Skip to main content

World Cup from the Couch

As we wrap up the first round of group games, it is time to take a moment and reflect on what we have learned the first week of the 2014 World Cup.

I have watched roughly eleven of the games so far and boy have I been impressed. We have had everything from a lot of passing, a bit of goalkeeping, and a lot of crying--er, I mean, hard fouls. People thought Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers flopped a lot but those people should start watching soccer if they want to see true flopping. The world class soccer players have flopping down to a science. Every little push, slide tackle, and jostle turns into the pain that ended all pain. I'd say that soccer referees have the hardest officiating job in the world. Not only do they have to do as much running as the players, they basically have to decided every minute whether a true foul has occurred or the player has simply taken a dive. My hats off to the referees.

1.) Let's start with a little man from France with the name Benzema. That's right. I will refer to him by one name only. All soccer players should choose to go by one name only. Unless you're the Brazilian goalie, whose name is Julio Caesar. I digress. Benzema scored two goals for France in their first game of group play. More importantly he has a slight resemblance to a highly recognizable American celebrity:

That's right ladies. France has their very own Shia Labeouf

2.) One team scored five goals. In a single game. I was impressed last time around when Germany scored four versus Australia, but Australia's team was made up of Kangaroos and Koala Bears. (Don't quote me on that. Too easy? Oh well.) Either way, the Netherlands beat Spain 5 to 1. And these are two world Class teams, including the defending champion in Spain. Need an example: Let's say Spain is the Denver Broncos. And the Netherlands are the Seattle Seahawks. Many pundits believed that Spain would get a good game but in the end would prevail. Instead, this happens:

Five goals in futbol is a lot like 43 points in football

3.) Pepe from Portugal was ejected from the Portugal/Germany game when he picked up his second yellow card. For head butting. Maybe he was frustrated with Thomas Muller of Germany, who would go on to score three goals. Pepe won't play this Sunday vs. the United States, but the real question is: Who is Pepe?

I really like our chances now that Pepe is out

4.) The first tie ball game did not happen until Game 13. Did everyone forget that this is soccer? (Note: As of this writing, one other tie game has occurred and Russia and Korea are currently tied in the 55th minute).

5.) The coach of Mexico, Miguel Herrera, has instructed his players not to have sex while in Brazil during the World Cup. "How dare he", you might say. "Brazil is one of the most sexually liberated countries in the world. He can't take that away from his players." Well, it seems to be working as Mexico won their first game and then tied the heavily favored Brazilian team. Maybe the Brazil coach should enforce some of the same rules.

Sorry Mexico. No romps for you

6.) Where is the Vuvuzela? I wrote all about the Vuvuzela on this blog four years ago (Futbol Rules the World, 6/14/10) and miss it's lovely buzz in the background of all the games. Apparently all of the complaints from 2010 worked and the Vuvuzela will not be present at this World Cup. Luckily, Brazil has replaced it with this:

It's called the Caxirola

7.) The U.S.A. won it's first game? Huh?

8.) Seriously, the United States Men National Soccer Team finally beat Ghana at the World Cup. And in dramatic fashion, winning on a header by John in the 86th minute. Okay, let's use his last name because it's pretty impressive. John Brooks, playing in his first World Cup game, scored the game winner. Congrats young man. Now don't blow it against Portugal on Sunday.

There it is. Just a few musings from the first week of the World Cup. The march towards July 13th continues, when we finally see the champion of the 2014 World Cup. And then I can forget about soccer for another four years.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Bromance of Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Matthew Lillard

In the late 1990's and early 2000's, there was no greater bromance than that between Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Matthew Lillard. The two of them appeared in no less than five movies together in a five year time span. These two were meant to be. Two young stars destined to take the world by storm as a team. Hanging out, meeting women, and enjoying the good life. And then, just like that, stardom was ripped away from them. Though they continued to work, they would never appear together again in a film.
What was it that pulled them apart? Did they just choose to go different directions? Was it Sarah Michelle Gellar that drove a wedge between these two? While Lillard eventually went on to star in an Oscar nominated film (The Descendants), Prinze, Jr. went on to write for the WWE and occasionally show up as a guest star on television shows. While both have tried, neither has recaptured that joy that once displayed on screen. Tonight, I want to dutifully remind the world of t…

From Negan with Love

YouTube screenshot
*The following contains Spoilers from the season 7 premiere of "The Walking Dead"
"Pissing our pants yet? Boy, do I have a feeling we're getting close."- Negan, The Walking Dead

And people thought Ramsay Bolton was sadistic.


The much anticipated season seven premiere of The Walking Dead hit the airwaves last Sunday. Boy, was it a doozy.
I am not going to spend much time on what side of the liked/didn't like it/I'm never watching again spectrum I fall in. I will say that I was enraptured, on the edge of my seat for nearly the entire one hour, six minutes (including commercials) of the episode. This was an episode that filled me with a sense of existential dread for the characters inhabiting The Walking Dead world. It is a feeling that is still with me nearly two days later.
As a disclaimer, I am only through the first ten volumes of the graphic novels. I have yet to reach the Negan arc. I am also on the side of the court that didn't m…

NFL Referees Fail Cam Newton, Fans

If the NFL is serious about the safety of players and finding ways to limit concussions, the referees in last night's Denver Broncos/Carolina Panthers game had a funny way of showing it.
Instead of talking about what a great rematch of the Super Bowl these two teams put on, much of the focus was placed on the amount of hits Cam Newton took to the helmet last night.
And rightfully so.
There were at least three occasions during the course of the game in which Newton was on the receiving end of helmet-to-helmet hits. 
These hits were not of the "blink and you miss it" variety of hits. They were in the course of game action, delivered to Newton after a throw or in the midst of being tackled.
The Broncos were flagged for this infraction once.
Once.
For a league that is looking to protect its players, especially quarterbacks, these calls were not simply "mistakes" or "errors" by the referees. And to right it off as such is simply another loosening thread o…