England Leaves EUROpe
It’s official: Iceland’s most famous export is no longer the hockey squad from D2: The Mighty Ducks.
France is hosting the Euro 2016 tournament, which has seen many of the power teams advance through the group stage and to the single-game elimination rounds (Germany, Italy, France, Portugal). Keep in mind though, this tournament, during the past 12 years, has seen small nations rise to super human levels. Greece, defying all odds and constructs of reality, won Euro 2004 by defeating Portugal 1-nil.
It’s important not to make a direct comparison (yet), but Iceland continues to make a case in Euro 2016 that’s increasingly morphing into something genuinely mind-boggling.
So mind-boggling that its soccer announcer, Gudmundur Benediktsson, can barely believe what he’s seeing. Last Wednesday, Iceland upset Austria on a stunning last minute goal. Mr. Benediktsson had a mildly excited reaction. Yesterday, Iceland (pop. 330,000) was leading England (pop. 53,000,000) 2-1 in the last minute of extra time.
How can you watch and listen to him and not love the beautiful game?
Barring a surprise tournament entrance by Gordon Bombay: The Minnesota Miracle Man, the now famous Icelandic commentator may not be chilling out anytime soon.
P.S. Do you think Brits are more distressed over leaving the EU or being upset by Iceland? The answer may be more surprising than England losing to, well, you know…
P.P.S. Two unbelievably dramatic departures in less than a week. Is it time to call the U.K. the new Cleveland?
P.P.P.S. The MVP of Euro 2016 thus far: Gudmundur Benediktsson.