Butthead pardon?

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:57 AM ET

We have to assume the French are extraordinarily forgiving people because if Zinedine Zidane were my national hero, I'd be looking for a new one.

The warm and fuzzy group hug the French population has given the star soccer midfielder is all well and good but does this butthead really deserve to get away with just an apology?

He doesn't even regret his actions, which were taken at arguably the most crucial moment in all of sports -- overtime of the World Cup final -- and cost his team any legitimate chance of winning.

Sure the Italian player Marco Materazzi was trash talking him. Happens all the time in sports, for those of you who have been living under a boulder.

He insulted Zidane's mother or his sister, depending on which player, or which lip-reader you talk to.

But I don't care if he uttered the most foul-mouthed, scandalous barb in the history of insults, Zidane still should have kept his cool. He should have walked away. He should have been around to take a shot in the penalty kicks and he should have gone out in a blaze of glory after the last soccer game of his storied career.

His head butt and subsequent red card was like Wayne Gretzky going all Bertuzzi on somebody in overtime of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. No matter the name on the back of the jersey, it was a bonehead, completely unacceptable move. Unforgivable too. Even Zidane admitted that.

It was a player putting himself above the team, reacting to a personal salvo and ruining his team's chances in the process.

In fact, it reminds us of the Bertuzzi-Steve Moore incident ... minus the career-ending injury.

Vigilante justice just isn't supposed to be a part of sports. Even for national heroes.

BLUE BITS: It's July 15 and do you know where your Winnipeg Blue Bombers are? Fighting for first place in the East Division with the mighty Montreal Alouettes, that's where. Riding a three-game winning streak -- it should be four (remember when they blew it in Week 1), but that's splitting hairs -- the Bombers are actually taking the field against the Alouettes today with a crowd full of believers at their backs.

Optimism reigns supreme in Bomber Nation these days as the team claws its way out of the doldrums, right past respectability to, dare we say, legitimate contender.

Of course, the worst thing about heightened expectations is it's easier to get let down.

There are 14 games and plenty of adversity left in store for these Bombers.

It's how they handle the coming months that will truly be the mark of this team.

SHORT SHOTS: Hey, I managed to get through a column without writing a single word about Kyries Hebert. Oops ... All those people on the LPGA Tour who suggest Michelle Wie should win against women before taking on the men are absolutely right. You have to earn these opportunities and so far, Wie hasn't ... You can bet Wie is the rare golfer on the PGA Tour to say her 77 could be partially blamed on the fact that there were too many bugs on the course. Boo hoo ... At least Wie has something in common with John Daly. Not sure about bugs swarming around his head, but we're pretty confident he has been buzzed on the course ... Speaking of people who get ridiculous hype despite never winning anything, Danica Patrick is thinking about moving to NASCAR, where she should have no problem parlaying a fourth-place finish into another FHM spread ... The two most famous head butts of the year: Zidane vs. Materazzi and Roethlisberger vs. Chrysler New Yorker ... Possible best sports name ever: Australian Champ Car driver Will Power ... About that puny trophy they hand out after the World Cup. You'd think the world's biggest sporting event could come up with something better. The trophy for my sponge hockey league is bigger than that ... Now that he's retired from soccer, we're thinking we have the perfect new distraction for Zidane: ultimate fighting.


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