Saturday, December 10, 2005

Group of Death

Well, FIFA just announced the groupings for the 2006 World Cup and it looks like the United States has had the misfortune of getting placed in a tough one.

The U.S. is currently ranked eighth in the world, but missed being one of the eight seeded teams by just one point. Instead of getting a break like that, we wound up in an extremely tough Group E alongside the second-ranked Czech Republic, an always dangerous Italy, and Ghana, the first West African nation the squad will face. Some are already claiming our group is this year's Group of Death. I think it's certainly in contention, but at least we avoid Brazil, Germany and England in the first round. (That said, if the U.S. comes out of Group E in second, we'll get to face Brazil in the very next game. Terrific.)

Well, it's a tough draw, but it's not impossible. The U.S. squad has lots of experience, some great talent, and sharp coaching. They made it to the quarterfinals last time around, and have a lot of that squad coming back, stronger and surer than before.

In any case, I'm taking solace in the story of another band of underdogs who used their impressive soccer skills to escape a certain doom -- against Germany, no less -- and ride to victory. Of course, they had Pele on that team, so maybe it's not the best comparison. Still, I believe in miracles.*

(* Note to Al Michaels: As required by law, a check is in the mail for my use of this catch phrase.)

9 comments:

Studiodave said...

Do any republicans like soccer? Seriously, everyone I know who enjoys the World Cup is a Democrat...

Not butch or homo erotic enough?

Otto Man said...

I think the answer would sound something like "only fags 'n' furriners don't use their arms."

Scott said...

Do Republicans actually enjoy anything?

Do you know of somewhere I can find a graphical bracket for the World Cup? I've been spoiled by the NCAA bball tournament.

Studiodave said...

Apparently their united on torture as a pasttime.

Otto Man said...

Do Republicans actually enjoy anything?

Blowin' shit up.

Mrs_Thrillhous said...

Do you know of somewhere I can find a graphical bracket for the World Cup?

I'd try the website of a European news outlet, since Americans don't care. Or check out ESPN. I can't believe they're running a contest. I myself have made an effort only to watch the team of my mother's country, and only when they were doing well. It's just soccer.

peb said...

There was poll held on ESPN.com and published in this month's ESPN the Magazine that asked "Are you excited about the World Cup this Summer?" The vote came in at 56% No and 44% Yes. So if you compare that to the recent Presidential election which I believe was 51/49, then all Republicans and some Democrats don't like soccer. (Note: Logic in interpreting poll is subject to +/- 100% margin of error).

sideshow bob said...

That check had better get there with all due alacrity...

Republicans seem to be bandwagon jumpers; if we make it to the semis, even Bush himself will be able to name at least one team member, maybe even pronounce it correctly.

Otto Man said...

Republicans seem to be bandwagon jumpers; if we make it to the semis, even Bush himself will be able to name at least one team member, maybe even pronounce it correctly.

Agreed. Bush (and the country) sure did embrace the women's soccer team when they kept proving they were the best in the world.

He and his base are a lot like Homer Simpson. Remember the episode where the 'Topes won the pennant? Homer went from talking about how bad they sucked to pretending to be their biggest fan.

For both crowds, it all boils down to one thing -- the ability to scream "U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!"