Outgunned and outnumbered

I came home from a weekend of the missus' reunion in the beautiful but unseasonably chilly Hudson Valley to discover that 1) Burnt Orange Nation has outed me as a source of football news for the World Cup, and 2) Orson Swindle from EDSBS is doing guest commentary on Dodgy at Best… well whoop-de-fucking-do, no pressure there.

(BTW, I have not been in student housing as vile as our quarters of this weekend, at least not since I was a senior in college. My older daughter's teddy bear smells of smoke, the baby's jacket smells of pot, and their feet appear to be permanently blackened.)

Anyway. You can find the general results anywhere, but here's what I know as gleaned from the BBC's WAP site for sports news, 30 seconds on the Guardian's site on Saturday morning, updates from friendly but clueless people at the reunion, 30 seconds with ESPN during the Iran – Mexico match at a diner in New Jersey, and 10 minutes watching the end of the Angola – Portugal game… plus updates from my brother and even our mother. (Laugh if you will, but she grew up at Rangers' games in Glasgow and was at the 1960 Real Madrid – Eintracht Frankfurt Cup Winner's Cup game at Hampden Park; she knows the real thing when she sees it…)

So, what I learned:

  • England: not looking like world beaters? What a surprise! Seeing as how the only person to head in a Beckham cross was a Paraguyuan defender, Peter Crouch apparently was just taking up space. Incidentally, since it's always worth clicking one's heels around older Germans to see if they forget themselves — apparently it always works with the current Pope, how they laughed at the Papal See — I wonder if the Paraguayans have the same problem?
  • Trinidad and Tobago: not just popular in principle in Scotland; word was that the crowd for the game against Sweden had a lot of T&T fans who were "more ginger of hair and pale of complexion" than might be expected… I think the Tartan Army has a Carribbean auxiliary group.
  • Evidently wearing my Angola t-short today didn't help the Palancas Negras in their loss to Portugal — the last 10 minutes of the match resembled a ping-pong game. The ref apparently was from Uruguay which surprised me because he had a European attitude towards the game – Figo tripped over a fucking blade of grass and got a free kick; Portuguese defenders channeled their inner Boris Johson and got away with it…
  • Rece Davis doing the World Cup show? WTF? And how much longer must we tolerate people like Eric Wynalda (or whoever it was) getting jobs to recognize the work that they did putting American soccer on the map. I can talk complete crap about football and probably more cheaply; maybe they should hire me.

Anyway, on to the week ahead, not quite sure how much I'm going to manage / bother to watch. I think that someone at work has booked a conference room for US – Czech Republic so I may sneak off with my laptop and see what's going on.

BTW, if you haven't already, check out the live match reports on the Guardian's Football site — great stuff, and more than the basics.


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