably bad games against much lower-ranked opponents. Italian friends told me everyone knew the team was terrible anyway, so they had no hopes to be dashed. At least the coach went out with a little dignity. The French, meanwhile, exploded off the scene, generating plenty of meaning — as always — for those of us watching. I’m not sure which is worse for a fan, though the academic in me has to prefer the French version.
Trying to grapple with all this, I published an opinion piece this morning at the international website of cnn.com about France and Les Bleus. I also published a short piece in French about this, as well as about our joyous day watching the U.S.-Algeria game, at Mediapart. The New York Times also has this piece by columnist Roger Cohen.
The autopsy will, undoubtedly, take some time, though. If you see other articles of interest please let us know!