27 May 2006

Sports heaven, here I come!

[Posted by Colin]

Those of you who know me well, know that I really enjoy watching sports on TV...particularly when there's something else I ought to be doing (like, say, a dissertation). One thing I've discovered this year, is that there just isn't as much to watch in France as there is in the US. Of course, that fact is mainly attributable to the fact that we have the "Basic 6" cable package (i.e., the free one), meaning that we don't get Eurosport and Canal+ goes to static about 10 seconds after kick-off of every soccer game they show (ditto for the San Antonio Spurs games, which are all shown here).

But, at last, after months of waiting...

Sunday is the Grand Prix de Monaco. Yes, Formula 1 racing on the streets of a major cosmopolitan city! Plus, who knows, I might be able to see the house where Auric's widow lives.
[ADDENDUM: Yeah, I might see her building...I couldn't quite make out the building numbers as the cars flew through Monaco, but after checking some maps, let's just say that (assuming she was home) Mme Auric needed only to lean out her window and look straight down to watch the race.]

Sunday is also the start of Roland Garros, or as the rest of the world calls it, the French Open. Fifteen days of the best clay-court tennis has to offer. I've become a fan of Amelie Mauresmo this year, and here's hoping she gives a good showing on her home court!

The Tour de France is still several weeks away, but I'm curious to see how the dynamic of the race changes without Lance Armstrong. Will Hincapie be the breakout star after serving Lance Armstrong so well for so long, or will Jan Ullrich finally get the big win? Of course, Alexandre Vinokourov has been really improving a lot the last couple years—if he changes teams, he might have a good shot of taking it all. The only sad news is that, now that we have our plane tickets to go home, we're leaving three days before the Tour arrives in Paris! Arghh...stupid, stupid, stupid...such poor planning on my part!

But of course, the most important, the grand-daddy of them all, is the event that bridges the time between the French Open and the Tour de France—le Mondial 2006, the World Cup! 31 days filled with 64 matches of le beau jeu (and an event that's encouraged about a million prostitutes from across Europe to get work visas for Germany...they're all banking on the fact that soccer fans also like to get drunk and horny). Finally, I'm in a country that cares about soccer, and I look forward to jamming myself into the crowds in front of the Hôtel de Ville so I can watch les Bleus with 10,000 of my newest and closest friends!

As far as Amy goes, well, there's a play opening soon in Paris that I think she'll be interested in. The English title is The Soccer Widows.

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