The World Cup so far has been full of some bad officiating (the two disallowed American goals), some really terrible calls (Kaka getting a red card), beautiful sights, sobering memories, overwhelming sounds, disappointing play, inspirational stories, giant killers…all in all not a bad World Cup. One of the best moments, even though he calls it bad radio, was listening to Tony Kornheiser try to have his radio show while watching the US-Algeria game, sorry the US-Algonquian Nation, it was a perfect example of someone who’s not really a fan of soccer/football but still getting caught up in the moment.
I headed into the round of 16 with three countries to cheer for: Korea (obviously because that’s where I’m from), the US (the country that I live in) and Slovakia (I lived there for a year) and after Saturday, I was left with only Slovakia. And my back-up teams didn’t do so well either, Italy was eliminated in the group stage, as was Nigeria, North Korea didn’t have a chance of getting out of the group stage, and Mexico was eliminated on Sunday by Argentina. Ireland wasn’t here thanks to France’s handball (which I appreciated the irony of Henry complaining about a handball against his side), neither was Morocco, Russia, or Hungary. So Slovakia has to make it through or else I don’t know who I’m going to cheer for.
I borrowed this from a friend of mine of Facebook, yes, it’s about the team I want to lose, but it’s a great commercial for Nike:
an older Nike one:
an older Adidas one from the 2006 World Cup (apparently voted the best 2006 WC commercial):
a nod to Star Wars:
and Adidas’s 2010 World Cup intro ad:
I think the US did a good job for not being a true soccer/football nation, but at the same time it was disappointing, because this was the best national team that we’ve ever had and it was the round of 16 and out. The defensive hang-ups did us in really, constantly having to dig yourself into a hole is wearying and eventually you’ll run out of energy and magic. I don’t know if I necessarily agree that to get the US to be better, USA Soccer needs to start recruiting from the ghettos and other low income areas of the States and I also don’t believe that every European that plays football comes from a poor background as Klineman was trying to say on ESPN Saturday. Regardless, as I’m (re)filling out online application forms, I’ll be watching the games and enjoying every second of it.