So lets say for a second that you are not yourself. Unlike the vast majority of Americans, you dont know who Taylor Hicks is, why Howie Mandel is famous or the difference between Adam Vinateri and Mike Vanderjagt. Unlike the vast majority of people who visit this blog, you could not pick Gimel Martinez out of a lineup, have never used the word “Pitino” in a sentence and are rarely ever commenting on anyone “winning with someone else’s recruits.” If you were this other type of person, then chances are you would not live in the Continental United States and you certainly wouldnt understand how anyone could elect George W Bush president. Also, if you were this type of person, chances are this would have been one of the biggest days of the year for you.
Yes today began the universal world experience for everyone outside of the United States, known as the World Cup. The biggest tournament of the game that they call football began today in front of an estimated 1.5 billion viewers when Germany kicked off against Costa Rica. To put that number into perspective, it is only slightly less than the amount of credit hours that remain before Shagari Alleyne will graduate from college. This massive crowd began celebrating an event that is becoming more and more important in the States, but still pales in comparison to the National Spelling Bee in most American’s eyes.
Because I work during the day (unlike apparently the so-called “professors” at Kentucky who spend most of their day writing anti-Tubby advertisements), I am unable to see these games. But I have decided to put my TIVO to use and tape the games to watch in the evenings. Today brought Germany vs Costa Rica and Ecuador v Poland. In order for me to have a rooting interest in each game, I have to associate the teams involved with the countries themselves….so as to have something to relate to them. In the first game Germany obviously has a checkered past that makes them a very hard country for which to have much affection. However they did give the world Dirk Nowitski….maybe the best player currently playing in the NBA….and they as a people have an uncanny affection for David Hasselhoff, an affection that proves the old Napoleon saying that “no man is a prophet in his own country,” but everyone can find a home in a faraway land. Plus their name for the professional soccer league is the “BUNDERSLIGA” which is a fun name to say at parties.
Costa Rica is of course Spanish for “rich coast” and is a country that is 30 percent made up of national parks and rainforest land. Often considered the most beautiful country in the world, Costa Rica is home to the richest of the rich, who all have tropical getaways in the area. It is the only Central American country that is not dirt poor and thus the Republican party mistakenly actually gave the country a tax cut just last week (see the political humor is for the Turkey Hunter.) Germany actually won the match, which contained two goals that were pretty impressive….but for future Germany matches, watch for their coach. Lets just say he makes Matt Walsh seem heterosexual.
The other game (and my personal favorite) was between Poland and Ecuador. Now making fun of Poland is a pasttime that has become so cliche over the years that it is actually politically incorrect to do it. Plus I would never make fun of Poland because it gave the Bluegrass state the Woo just recently. My favorite Pole (replacing all the members of Solidarity), Woo is a joy to my life, even though he does (as the Intern famously said) look like he should be bundled up outside of a Bulgarian steel mill in the winter smoking a cigarette. The Poles played Ecuador a country most famously known for having a very corrupt leadership, owning the Galapogos Islands and producing the father of Christina Aguilera (which helps explain why the country is sometimes known as the “Dirrrrty South”). Ecuador’s team is often helped by the fact that there capital, Quito, is located at over 8,000 feet above sea level, making it one of the highest capitals in the world. Thus most teams that come to Ecuador get tired and end up losing. Today Ecuador beat Poland, thus joining the armies of every country since the Ottoman Empire, and became the early favorite for “random team which Matt begins to like.” The Ecuador fans celebrated by dancing, but I had a hard time being too happy, knowing that somewhere Woo was likely crying…and probably committing a foul.
Anyway, tomorrow is England v Paraguay (England has a player that is 6’7″ named “Crouch” who is Tubby’s second option if Werner doesnt commit), Sweden v Trinidad and Tobago, followed by Argentina v the Ivory Coast. Try to catch some of the action….you might like it…..and it will showcase fan bases who are more eager to fire their coach than the Dynasty Defenders, which is good for perspective.