The Sports-As-War Metaphor Will Never Shine Brighter Than In This Euro 2012 Ad


Youku video for those in China after the jump.

The black spume of incendiary waste. The drifting snowflake relics of plaster and concrete. The mangled spine of a charred Eiffel Tower, and eviscerated high-rises, and a manmade earthquake rocking our cradle of rubble upon which humanity slinks toward a final reckoning.

And that’s only the first 10 seconds of Hong Kong-based NOW TV’s advertisement for this summer’s UEFA European Football Championships. Did I mention the only thing that stands tall is the Euro 2012 trophy, glittering with the light of what can only be thermal radiation — a nuclear flash?

No, seriously.

Here’s what happens in the video: Two teams play in the finals of Euro 2012. Hong Kong singer Hacken Lee stands atop the stadium while Europe burns behind him: the Big Ben is tilted toward collapse; the Coliseum is smoldering; one team, in black (they’re the baddies), advances with the soccer ball. They score. It’s 1-0. Tanks fire shells and shredded flags flap amid flames.

More kicking, more running, and hey, look, bombs are falling out of six-engine bombardiers and a mushroom cloud is rising from the stadium.

Now here’s a set play: the ball rockets past the goalkeeper into the upper right corner. It’s 1-1! Everyone rejoices as a MechWarrior fires rockets, concussive shells and machine guns simultaneously. There’s a lot of running, a lot of scud missiles being fired. Some dude — by which I mean soccer player — lies on the ground in pain. Where is the cutaway shot of Operation Fortitude commanders sitting behind desks, and women at switchboards? No matter. For some reason, ground troops are now on the pitch, getting obliterated by flaming soccer balls. A player jumps to head a ball already in the firm grasp of the goalkeeper. A player’s eyes glow red. We’re mixing metaphors now: it’s Terminator time, then Two-Face time, then Transformers. (I swear to God I’m not making any of this up.) And then the music changes — an interlude — and shit happens. The Rainbow Road from Mario Kart 64 makes a cameo. Then the ground falls apart ala Heinz Field in Dark Knight Rises. Something out of Kill Bill. Another set piece. Woodwork! Like Messi’s vs. Chelsea in the Champions League semis. Lions roar in the background as the ball eventually finds its way into the top-right corner for the good guys (the ones not in black) for a come-from-behind win.

Sheesh. All that madness for just three goals?

Cut to credits. @Zoo Music with adaption from The Russian Revolution (Red Army Choir) & Fantaisie-Impromptu (Frederic Francois Chopin), etc., etc.

Here are the lyrics to the song, which I suppose I could’ve translated (or at least tried to), but the Google Translate version is so much better. Blasts a flame forehead streaming blood indeed.

Battle grasslands (European Nations Cup theme song)
Singer: Hacken Lee

Blasts a flame forehead streaming blood
The people in the crowd the enemy toward the former
Earth are crack kingdom fast sweeping changes
Holding up the name written on my the back of
Beat to death to win is to own this war
Grab the broken cliffs of acute Beach yesterday
Climbed the highest win heaven but unfinished
Continue to attack are always people who will appear
Abstain from what words in the circle
The Parachutist the first half seriously injured
Executioner Ying arrived in the army too good
The job to the man as iron
Locker room the team is weak to strong
Came to the decision time
And Khan continues to flow
Established heart win opponents
More epoch-making rely on who is a comrade in arms
Blasts a flame forehead streaming blood
The people in the crowd the enemy toward the former
Earth are crack kingdom fast sweeping changes
Holding up the name written on my the back of
Beat to death to win is to own this war
Onslaught vehicle the second half full of oil
Tanks and pressure 10 gun when revenge
There are around when the Jets spy on
Sniper Tan formation force was left
Came to the decision time
And Khan continues to flow
Established heart win opponents
More epoch-making rely on who is a comrade in arms

Blasts a flame forehead streaming blood
The people in the crowd the enemy toward the former
Earth are crack kingdom fast sweeping changes
Holding up the name written on my the back of
Beat to death to win is to own this war
Blasts a flame forehead streaming blood
The people in the crowd the enemy toward the former
Earth are crack kingdom fast sweeping changes
Holding up the name written on my the back of
Blasts a flame forehead streaming blood
Million people the enemy crowd and then riding before
The earth cracked broken at my feet
Holding up the name written in front of you
Beat to death to win is to own this war

决战草原(欧洲国家杯主题曲)
主唱:李克勤

怒射出火焰 额头流热血
人群中 万人敌向着前
大地都崩裂 国度快变天
撑得起 名字写于我背面
打不死 赢自己 就是这大战
抢急滩 破断崖 是昨天
登高峰 赢上天 却未完
继续攻 总有人 会出现
于中圈 凭什么 话弃权
飞将军 上半场 受重伤
刽子手 迎抵军 太善良
帅位中 那个人 铁一样
更衣室 全队都 弱变强
来到 决定时候
而汗 继续流
立心 拿下对手
更开天辟地靠着谁 是战友
怒射出火焰 额头流热血
人群中 万人敌向着前
大地都崩裂 国度快变天
撑得起 名字写于我背面
打不死 赢自己 就是这大战
冲锋车 下半场 人满油
坦克车 压十枪 当复仇
喷射机 刺探时 有左右
再狙击 谈阵式 力已留
来到 决定时候
而汗 继续流
立心 拿下对手
更开天辟地靠着谁 是战友

怒射出火焰 额头流热血
人群中 万人敌向着前
大地都崩裂 国度快变天
撑得起 名字写于我背面
打不死 赢自己 就是这大战
怒射出火焰 额头流热血
人群中 万人敌向着前
大地都崩裂 国度快变天
撑得起 名字写于我背面
怒射出火焰 额头流热血
人群中 万人敌再踏前
大地都崩裂 碎在我脚边
撑得起 名字写于你面前
打不死 赢自己 就是这大战

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