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July 10, 2006 - Image 16

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2006-07-10

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16 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 10, 2006

Continued from Page 13
shoulder, the suffocating crowd barely left room to breathe.
But proper oxygen flow was necessary - each fan was
cheering their lungs out. Flags were waving. Hands were
clapping. Feet were dancing. One small detail: Kickoff
wasn't for three more hours.
Dress to impress. The rule of thumb for most Michi-
gan fans seems to be that throwing on any shirt is fine, as
long as it's somewhat close to being maize or blue. For the
fans in Berlin, any old shirt is not enough. Their rule went
something like this: Any possible way I can wear my coun-
try's colors, I will. There were flags as togas, body paint
as clothing, outrageous wigs and hats, leis, dresses, stroll-
ers, wristbands, noisemakers, underwear, sandals, bathing
suits, chairs ... you get the idea.
Cheer loud! It's simple, yet somehow this concept
eludes the majority of Wolverine faithful. When Argentina
scored first, German fans would not be silenced. Stunned
for just a moment, they immediately responded with rous-
ing songs for Deutschland. They pushed on with each cheer,
increasing volume and intensity until the German team

responded with a goal of its own. And if the fans were loud
with Germany behind, imagine how they were when the
game was tied.
Cheer together. Complete strangers could have passed
as intimate friends during the match. They embraced each
other. They screamed together. They might not have spoken
the same language, but that didn't matter. Those who didn't
know the cheers and the songs surely knew them by the
end, and the unified front was an overwhelming form of
spirit. So to the freshman bewildered at kickoff, listen. To
the people who would never associate in other situations,
come together. We're all just fans.
The people in Berlin defined passion. After Germany's
shootout victory, the city practically shut down. Fans
swarmed the streets. Flags were waving at every corner.
Grown men cheering for Argentina cried silently into each
other's shoulders. Some buried their heads in their jerseys.
Others screamed until they grew hoarse.
Think this is too much passion for a regular season
Michigan football game? Not when your regular season has
just 12 games.
Maybe someday the Big House won't earn its name by its
capacity. With these lessons, "big" could stand for our spirit.

Michigan fans could learn a thing or two from this estatic young German child.
Continued from Page 13
Augustus played collegiately at Cal, where she was a decorated singles and doubles
player. She was ranked as high as No. 4 nationally in singles and No. 1 in doubles.
Her success in college translated professionally, where she spent six years on the WTA
tour, grabbing 20 titles in the process.
Michigan returns six of its eight players from last year's squad.
Its season begins with the Wolverine Invitational in late September.


Continued from Page 13
"Yes, well, he was missed in the last 20 minutes tonight. It
weighed heavily in the outcome."
Without their leader for the shootout, the French only missed
once. But Italy, rarely strong in such situations, was perfect.
Fabio Grosso clinched the Azzurri's fourth championship, and
his teammates had to chase him halfway across the pitch to
"It's incredibly emotional; words can hardly describe it," Gros-
so said. "Maybe we still don't realize what we have achieved.
We really wanted to win, and in the end, we made it."
Only Brazil has more World Cups (five).
Until now, no team since the last Azzurri champions in 1982
had to endure the stress and anguish of a soccer scandal. Rath-
er than be disrupted by the current probe ripping apart the
national sport back home, the Italians survived.

"We knew that with what has happened with our soccer,
a nation that has won the World Cup four times ... has the
strength to get back on its feet," Gattuso said.
In the final, they outlasted France, which underwent a
renaissance of its own in the last month. The French, racked
by dissension, nearly went out in the first round for the sec-
ond straight World Cup, then Zidane turned them around.
They controlled the flow of play Sunday, only to fail to finish
through 120 minutes.
Their only goal, Zidane's penalty kick in the seventh min-
ute, was the lone score by an Italy opponent in seven games.
But the Italians put the ball into the net 12 minutes later on
Materazzi's header off a corner kick. And then they held on in
a game marked by sloppiness and maliciousness.
Rarely did Italy threaten over the final 75 minutes. But
the Azzurri ignored recent history - they lost a quarterfinal
shootout to France in 1998, when Les Bleus went on to their
only championship.

Andrea Pirlo, Materazzi, Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro
Del Piero all easily beat France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez in
the shootout. The difference was the miss by rarely used David
Trezeguet, which hit the crossbar on France's second attempt.
When Grosso connected with his left foot, the sliver of Ital-
ian fans in the opposite corner of Olympic Stadium finally
could let out their breath and screams of victory.
"We had fear of the penalties," said Gattuso, aware that Italy
lost the only other final decided in a shootout, to Brazil in
1994. "Our history was not great, so that was the fear."
On the trophy stand, amid hugs and slaps on the back, Mater-
azzi placed a red, white and green top hat on the Jules Rimet
Trophy. Captain Fabio Cannavaro then held it high as cameras
flashed everywhere. An impromptu Tarantella by the players
followed as silver confetti fluttered around them.
It was, by far, the prettiest sight of the night.
"I've won many championships," coach Marcello Lippi said,
"but a joy so big I have never felt."

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