Thursday, June 24, 2004

Joy and Pain in the Czech Republic

Yesterday was a good day in Prague. The Czech Republic national team beat Germany to advance to the quarter-finals of the Euro 2004 competition in Portugal, and David Bowie played a show at the T-Zone Amphitheatre.

Milan Baros, the handsome and talented Czech striker who plays professionally for Liverpool FC, led the Czech national team to 2-1 victory over Germany. Baros, his Anfield teammate, midfielder Vladimir Smicer, and forward Marek Heinz who plays club football at FC Banik Ostrava, made easy work of all their opponents in the group stage of the competition, and I will not be surprised if they advance all the way to the finals. Germany returns home to utter failure. Hooray!

As impressive as Milan, Vladimir and the rest of the Czech side might be right now, I am hoping for a France v England final. Which brings us the to today's England-Prague connection.

David Bowie, one of my generation's English rock gods, played a successful show at the Norwegian Wood Festival last Friday where he performed twenty-seven songs over 2.5 hours for an audience that included a young woman who'd thrown a lollipop at the singer. Unfortunately, the lollipop lodged between the singer's eyelid and eyeball. OUCH! The picture I saw is so gruesome that I can't even print it here. Fortunately, no serious harm was done and the brilliant performer, in his charming way, made light of the situation by talking about it being his bad eye anyhow, and later throwing a guitar pick into the crowd with hopes it hadn't hit anyone in the eye.

Last night, his Prague show was cut short when pain in his shoulder forced him to first leave the stage for a short break, then to stop the show two songs later. His publicists assure us the pain is nerve-related, and I certainly hope it is a temporary condition that can be resolved with medication and physical therapy.

Though the past week has been a good week for the Czech national team, it has not been so good for David Bowie.

Here's to a better week for Bowie as he continues his European tour, and continued success for the Czech football team as they prepare for Denmark!


Milan Baros' excellent website

David Bowie

Euro 2004

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