Between temporarily relocating the B'n'C bivouac to an undisclosed rooftop in Berlin, the attendant champagne-filled-jacuzzi afternoons (Thx, Hov!), long evenings sampling on ripened strawberries fed paw-to-mouth by white tigers being jacked off by rhesus moneys, and the proto-cannibalistic mornings thereafter, spent breakfasting on freshly slaughtered white tiger meat, who has time to write about football?
Luckily I keep a notebook handy, despite the monkeys' disapproving looks. This World Cup Thing only gets better by getting worse: What kinds of fantastic buffet spreads are being supplied backstage to have so many players desire being sent off? Surely it's no comparison to fresh Bengali, but its got to be amazing. And tasty enough for the refs to want a piece of that pie. Anyway, there's plenty to catch up on, so let's get right into it. A monster post, so tuck right in...
ITALY v. AUSTRALIA [1-0]
Them Crackers Weren't Playing Fair
Scumbag thieves. Did I say that out loud?
SWITZERLAND v. UKRAINE [0-0] (0-3 penalties)
How do you not score once in a penalty shootout?
PORTUGAL v. NETHERLANDS [1-0]
Hurt Stunned Astounded Amazed and Dazed
Germans on point.
If you watched only the first 40 minutes of this one, then you saw the best game of the World Cup. If you watched the whole thing, then you saw the most entertaining match of the tournament, but whatever the two teams were playing by then wasn't soccer, certainly wasn't "football," and was too "professional" (read: pu-ssay) to even be compared to Aussie rules or rugby. It was a tragedy worth tears, but when the two teams weren't trying to carve notches out of each other's flesh, it was a pleasure to watch, especially after the mind-numbing match earlier in the day featuring...
ENGLAND v. ECUADOR [1-0]
Leaving Your Empire In Ruin
Once again I'll leave you in the capable talons of birthday boy TerrorDaktile:
MEXICO v. ARGENTINA [1-2]
Kill me now.
Are you serious that these people invented the game? They play like they have crumpets in the shorts. They play like they have Lyme Disease, no offense to those who actually do. They throw up on the field; I throw up on the TV when I watch them play. So boring, so conservative, so predictable -- in short, so...English. Three Lions my arse. No, seriously, my one donkay could trample these house cats. Have you really made me a die hard fan of the Tri Colores, England? For 90 minutes ive never loved anything more than Ecuadorian football. I'm painting the tri colors on my face, I'm rocking the Jheri-curl mullet, I live and die on every yellow-footed touch of Valencia. He is my savior, and you, england, are forcing me to this end. Perhaps your coach is to blame, perhaps the 4-5-1, perhaps Joe Cole's pants are
too high, England. Lower Joe Cole's pants. You're moving on to the quarterfinals by boring people to death. Is it me or is Frank Lampard terrible in front of net? Where was this lamentable play between August and May? Here is a typical England World Cup game: a) find the weakest team in the field. b) play them. c) complain about the stifling German heat. d) wear short sleeves in the first half, long sleeves in the second. e) don't score. don't ever score. f) who cares?
England: You're not going to be champions, and these so-called victories which are really terribly predictable foreshadowings are simply lengthening the depressive bender the entire country will slide into during the days following the loss. Please lose. I can't continue loving others in order to have less pity for you.
Straight From Jorge
A shame that the World Cup's Latin-inflection had to be reduced by a factor of one with the outcome of this one, but at least the game produced one of the most compelling encounters --and fantastic goals, again by Argentina -- that we've seen. Apparently, you can't be too good.
Which sets up this way-too-early match between the Argentines...
And, the GERMANS
How do you celebrate the German team's first knockout-phase match appropriately? You watch the match with 1.2 million other Germans in their capital city. Berlin's Fan Mile, which yawns from the western side of the Brandenburger Tor down the Unter den Linden, allows you to experience what it's like to smell a million plus people piss in two adjoining parks.
But fandom, while often smelling this terrible, is often cleverer than you'd expect: Swedish fans were treated to a song that, loosely translated, means "You're naught but furniture-makers."
And between this destruction of all things Swede and the GERMANY v. ECUADOR match, Miroslav Klose kind of looks like the most complete forward at this World Cup.
And because you'll get this kind of in-depth cultural reporting on no other blogshore, a recap of one of the more exciting encounters of one of the more memorable group stage games:
Watch: SWEDEN v. ENGLAND [2-2]
Swedes have terrible bladder control. Twice before the match had even begun, I was propositioned (if that's the word) to be pissed over. You see, I was seated at the top corner of a crowded bleacher section, too far from a bathroom, but apparently too close to what was an inviting edge for this Swede. "I would like to *piss*. Do you mind if I *piss*?" The three Germans seated next to me and I all answered in the affirmative. "Yes, we do in fact mind if you piss over our shoulders."
The average life expectancy in Sweden is exceeded only by that of Japan and the country has been rated the second most liveable in the world, after Norway. There are no discoverable figures for most incontinent, however. Which is frustrating. Are Swedes allowed to just piss willy-nilly wherever they damn well please? Does "liveable" take into account the fact that dining rooms, stairwells, and foyers could very well be treated as just finely appointed Porto-Sans to this fair-haired nation?
Anyway, our refusal meant little. By the time England had blown their first lead, our entire blue and yellow section was treated to the unmistakable sound of a furious stream of pee hitting pavement from 50 feet. Sven-Urine Eriksson had merely turned backwards with neighbors to the right, left, above and below, kneeled on his bench-seat, opened his fly and let loose.
Sweden is also the second most environmentally responsible country in the world after New Zealand. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, Sweden. But does "envioronmentally responsible" just mean that you can just shit everywhere and call it fertilization?
Paid No Never Mind
And for those still pining for the U.S., two post-mortems, one from this dude, and one from Drago -- you know, the guy from Rocky.
Dempsey--Goodbye MLS, hello Europe...Why have you not been playing earlier and why are you the only player that can rap and beat someone on
Convey--You can tell that this guy is an asshole but also really good...he's the free kick man from here on out
McBride--If only Dempsey and Convey were playing together more often you may have gotten some service.
Onjewu--a good defender, especially if there was a fast player to pair you with (oh well).
Reyna--U-R the man, but the gold watch was ready years ago.
Beasley--Quickly developing "Poor Man's Michael Owen Syndrome;" a player that looks great on the highlight reel until you watch the game and realize he's NONEXISTANT for 88 minutes.
Donovan--I hate you...you're fired, you suck, you'll never rise to the occasion. Watching you play in this World Cup reminded me of watching the movie MUST LOVE DOGS on my last cross country flight. Needless to say, it was the last time I ever actually felt like puking in total sobriety.
Eddie Pope--next time a lumbering 6ft 7inch Czech comes thundering into the box you should guard him. Oh yeah, and next time you try an offsides trap make sure you aren't the only one trying it. Italians take advantageof that shit.
Cherundolo--you're about as big as Roy Keane...too bad you're not a highly skilled, raging madman. On a good day you look like you might make the cutin the Swiss 2nd division
Bocanegra--I do actually like you, but you always have that stupid look onyour face like you meant to go to football practice and somehow wound up at soccer practice and never really grasped any better understanding of thegame since then.
Eddie Johnson--next time just tell Arena to fuck off and sub yourself in for Donovan or whoever...it's a travesty you didn't play more.