Whose World Is This?

It's mine, it's mine, it's mine.

Though he'd rather not say for which nation it beats hardest, the heart of Don Rodriguez is Latin, through and through. Which is why, for the next few weeks, we implore you, reader, to spend your free minutes and hours with us -- screaming, shouting, meditating, opining, and smiling -- as we spend our time glued to Telefutura, watching the 2007 Copa America. For those that don't know...

This is the 42nd edition of the South American football tournament (a.k.a., for all you pro-/proto-imperialist bastards, the "European Tournament of South America"). For the first time in its history, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will host the cup, which runs from June 26 - July 15. Fans of petroleum and Beelzebub will know that nation, and its president, Hugo Chávez Frias, quite well.

Don Rodriguez would love to tell you about its many wonders. Sadly, all he learned about Venezuela he learned over many whiskeys on an all-night flight to Europe from a balloon-breasted half-Italian, half-Venezuelan that wouldn't let him fall asleep. The information is not necessarily reliable, shall we say, though the Don maintains, "That one, she was a real sweetheart, that one."

But back to the tournament. Uruguay and Peru get us started tonight (as we speak, in fact!), as do the hosts against Bolivia. European soccer gets more than enough burn, more than enough ink. Support the New World. Show your mates that you know a little more about L'Amerique Sud than the conquering Frenchmen that drew the map above in 1514. Join the Don on his new mission to show as much love as possible to our Socialist brothers from the South, and to wish only the best for Juan Roman Riquelme.

And do yourself a favor. Please, please, please watch it in Spanish. [And don't be afraid to root for Diego Forlan. Mama Don "has a crush." We'll leave it at that.]

COPA AMERICA SCHEDULE (check local listings, ha)

Group A: Venezuela, Bolivia, Uruguay, Peru
6/26 Uruguay vs. Peru
6/26 Venezuela vs. Bolivia
6/30 Bolivia vs. Uruguay
6/30 Venezuela vs. Peru
7/3 Peru vs. Bolivia
7/3 Venezuela vs. Uruguay

Group B: Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador
6/27 Ecuador vs. Chile
6/27 Brazil vs. Mexico
7/1 Brazil vs. Chile
7/1 Mexico vs. Ecuador
7/4 Mexico vs. Chile
7/4 Brazil vs. Ecuador

Group C: Argentina, Paraguay, United States, Colombia
6/28 Paraguay vs. Colombia
6/28 Argentina vs. U.S.
7/2 U.S. vs. Paraguay
7/2 Argentina vs. Colombia
7/5 Colombia vs. U.S.
7/5 Argentina vs. Paraguay

7/7 Quarter final match: Teams TBA

7/7 Quarter final match: Teams TBA

7/8 Quarter final match: Teams TBA

7/8 Quarter final match: Teams TBA

7/10 Semi final match: Teams TBA

7/11 Semi final match: Teams TBA

7/14 3rd place match

7/15Final match: Teams TBA