Euro 2008 is an unwatchable Warholian death opera. (R)

Oh, so that's why they call it the Group of Death - because of all the zombies on the field. And because watching the France-Romania game made me want to end my life. Your spoiler image is as blank as my memories of that game.

My GOD, that was a disappointment. I sort of expected France to come out creaky, but Romania? If I wanted to see a team in yellow shirts trip over each other while disappointing and boring simultaneously, I'd watch (PUNCHLINE VOTE! (1) Club America (2) Columbus Crew (3) the Galaxy still have yellow in their outfits).

So, more than a little annoyed at this point about watching games more boring than a bread sandwich, I decided to give Holland-Italy a final chance.

Okay, technically, it wasn't exciting, in the "Oh, my God, what if one small tiny thing happens and someone scores?!" way that the other game was "exciting." It was just prettier. And much, much funnier. It's always nice to see the champions of the world exchange their Adidas for floppy clown shoes, and reveling in the carnage. I don't think that's been done on such a scale since Senegal pantsed France back in 2002.

From the Italian point of view, it was Pagliacci, of course. I don't actually hate Italy as much as I probably should - in other words, as much as everyone else in the universe who isn't Italian. I had forgotten that they were the tournament "good guys," more or less in the 1982 and 1990 World Cups, but only because they were matched against such scum and villainy. I actually admired their 2006 World Cup performance, which as a non-Italian puts me in a club as narrowly-based as milk-giving reptiles.

But they won in 2006 because of hunger, determination, and Cannavaro, all of which were MIA yesterday. I have no idea whether Holland is good enough to win the tournament, except for wanting to see a rematch of their 2006 quarterfinal hilarity. The amazingly pretty second goal notwithstanding, I think yesterday was more about Italian incompetence. Since France looks an awful lot like Italy these days as far as living off past glories, and since Romania looked like garbage against France, I think Holland is in fine shape.

While surfing through the net to make sure that my opinions jibe with the conventional wisdom, I did learn that offside includes players who are off the field, according to UEFA generalissimo David Taylor.

It's also not generally known that Hong Kong is the capital of Nebraska, either. Something for the Paul 'n Hall show, I suppose.