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Friday, June 11, 2010

World Cup Time

The World Cup is awesome.  I know Americans don't like soccer, and as long as there are prima donnas taking dives on the slightest of contact, I'm not sure they ever will - but I still love soccer, and I love the World Cup.  I think it's hard for Americans to realize just how much this means to the rest of the world.  In my opinion, it's the most important sporting event in the world.

I just watched Invictus a few weeks ago, and before that I watched the ESPN 30 for 30 special on South Africa's 1995 rugby team (the same team that was the subject of Invictus).   It's especially interesting to think about this World Cup, South Africa's first time hosting, in the context of Invictus and the 1995 Rugby World Cup.   Back then, South Africa's almost all white rugby team was led by captain Francois Pienaar.  Today, South Africa's soccer world cup team is almost all black, and is led by captain Stephen Pienaar - same last name.   

The host nation, today, kept alive the streak of host nations (now 14-0-6 I believe) never losing their opening games.  Despite being dominated in the first half by Mexico, South Africa struck first with a brilliant goal from Siphiwe Tshalabala, but later conceded the equalizer, ending with a 1-1 draw.

I look forward to watching as many full games as possible over the next 4 weeks.

-KD


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah yes the beautiful game. Mexico vs South Africa and the first dive came in the 15th minute. The first blown call resulting in a goal not being scored, the 37th minute. Ane yet, I will watch.

Kid Dynamite said...

if you're referring to Mexico's goal that was called back for offsides - it was absolutely positively offsides - the Keeper was out on the 6 yard line. it was a TREMENDOUS call by the linesman.

Anonymous said...

The defender was on the goal line. Go back and look at the tape.

Kid Dynamite said...

look up the offsides rule.

there was only ONE defender between the player and the goal line. there needs to be two. NORMALLY, the goalkeeper is the other one... but this time, the GK came out to play the ball off the corner kick. even the announcers screwed up - and later (in the second half) acknowledged that the linesman was correct.

it was a terrific call.

Daniel said...

The horns are driving me nuts. Hey KD who do you have in your WCP's bracket winning the whole thing? I know I went out on a limb and picked Braziiiiiil.....

Kid Dynamite said...

i didn't do a bracket, Daniel. Brazil is always a threat. Spain is good, obviously. England has talent but always underachieves. Portugal also has talent, but they will miss Nani. Lionnel Messi is so good that he makes Argentina worth watching.

Daniel said...

The New Yorker, (in the last issue not the current one,) had a nice expose on the American keeper, Tim Howard. He has Tourette's syndrome but is considered one of the top keepers in the world.

Andrew said...

KD, 100% correct offside call.

I ask you a lot about financial terms so I want to offer 1 soccer term tidbit, its offide, no "s" at end.

getyourselfconnected said...

"I know Americans don't like soccer, and as long as there are prima donnas taking dives on the slightest of contact, I'm not sure they never will.."

Is that soccer ot the NBA, haha!

My company has about 60& europeans that have moved over here and they made the company subscribe to the satellite channle that gets the world cup so they can watch during the day. They were not kidding, they said in no uncrtain terms they would just stay home or go to a pub to see it if the company did not have it on. Serious stuff!

getyourselfconnected said...

"or the NBA", I really wish I could type.

Kid Dynamite said...

yeah GYC - i was thinking about that as i wrote the post - there's no diving in football, none in baseball, and very little in hockey. but there is a lot in the NBA.

Anonymous said...

I think the other thing that turns Americans off (me included) is the shootout format for resolving ties. I think they should play until someone scores. This puts a premium on bench players and fitness, or so I would think. Play until someone scores. Can't decide the final game on shootout.

Yangabanga said...

Lets not forget how the US kept England down to a tie despite being seriously outplayed. Sure that goal wasn't exactly a skill shot but I'll take what I can get!