I’m hoping after 200 posts I’ve actually earned the right to do this, but here goes. Every four years, at least since it came to this country, I have pretty much stopped paying attention to nearly everything else. Yes, I’m referring to the World Cup, of course. Now, I’m not the typical American chanting “USA! USA! USA!,” well there was that one time in 2002.
The opening match usually brings its own flavor. In 1994, I missed out on Germany’s win over Bolivia to open the tournament, instead my first match was a 1-1 draw between the Americans and Switzerland, played in a dome, in now post-apocalyptic Michigan. Four years later, Brazil were crushing Scotland’s dreams in the latter’s most recent appearance in a major finals. French hubris kicked in with Senegal deservedly taking the 3 points in Seoul. Four years ago, Philipp Lahm’s screamer six minutes into Germany’s opener with Costa Rica seemed the perfect start to the tournament.
So what about this year, I’m not sure South Africa’s match with Mexico will really be of much interest at all for neutrals. I’m just hoping this tournament is more like 8 years ago, when I was waking people up in the wee hours of the morning because the US was 3-0 up on Portugal, than 12 years ago (humiliation by Iran) or four years ago (drinking myself into oblivion at the same rate as Claudio Reyna’s skills declined before my eyes).
If anyone really wants to know my predictions:
- I have Brazil beating Spain in the final
- No team from outside Europe or South America will advance
- Luis Fabiano to win the Golden Boot
- England fail to make the quarterfinals
- Andres Iniesta to win the Golden Ball
- Australia to be the only Asian (technically) nation to not finish bottom of their group
- John Terry to (snip) with the (snip) of (snip) captain (snip).
Not sure if there will ever actually be a follow up to this, but maybe next week after I can digest England 3-2 USA (Rooney winner in the 4th minute of added time). On that note, do any of my readers care about the World Cup? Are there any outside interests that you have that compete on the same level of passion as anime and/or manga?