Saturday, June 16, 2012

Greek soccer team celebrates Bloomsday

Posted By on 06.16.12 at 06:52 PM

The best book written by the hand of man.
It's Bloomsday, as the literary world well knows: June 16, the day on which James Joyce chose to set his day-in-the-life-of-Dublin novel Ulysses.

It's never really translated to sports, as it transposes The Odyssey onto the meanderings of characters in 1904. Yet it's chock full of Homeric references—as when Buck Mulligan says he and Stephen Dedalus should "Helenise" Ireland—so what better way for the Greeks to celebrate than with a major upset in the European soccer championship?

In their final game of the opening round-robin stage, the Greeks had to defeat Russia to advance to the quarterfinals. The Russians would have advanced with a tie, and they had all the play early. Yet an unfortunate header in stoppage time at the end of the first half by Russian defenseman Sergei Ignashevich gave Greece's Giorgos Karagounis an open route to the goal, and he kicked one past Russian goalie Vyacheslav Malafeev for what turned out to be the only score of the game.

The Greeks have their work cut out for them, as they appear headed for a meeting with mighty Germany in the quarters. But for now they've done something for the European soccer championship: they've Hellenised it—on Bloomsday, no less. Yes they said yes they will yes.

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