Saturday, March 12, 2005

Vindication of French Sport

I've joked with a couple of people lately that I will have a hard time teaching the French to throw the football I brought with me because they don't have any feelings. Wait, no, because they don't have sports where one throws a ball overhand. The closest I could imagine was throw-ins from soccer, but that doesn't count because they use two hands for that.

So I was feeling comfortably superior for a couple of weeks. Then I saw a handball match. A friend of mine took me to see a game at his former team's home stadium, where I saw Angers-Noyant play a tight game against a better team only to fall apart and lose badly in the final minutes. It was just like Wisconsin sports!

Handball plays like basketball, except there's a goalie and the object isn't a hoop - it's a net, sized between a hockey goal and a soccer one. There's occasional dribbling, decent passing, picks and rolls, all your usual stuff. But what makes me take back what I said about the French is how they make shots on goal. It's a grand windmilling spectacle, usually performed airborne, and these gentlemen do put some zing on the ball. Kudos, France!


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