The final this year should be a real humdinger of a game as it involves not only two storied teams who have played some great and stirring soccer, but because it features two countries that fuel more wine-drenched romantic visions of art, culture, and cigarette smoking than any other country. It's Paris vs. Rome, Godard vs. Fellini, Sophia Loren vs. Catherine Deneuve, surrendering to the Nazis vs. allying with the Nazis. And while the two countries don't have quite the recent history of conflict, like a France/Germany game would have, one has to remember that Italy and France have been mucking around with each other since Julius Caesar and Gnaeus Pompius Magnus were BFF. So much so, we eagerly await the singing of the famous French cry when playing Italy: "Victoire une pour le Mandubii" which roughly translates, we think, to "Beat LA!" 060704italywin.jpg

The Azzuri have been hated on, and deservedly so, for being nothing but a bunch of foppish floppers, redoing the death scene from Brians Song every time they get breathed on. Especially after a flop at the last minute helped them beat the poor Socceroos. Still, they have played some great football. The only goal they have given up, in fact, was the own goal against Team USA. Now how about that? They made up for a lot of their bad vibes with their epic win against Germany. Not only did they play it fairly straight but also you have to give any team some props for rallying for two goals in the last minute of a nearly two-hour game. That first goal by Grosso was be-u-tiful.

As for the team of Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys, all we can say is Allez Les Bleus! We have totally jumped on les bandwagon des France. How could the great story of France’s Over-The-Hill Gang reuniting for one last, final attempt at World Cup glory not sweep you up? And all led by Zidane. As the French would say, "Zizou! Zizou! C’est magnifique! Zizou!" The French haven't been this enamored of anyone since Robespierre first busted out the guillotine (seriously, check out this video tribute to him on YouTube-- it's strangely moving and shows just what people think of him and why. The dude is awesome).

Anyways, we would tell you where to go to watch the games, but as we're going to try and go to some of the better places, we don't want them to be to too crowded. All we can say is if you're going to watch the game in a pub, just try and think of who you would rather watch with-- drunken Italians or drunken French? We know, tough call.

Allez les Bleus!