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Monday, July 24, 2006

Of Icemans and Tigers

Sports seems to be the menu of the day for the past weekend. First, I got a glimpse of the testimonial match for Dennis Bergkamp at the new Emirates Stadium. Not that I was there but believe me, you would have paid a premium to be there in person. The match, which pitted Arsenal vs. Ajax Amsterdam boasted a who's who of past Arsenal and Holland greats. From the likes of Wright, Seaman, Petit, Overmars, Vieira and oh, not to forget Sir Henry to utter legends of Cryuff and Van Basten. Throw in an Edgar Davids, Rijkaard and van der Sar, and you've got possibbly an awesome lineup of past and present heroes. Even typing out that list makes me drool in admiration.
It's been a somewhat sad year in football when a few of the great names bid farewell to Saturday and the beautiful game as a whole. It started when my personal Geordie hero, the great Alan Shearer bid farewell in a brief appearance of his testimonial at St. James. Followed up by the great Zinedine Zidane who we all know how his last game went. Zizou's a great player who was a great ambassador of the sport, but I think he was right to be punished after losing his cool in such an important game in his life. There will be few like him, and his place among legends shall be preserved. Lastly, Dennis Bergkamp bid farewell to us last Saturday. I still have an issue of Shoot magazine circa 1995 which interviewed him a few weeks after signing on for Arsenal. Little that I know then, that this man would be the catalyst for Arsenal's domination for the coming decade. You know that you've grown old when your childhood heroes are lining up at the press box and touchline instead of the field. Farewell Shearer, Zidane and Bergkamp. You've been great players who gets fans like me coming back for more.

And on another note, I stayed up last night to watch Tiger Woods finish his round at Hoylake. He is such a great player to watch and even though I just started to appreciate golf, I would be lying if I said I followed golf not because of him. His emotional breakdown at the end followed up with a great acceptance speech proves that he is more than a great player. I'm roaring for you to beat Jack's record. With 7 Majors to go, rest assured I'll be keeping track all the way. When he burst into tears after sinking his final putt, the commentator noted, "He is human after all."
A normal human with superhuman abilities is what he is. Congratulations, Tiger.

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