I’ve been a little busy lately. Moving out of Eugene, taking my farewell tour across the west coat—LA, Oakland, back to LA, then over to Denver and back to LA—before moving to Sweden. Blogging about the World Cup has suffered as a result. I am ashamed.
But here’s the stuff I recorded but was too lazy to assemble until now.
From the quarters:
1. France may have lost, but their fans kicked the shit out of German fans in the “not being ugly as fuck” competition.
2. Best back and forth of the tourney:
Ian Darke: “He plays for Nice [Nee-ce].”
Macca: “I believe it’s nice there.”
Ian Darke: “Nice in Nice. Very good. Who’s writing your scripts, Macca?”
3. Colombian fans like to flip off the camera repeatedly for no apparent reason. Which I like. My actions don’t make much sense when I’m bumping rails either.
4. Late in Belgium’s loss to Argentina, Dries Mertens made a poor decision to go for goal on a free kick instead of sending in a cross. Commentator/former USMNT ‘keeper/Zydrunas Ilgauskas clone Kasey Keller pointed out that Belgium had the talent, but they were perhaps too young to pull it altogether yet. Which is true. But Dries Mertens is twenty-seven and a well-known asshole. The phrase Keller should’ve been looking for was: Dries Mertens is an asshole.
5. I suspect that Matt Besler and DeAndre Yedlin are not long for MLS. Transfer rumors from Roma and Genoa have already been popping up for Yedlin, and Besler has been connected with a move to England. I’ll be sad to see them go, but if they can go to sides where they can get playing time, it’ll probably be good for American soccer. I think Yedlin should go—at least after the season (discussions have featured him being loaned out to the Sounders for the remainder of the year before going abroad)—as he is his youth and his ability to rise to the occasion suggest that European football could be a great learning experience for him. Besler I’m less sure about. I think young MLS players going over to Europe for a while—a la Michael Bradley—can be great, given the right fit. MLS guys in their mid to late 20s—like Besler—have less to gain, unless they find a really good fit. In Besler’s case, this would be an English or German top division side where Besler would be no lower than the third choice centerback on the depth chart. This most important thing is not going to a league that wouldn’t be a step up (like the Championship or the Dutch league—though I’ve never heard of an Eredivisie team buying a defender) and not going to a big-money side where he’ll struggle to get on the field (a la Gooch at AC Milan).
6. Apparently they replayed the first 90 minutes of the Belgium-USA game, only this time it was called “Holland vs. Costa Rica”
7. This was the most boring round of the Cup so far. Partly it’s because my team was out—even Iran-Russia can be an interesting game if it determines who your guys play in the next round. But the quarters was when the play really tightened up. Maybe I was just spoiled by the first four sets of games, which were some of the most enjoyable I can remember from any tourney.
1. I have finally made one true prediction: Brazil would easily win the World Cup of crying.
2. The only time anyone wants to talk to me about soccer is when I’ve taped the game and don’t want to know the score. That’s when they become inquisitive, and then drunk with power. While out to lunch with my mom and brother on Tuesday, four different strangers asked me about the game.
I said, “I’m taping it!”
Every single one of them said, “Oh, you’re in for a treat. Wait—who were you rooting for?”
“I’m not telling you, motherfucker!”
Anyway. The waiter really overreacted, and it was a pretty awkward lunch after that.
3. Brazilians are drama queens. Holding up Neymar’s jersey before the national anthem? He’s alive. He’s still alive!
4. While Germany was shellacking Brazil 5-0, Ian Darke pointed out that Sweden came back from 4-0 down last year in Berlin to take a point from the Germans in a WC Qualifier. Macca answered: “Yeah, but Sweden are good.” Granted, this was clearly just a way of burning Brazil—but still a top ten moment in Swedish football history.
5. The most entertaining moment of the super boring Holland-Argentina fixture was Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Santi Solari trying to remain cordial in the studio.
“This is why you are not coming near the goal,” Solari said to Van Nistelrooy about Holland’s performance.
“Suck my dick,” Van Nistelrooy responded, in my head.
6. It seems a little cruel that Taylor Twellman, a player whose career was cut short by concussions, should be ESPN’s resident expert on concussions. “It appears the player is unconscious—we’ll get to hear what Taylor Twellman thinks of this at the half.”
7. My mom made two things abundantly clear during Holland-Argentina: a) She loves Arjen Robben, b) She doesn’t think anyone should get paid if neither team can even score one goal.
1. The Long Beach airport is half outdoors. Like there’s a courtyard with trees where you sit and wait for the flights!
2. Yeah, I didn’t watch much of this game.
1. I have started at least four matches this cup rooting for Argentina. I have ended none of them rooting for Argentina. I just wanted Messi to win this one so he could stop being unfavorably compared to a coke fiend with a Berlusconi-esque love of hookers.
2. I say this as a soccer fan and a Jew: enough with the Nazi jokes already. There are lots of fresher things to make fun of the Germans for. Use one of those. Not because it’s automatically offensive, but because it’s not funny. Low-hanging fruit rarely is. If you need material for what to make fun of when Germany’s playing, just do a Google image search of Thomas Müller. That’s at least ten jokes right there.
3. The underrated moment of the match: when Mascherano fouled Schweinsteiger, and then, while Schweiny was on the ground, in a conciliatory gesture, took Schweinsteiger’s head in his hands and pressed it into his cock. (This happened. I can’t access the archives on ESPN to take a screen shot, because I’m currently at LAX, but look it up. It was in the second half of extra time.)
4. Actually, I may have been wrong about the only thing I was right about: Argentina could really give Brazil a run for their money in a World Cup of crying. During the Holland shootout, fans were crying before the penalties even started. Don’t even get me started on the Germany game. The only Argentinian fans who weren’t crying were the women. I guess someone has to drive everybody home after the game.
It’s been a great World Cup—especially the early rounds. Thanks for enjoying it with me. I’ll soon be living in Sweden, so get ready for lots of blogging about AIK Stockholm and Euro qualifiers. (Sweden is in Russia’s group this year; as such, things are about to get really, really offensive.)