Euro 2012 Final: Middling Spain vs. Surprising Italy

Italy convincingly beat Germany 2-1 today to set up a match against Spain in the Euro 2012 final. Italy played their best match of the tournament despite a shaky game from goalkeeper Gigi Buffon, with Mario Balotelli scoring two fantastic goals in the first half. The Italians have played inconsistently in the tournament (their only previous win was against underwhelming Ireland), but seem to be peaking at the right time.

Spain, on the other hand, got outplayed by Portugal during regulation of their semifinal, then played somewhat better during extra time, and won on penalties. The Spanish continue to not play impressively, but to their credit they are getting the job done, and the bottom line is results. They look more beatable than they have in quite a while. If Italy plays on Sunday like they did today, they will win the tournament. They were impressive in the first round draw between the two sides. It is difficult to bet against Spain, though.

Published by danielshankcruz

I grew up in New York City and lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Goshen, Indiana; DeKalb, Illinois; and Salt Lake City, Utah before coming to Utica, New York. My mother’s family is Swiss-German Mennonite (i.e., it’s an ethnicity, not necessarily a theological persuasion) and my father’s family is Puerto Rican. I have a Ph.D. in English and currently teach at Utica College. I have also taught at Northern Illinois University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. My teaching and scholarship are motivated by a passion for social justice, which is why my research focuses on the literature of oppressed groups, especially LGBT persons and people of color. While I primarily read and write about fiction, I am also a devoted reader of poetry because, as William Carlos Williams writes, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet [people] die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Thinkers who influence me include Marina Abramovic, Kathy Acker, Di Brandt, Ana Castillo, Samuel R. Delany, Percival Everett, Essex Hemphill, Jane Jacobs, Walt Whitman, and the New York School of poets. I am also fond of queer Mennonite writers such as Stephen Beachy, Jan Guenther Braun, Lynnette Dueck/D’anna, and Casey Plett. In my free time I’m either reading, writing the occasional poem, playing board games (especially Scrabble, backgammon, and chess), watching sports (Let’s Go, Mets!), or cooking (curries, stews, roasts…).

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