Sounds like you had an interesting time in France. I had the same experience as you to some extent, but try living there for a year.
I'm 6'2"-6'3" ish and man, those Airbus planes don't provide much room. I mentioned on the dark side that the arm and legroom was awful on one trip going to London that each time I accidentally slumped my arm over the armrest and into the aisle, I would accidentally smack the same stewardess' bum.
I like air travel though and to me, I can make 10-15 hours in the air seem like just an hour.
I can only imagine the pub atmosphere during a soccer match in Europe, let alone a France/Italy match for Euro 2008 qualifying. But then again, it lacked something like 9 out of Italy's starting 11 at the World Cup Final and of course, France had no Zizou (Zinedine Zidane). I'm always glad when Italy loses, but you know what real football is? No, not American football. No, not FIFA football, but CLUB FOOTBALL. That means English Premiership, Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga, and yes, even boring, boring Italian Serie A. Soccer at the club level (think Manchester United, Barcelona, AC Milan) is a lot more intense and more fluid than the corrupt international soccer game. So, that means Italy, your WC is illegitimate. Spain and England still draw in the best players in the world.
Sorry for the segue, but it must be said.