The World Cup Final Metaphor: Beauty and the Beast

With the Final whistle coming up, I may as well throw in the obvious and somewhat hobbled metaphor -- ugliness against beauty.

Holland are the blunt instrument of soccer villainy, free from guilt as they live by Calvinist principle (I'm already going to heaven, so it does not matter what I do). Today, Dutch society is more hostile, so Dutch soccer follows by sticking the boot in. Call it Total Meanies Football -- collectively they must win the award for Bad Ass Team of World Cup 2010. Some examples -- a tough like Van Bommel, while a fine addition to the Dutch defensive dike, would be better named Van Pummel. Add to this, Robben's robbery at getting away with fake dives and Sneijder's scary sneer, broad enough to hold back the North Sea and knock you flat.

Royal Spain is relying more and more on the brotherhood of Catalans to get results in their national soccer. Spain is the oil painting of the Finals. Beautiful brush strokes across the green field and up front some Spanish cannon in the mold of Torres and Villa. An open, creative collective bears the fruit of soccer's labors. Spain has everything to gain and nothing to lose but Puyol's long hair. They have the film star looks in Xavi, a double for Robert Downey Jr, and they have transformed triangular geometry into a passing art movement. Picasso would be pleased.

So if the Dutch win, expect more trouble, lager drinking, spills, and more "end of the world" sequels.

If it is Spain, flowers will grow in the gardens, olive oil will rain pure, and saying "manana" will mean hope.