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The End of The Group Stage

At the end of two weeks of mad play, the end of the group stage is here and now for a quick rest before the first of the knockout games begin. And they’re not beginning in a timid way at all. It’s USA v. Ghana in a rematch of four years ago. Hopefully, the result will be different this time. Here is a list of the good, the bad, and the indifferent so far:

  • Univision mops the floor with ESPN’s coverage. MART-in-ez? Really?
  • Will everyone please shut up about Africa’s “disappointing performance”? Who in their right mind would think that their teams, in their infancy, would suddenly be controlling the tournament? Just because it’s in Africa this time? Please.
  • South America is 5-5. Talk about that instead. And they didn’t need American handouts or pity or benefit concerts or anything to do it.
  • The horns are ridiculous. Football isn’t the same without the chants and songs. FIFA should have grown a pair and banned them.
  • To the bored, this game requires intelligence and patience. If you don’t have those qualities, go eat something fried and watch a reality show but leave the rest of us alone.
  • French wine and cheese is the best on Earth. Their football team’s behavior was the worst example of unsportsmanlike conduct I have ever seen. This includes my time in the junior leagues. Someone get Madame Guillotine back in service.
  • Italy’s out. Shit. How do we turn this somehow into another excuse to party?
  • In my dream life, Fabio Cannavaro is still my husband.
  • Belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes to La Pulga. Never has such an annoying insect been so honored.
  • How ridiculously attractive is the Spanish team?!
  • Ronaldo, pass the ball!

And now, to get ready for tomorrow. Isn’t it nice to have a team on the world stage who far from being an embarrassment of cocky, entitled attitudes is actually embodying the best of the sport? Isn’t it? Now that’s something I can believe in. Watch them tomorrow. They’re making us proud.

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