February 1, 2010

World Cup



"I enjoy any sporting event where nations get involved, I find it really interesting.
- Jerry Seinfeld

I agree. And it's just one reason I'm excited this year is a FIFA World Cup year.

Now, the tournament occurs this summer...so I'm a little early. But maybe all this snow and ice has me thinking about warmer days ahead...

I remember back in 2006, without access to a television, how I crouched in my room, straining to imagine each play as I listened to the games via an illegal online live stream.

My nails were bitten. My voice was coarse. My mother yelled at me for cursing.

I like sports well enough...but with the exception of the White Sox, I'm pretty much a fair-weather fan. I like basketball during the NCAA championship. I like football during bowl season. I like horse racing during The Kentucky Derby. I like soccer during World Cup time.

Equally as exciting as the World Cup is that I'll be covering it this year, from Waynesboro. A special treat while working on a special journalism project. With any luck, I'll be watching this year...not searching for another illegal live-stream.


It's a major sporting event that occurs once every four years...and countries qualify during the three years in-between. There is always drama:

Photobucket Ireland out; demands rematch against French
Soccer takes a new look at replay
Egypt-Algeria World Cup anger turns violent in Cairo

That Egypt-Algeria game is especially interesting, because this year will mark the first year the World Cup has ever been played on African soil. So just imagine: two already heated rivals duking it out for the chance to be in one of the most momentous global sporting events on their own continent.

Something you need to know going in: the Italians won last year. They also cheat (dive, dope and fix).

Photobucket Mussolini rigged it in 1934
France can be just as bad. Remember Zidane?

Who's won the most World Cups?

1. Brazil with FIVE titles
2. Italy with FOUR titles
3. Germany with THREE titles

Ever since my youth I've always rooted for England, so I'll be stickin' with 'em this year as well. I'm traditionally not a fan of the Italians or the Germans or the French.

After England, I'll root for Mexico and the United States.

Now, even if Gay Talese isn't a fan, who will you be rooting for this summer, if at all?

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Blogger JHitts said...

As for some more drama that's not related to the World Cup, per say, but this whole Togo thing is pretty interesting.

Also, in general, the NY Times has a really good soccer blog that I read daily.

I'll root for the US. Not because I have to because they're American, but because I actually feel like I know all the players this time around.

I was pulling for Ireland but they got screwed, so I'll actively root against France. I also root for Germany. And then whoever the third-world underdog happens to be this year.

February 1, 2010 at 12:50 AM 
Anonymous Tim said...

The netherlands... just kidding, i don't give two shits about soccer. Cheers!

February 1, 2010 at 12:51 AM 
Blogger M. Perkins said...

My brother's best friend here in Panama City is Irish and refuses to talk about the World Cup. I had been kind of mildly for France since '06 because I hate Italian soccer (and I had Thierry Henry on one of my video game soccer teams), but now... they'll be my (and everyone else's) favorite team to hate. Or second favorite to hate after Italy.

In '02 my brother and I stayed up till 3 AM watching games all summer. I had swimming at 5:30 AM every morning. USA made the quarterfinals, shocked the world. I was convinced that I loved watching soccer, and the ESPN anchors said America was going to love soccer too. I didn't so much, and we didn't.

In '06 I was working at camp and missed almost every game--except Italy v USA, which we caught at a packed sports bar. USA lost by one point--after two US goals were called back. It was intense.

I'm rooting for the US because, you know, I grew up here and stuff. I'll root for Germany too. There's a 50-50 chance I'll be in Germany in June, so that could potentially be really exciting.

February 1, 2010 at 1:02 AM 
Blogger Naomi said...

I love watching the World Cup. I despise Italy, and I usually have rooted for Germany--pretty much because of this awesome dude.

I'll never forget the World Cup Final eight years ago. I got up really early to watch it live, but they ran the farm report instead of the match. Thank you, East-Central Illinois affiliate.

February 3, 2010 at 10:09 AM 

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