Le Coupe De Potato

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I said it four years ago, and I'm saying it again now: I really love soccer. Football. Whatever. And it's not just the funny way they keep the time, or the fact that the first round alone is producing more ties than Father's Day. No, it's more than that. It's the nationalism, the fervor, the spectacle. The excessive drinking. The guys with one name. The Nike commercials.

There are three games a day, every day, and for those I heartily recommend watching on Univision (check your local listings). It adds a hot-bloodedness that futbol needs -- and that ESPN just can't seem to muster up. And need I mention the Goooooooooool guy?

But between games or after, try Victory (1981). It's the best of all things for anyone in a fist pumping mood: a war movie, a sports movie and a prison movie. And a John Huston movie. It's also Sylvester Stallone at his most tolerable, and Michael Caine at his . . . well, he's always good, isn't he?

Short take: Allied POW's take on Germans on the soccer pitch. Moral: the foolishness of war, and that Pele is really cool. The movie features real players, real plays, and some great soccer at Colombes stadium in France -- just like the real thing! So enjoy some soccer where the good guys always win -- and CP promises a shiny new donkey to anyone who can prove his theory that the German captain threw the game as a gesture of peace and internationalism.

So sit back, work on your Spanish, and enjoy the world's game. Gosh, this is great. I can't wait until 2002.