Paul Wilson:

It seems strange referring to Germany as underdogs, especially in a European competition, yet even with the confidence they have demonstrated so far they are bound to be uncomfortably aware of their record against Italy as they go into the semi.

Yes, I’m sure they are, given that pundits like yourself harp on it incessantly as if it’s actually indicative of anything. We heard it all last week, over and over: Spain has never beaten France in a competitive match! This useless factoid was of the utmost significance, until it wasn’t. Having learned nothing, surprise, the talking heads are now reprising the same focus on the Germany/Italy game, and, oh sweet Jeebus, if Spain and Germany win their respective matches and meet in the final, all we’re going to hear is about how Spain topped Germany in the last two major tournaments, and what does that portend for this game, for expert insight we take you now to our soothsayer standing by live with her runes and tarot cards; Madame LaRue! Madame, as you well know, these two teams blar blar blar please make it stop, please…

Seriously, I thank the gods for the invention of the DVR, which at least allows me to skip past most of the inane chattering, but I still pick up enough of it during the actual games to make me weep and contemplate suicide. I repeat: there is no mystical relationship between different nationalities that affects their performance during a particular match. It is of absolutely no relevance what a completely different group of players representing their respective nations did in a completely different game X number of years ago. If you have nothing else to talk about, no worthwhile analysis to offer, just shut the christing fuck up.