Bulletins From BA #30
27 junio 2014
¡Hola! there… Rodger French here.
World Cup Report #3 - Más half-baked opinions and debatable observations.
Our Top Story: “Zombie Apocalypse Strikes World Cup” - So, Uruguayan superstar forward Luis Suárez, a 26 year-old man with the impulse control of a 5 year-old child, inexplicably/inevitably decided to take a bite out of an Italian defender on an off-the-ball play during a Group D match and is now banned from the World Cup and more. Not surprisingly, the entire nation of Uruguay blames the English media. Sorry, but the actual culprit is singularly more prosaic: Me. I did it.
[Schadenfreude Sidebar - And thus is fulfilled the curse I visited upon Suárez’s sorry ass for his epic cheat against Ghana in 2010. I take full responsibility (de nada) and make no apologies.]
The Group of Death - Both the German-coached teams, USA and Germany, are through Group G; a perfectly acceptable result. Meanwhile, my beloved Black Stars imploded in spectacular fashion reminiscent of the French. It started with alleged altercations involving players, the coach, and a GFA (Ghana Football Association) official that resulted in two starters being sent home before a must-win match against Portugal.
Then there’s the matter of $3,000,000 for appearance fees - in cash, up front - shipped by the President of Ghana to Brazil to avert a threatened player boycott. And to top off this trifecta of embarrassment, they lost to Portugal thanks to an own goal. (Sigh…) You can’t make this shit up.
“Win or Go Home” - 16 teams are in the knockout round: Europe (6), South America (5). Africa (2), North America (2), and Central America (1). Past winners still standing: Brazil (5), Germany (3), Argentina (2), Uruguay (2), and France (1).
[No Asian side made it through group play this year. Too bad, too, because they had some great nicknames: Samurai Blue (Japan), Taegeuk Warriors (South Korea), and, my favorite, The Socceroos (Australia).]
Who To Watch - I’m still predicting Germany, although any one of a number of badass teams could win this thing. If you’re looking for a “plucky underdog” to root for (other than Team USA, of course), I suggest Los Ticos de Costa Rica. If you’re feeling Eurocentric, you might consider The Red Devils from Belgium.
[FWIW, I am transferring my African loyalty from Ghana to the Super Eagles of Nigeria, at least for their first match with France.]
Do I Have To Say His Name? - Sí, sí, Lionel Messi. The best player in the world and our next Argentine pontiff.
This is going to be fun. Más tarde.