Spain U21’s Win Europe

I admit that I have done a poor job of posting about the 2011 UEFA U21 European Championship, but life is short, and I can only cover so many tournaments.  I have chosen the Gold Cup, the Women’s World Cup and the Copa America (tournaments that actually count for something beyond grooming talent.)  Nevertheless, I cannot let the U21 Euro pass by completely without comment.

Spain beat Switzerland 2-0, avenging (I guess) the senior side’s loss to Switzerland at the World Cup, which, it turns out, only galvanized the Spanish.  Spain is now the World, European, and U21 European Champion, the first time any nation has ever held all three titles simultaneously.  True to form, U-21 Spain tiki-taka‘ed their way to the title.  Granted this side starred two World Cup winning players (Javi Martinez and Juan Mata), but the new generation is proving to be just as dominant as the current one, and that should alarm the rest of the world.  What’s more, this side has proved that when their game plan of possession football doesn’t work, they could adapt, which is downright terrifying.

In 2008, Spain permanently threw off its label as the Sick Man of Europe (at least in football terms) and since the World Cup has opted instead to embrace another stereotype: The Conquistador.  One hopes that the reign of Spain that stays mainly on the terrain produces the warm memories that Brazil did in its 1958-70 heyday.

(And to think in 2008 I thought Holland was going to win the European Championship and Marco van Basten was a genius.  Clearly, I knew nothing.)

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30 Days Left

When the Illinois Legislature passed a civil unions bill, Governor Pat Quinn held off on signing it until he could organize a huge signing ceremony.  It bothered me at the time (civil unions didn’t start until after a waiting period, and that waiting period began only after the bill was signed), but I just thought it was par for the course.  Big laws usually call for big media circuses with cameras, and crowds, and lots of pens.

I assumed Andrew Cuomo would do the same thing.  Since marriage equality doesn’t start until after the law is signed, I thought we were looking forward to at least a two month wait.

I was wrong.  Governor Cuomo signed the bill just before midnight.  Sure there were pens, and some media, and an audience of lawmakers, but the Governor wanted this enacted ASAP.  And now it is the law in time for Pride.  Governor Cuomo did right by us.

This year Pride is more than mere pride.  This year it should be called Jubilation, at least judging from the photos in the West Village.  I haven’t wanted to be back in New York since I left it five years ago.  But today I wish I were there.  I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic for my time in Boston when I was part of the mass that celebrated marriage equality.  But that’s a story for another time.