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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Silence of the vuvuzelas

World Cup "football" now takes a couple of days off to get ready for the "great eight" starting Friday. Both our reader games continue apace, with the leaders in our game-by-game prediction contest spreading out just slightly, and the first round of our 16-team bracket contest sorting things only slightly as well.

In the brackets, we've got four players (including yours truly) who picked 7 out of 8; one with 6; two with 5 and one with only 4. Points for winning picks increase as the rounds progress, however; moreover, three of the leaders picked their losing team to win more games. And so the field is still essentially wide open.

Friday it's Holland vs. Brazil and Uruguay vs. Ghana; Saturday, Argentina vs. Germany and Paraguay vs. Spain. I'm now pulling for a Uruguay-Paraguay final, in honor of my old geography teachers.

Comments (11)

Correction: Your spreadsheet shows my pick correctly for Paraguay-v-Japan, but scores it incorrectly.

Instant replay! :-)

Fortunately, we do have that in this game. It's been fixed.

Today Spain v. Portugal turned into a slugfest at times. Doesn't matter it was low scoring, it still was a great match. Given what I've seen so far, the series is wide open with any of the remaining teams taking home the World Cup.

Go Spain!

if you or any of your blog readers are looking for a soccer fix, tomorrow is the US Lamar Hunt Open Cup game in which the Timbers take on the Sounders. Say what you want about Merritt Paulson and anyone else, tomorrow's game will be among the biggest of the year, in America's biggest soccer rivalry.

The Seattle games always draw big crowds -- should be quite the scene.

Jack wrote "The Seattle games always draw big crowds -- should be quite the scene."

LucsAdvo snarked "Define big crowd; is that like 500?"

Today was the first day I felt a little miffed at soccer. Japan and Paraguay were not very skillful. I thought the US side was better than either of them. They made a ton of unforced errors and there was some phony drama thrown in. It's also beginning to bother me that 2 or 3 corner kicks are negated by bad calls every match. With scoring so difficult you need the good opportunities so corner kicks are vital.

Then the World Cup swung all the way over on the skill meter to Spain and Portugal.
Granted, I was still writing comedy during the first half with the set on in the background. In fact one of my jokes received a yellow card - which is weird.
But I saw the second half. In this case, Spain was so awesome passing and keeping possession that the match went from scoreless to an insurmountable lead in one goal.

I'm not complaining. I've watched a ton of soccer lately and at some point you get soccered out. Once I saw Peter Tosh and Jimmy Cliff together at the Paramount.
You went from thinking it was the most awesome music ever, to longing for a polka or anything else. That's the human spirit - the reason we're not still in a cave somewhere awestruck by fire.

Incidentally, the ratings are in on the US-Ghana match and counting the Spanish-speaking audience, I read it was 19.4 million viewers in America. To put that in context, I've written comedy that played to 18.5 million American viewers.

Soccer has a way to go in this country.

And having to wait four more years until the next championship tournament won't help in the USA -- unless they make some reality shows out of it: Handballs; The Bachelor Goalie; Celebrity Leg Injury Drama Queens; The Real Refs of FIFA....and, Yellow Card, Red Card, Shootout -- You're F^*#in' Dead, Playah!

LucsAdvo, how about 15,500?



(Netherlands 2-1 Brazil.)

Football? The World Cup is football.
The American sport played by dinosaurs is hand egg.


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