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Headbutts Are All The Rage

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Headbutts are the new fashion. Since the infamous World Cup 2006 incident between Zinedine Zidane and Marco Materazzi, marketing boys from all over the world are trying to cash in on this new phenomenon.

And suddenly Marco Materazzi is a wanted man in the world of advertising. The tough defender who is infamous for his hard and unfair play has marketers from all sorts of companies lining up for his services. Nike just recently shot a commercial with Materazzi as the lead actor. In it Materazzi plays the unstoppable juggernaut. A big wink, of course, to the Zidane headbutt incident. 

Not only does he stop a bowling ball, an American football player and a pick up truck with his chest, he does it without moving a single muscle. Which is odd, because the Frenchman was successful getting Materazzi to move.

Is it just a coincidence that Nike approached Materazzi or is it a nudge to Adidas who had Zidane under contract? 

Not only did Nike use the incident as an inspiration for a commercial, but a French beer company called Kronenbourg used the headbut of Zidane on Materazzi's chest as a source of inspiration. 

The Canadian department of the French beer company advertised in the free magazine Voir with a picture of Zidane holding an ice-cold beer on his forehead. The slogan is freely translated as: "Keep your head cool". 

Zidane icecold beerThe man in the photo is most likely a Zidane look-a-like, and the shirt he wears is slightly different from the official one worn in this year's World Cup Finals. But neither Zidane nor the French Football Association have a contract with the French beer company Kronenbourg. 

The French headquarters of Kronenbourg do not know anything about this advertisement and told the press it was an idea native to Canada. The Canadian company said they didn't have big commercial intentions and thanks bloggers for all of the free publicity.

And it's not just players who sometimes lose their self control, it's also the coaches. Especially when they are among players who don't do as they say. And Ovidiu Stinga is no exception.

The player-manager and former PSV Eindhoven star lost his temper when youngster Andrei Ionescu screwed up in the match Politechnica Iasi. Thanks to Ionescu, Politechnica Iasi managed to tie the game in the last minute of the game and was therefore headbutted. 

The Romanian FA has suspended Stinga for four matches and a $2500 fine.

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  • Bliffle

    Of course, headbutting is not exactly new. For example, George De Vol, author of the autobiography “20 years a gambler on the Mississippi”, was famous in the mid 19th century for this method of dueling. When a sucker, errrrr, unlucky gambling rube, would protest that De Vol had cheated him by dealing seconds, etc., (which was assuredly true as all gamblers cheat, and the skill of a successful challenge was to show how), upon being challenged and told to choose his weapon, De Vol would choose headbutting. The two antagonists would prepare at 20 paces, heads lowered, and the charge at each other. The survivor won the duel. Upon his death at an advanced age, De Vols marvelous skull was autopsied and found to be extraordinarly thick, thus accounting for his long unbroken string of dueling wins.

    As an aside, I might point out that De Vol reports that he once attended a brace (crooked) Faro game in Cairo Illinois with Canada Bill Jones (a geek who entertained rubes by biting off a chickens head), and upon scolding Jones for being so foolish as to play in a crooked card game, Canada Bill replied “yeah, but it’s the only game in town!”, thus initiating a much quoted phrase.