Time to wrap it up here and head to the movies. Let's head straight into the usual roundup.
One last read. The current issue of the New Yorker includes The Wanderer, a lengthy profile of Bill Clinton that's a fantastic must-read (but not available online). It opens with Clinton in Berlin for the World Cup final, and the former president's initial reaction to the confusion surrounding Zidane's head butt deserves a footnote:
Clinton was instantly forgiving of Zidane and wondered what would become of him. He recalled Gao Hong, the goalie for the Chinese women's team, who, in the 1999 World Cup final, gave up the decisive penalty kick to Brandi Chastain, of the American team. Gao had played brilliantly until that point but, like Zidane, she had to return home and endure the consequences of her defeat.
"I identify with people who get beat up," Clinton said. "I remember that game like it was yesterday."
The footnote? Gao got up quite well. She left China a couple years later, coming to the U.S. to play in the women's pro league, then moving on to Canada. She currently works here in Toronto, at Ontario Place.
One last look. Arsenal and Manchester United get round 1 of their renewal on Sunday morning. In anticipation, let's go back to 2004, an infamous year in the rivalry, and this Happy Birthday Wayne Rooney! bilingual commentary.
Sports around town. Neate Sager advises this may well be the weekend U of T ends its 35-game winless streak in pigskin -- that's almost 2,000 days worth. The Blues host the Waterloo Warriors Saturday at 2 p.m. at Birchmount Stadium, although just the thought of the Blues playing home games at Birchmount puts me off. Up at Woodbine, it's the Woodbine Mile, Sunday afternoon in beautiful downtown Rexdale.
Watching. Of course it's Arsenal-Manchester United, Sunday at 11 a.m. on Fox Sportsworld. For a little background on this particular bun throw (really, it is), go here.
Punters' corner. Recreational purposes only, of course, after a 2-3 opening week:
RAVENS (-12) over Oakland. In week 1, Art Shell took out his QB for safety's sake, not a very good sign.
Browns (+10) over BENGALS. Wave 'em high.
DOLPHINS (-6 1/2) over Bills. I don't get it -- since when is a pulled hammy a season-ending injury? Oh, now I get it.
JETS (+6) over Patriots. Pennington's got his marbles.
JAGUARS (+1 1/2) over Steelers. Monday nighter. Keep choppin' wood, Jags.