Today is the beginning of the second round of the Euro group stages, starting with Slovakia and Russia. Tomorrow, Copa Quarters begin, but for right now I have a Euro-filled morning and an afternoon where I can focus on my writing until I pass out from exhaustion at my TYPICAL bedtime of 7 pm. Copa’s messing with me, for sure.
First of all, I’m watching the national anthems right now, and I’m thinking that just based on anthems, Slovakia and Russia should draw. If I called it on surnames, I’d probably edge Russia. If I were calling on who I actually thought deserved the win…maybe Slovakia? I don’t know, maybe a draw.
But that was an aside. I just wanted to pop in before the day really got going to say how THRILLED I am to have a day that’s just Euros. No crazy, dangerous challenges. No ref crowding. No angry and aggressive fans (fingers crossed).
I’ll come back to that last point.
ESPN seems to finally have their studio act together (that little “studio” on the Seine is looking WAY nicer today, like they know what they’re doing). We have some context to put the games in now that the first round of matches have all been played. I will say that I’m sad that the Croatian captain went home because his father died….
On to Russia, which is really the story this morning. There have been DOZENS of “supporters” (of sorts?) being held in custody in France after all the mayhem surrounding the last match. On top of that, the governing body has lowered its finger of judgment and announced: Russia will be booted if there’s any more in-stadium trouble.
Wasn’t that what was essentially announced before??? I mean, sure, technically, there was a threat of England and Russia being booted if they couldn’t get it together, but there was no second iteration of this to England (who did seem to be more or less not involved where the in-stadium mess was concerned). Russia’s been SUPER warned now.
So what happens if “in-stadium trouble” happens? I mean, what would that constitute? How much trouble is enough to have them booted? And how could a major tournament be hosted in Russia, in good conscience, if such a thing were to occur?
Mind-boggling. Really the only word for it.
The match has kicked off, although not much has happened except for one of the commentators saying Slovenia instead of Slovakia (she caught herself quickly, though, so kudos). I’ll sit back and enjoy the football, and hopefully you won’t be hearing from me later that Russia has been eliminated due to more “supporters” causing trouble.