Happened to come home and flip on the TV just as the second half of the World Cup semifinal was beginning. Italy vs. host Germany. Haven’t really kept up with the World Cup, but I started watching nonetheless. (Old habits die hard?)

Scoreless in regulation. Yikes. Can’t look away now. Two overtime periods of 15 minutes each. First one scoreless. Second one, things really start to heat up. Italy’s goalkeeper makes an amazing, purely instinctive, leaping save. If that doesn’t fire up the Italians, nothing will.

Sure enough, two Italian goals in the waning moments of the second overtime period. First one, a dazzling finish of a superb pass into the box. Second one, a blast lifted over the ‘keeper into the top of the net. ESPN showed a live shot of people watching at a stadium in Rome and it was sheer bedlam.

Way cool. Forgot how beautiful a sport it can be. For a sports writer, it’s that kind of game that’s payoff for all the run-of-the-mill ones you sit through.

Nice flashback.