Now that I’m on the road to accepting what happened last Saturday and I’ve finally managed to crawl my way out of this empty bottle of whiskey, I guess I should go back to writing about the big worldwide soccer tournament which is apparently still taking place. Most readers of the most important blog of all time lost their biggest rooting interest when the Yanks were eliminated, or the next day when the Limey Wankers went down in TYAC writer Guy Bailey’s case. But let us not give in to despair and avoid the rest of the World Cup! You’re a soccer fan right!? Man up and root for someone else for the next day or week or so. Here, I’ll help.
Reason to root for: This is just an out and out all-star team. Fernando Torres, David Villa, Xavi, Iniesta, Fábregas, Sergio Ramos, Piqué, and Puyol. Each of these dudes deserves to be in the “best in the world at his position” argument. Consequently, Spain may never be this good again. They better win or they quite possibly never will.
Reason to root against: Wouldn’t it be funny if all those guys lost!? Especially coming off their big Euro ’08 triumph! In a really embarrassing way maybe? Why not?
Reason to root for: The reason was going to be Roque Santa Cruz, but given his form in this tournament, that absolutely will not stand. Instead, if you have insomnia, Paraguay is your team, your answer, your cure.
Reason to root against: They’re almost impossible to watch. They make Rangers and Everton (Scottish style football) look like Barcelona and Arsenal.
Reason to root for: We could be witnessing a return to glory for the original soccer super power, fueled by the exciting Forlán/Suárez striker combo and a young goaltender playing out of his mind.
Reason to root against: Not really sure why you’d want to root against Uruguay. Maybe you’re one of those people who refers to all Hispanics as “Mexican” and you’re filled with hate. Maybe you’re a Fulham or Liverpool fan and hate Forlán for his crimes against your EPL side in the Europa League. Maybe you’re a Man U jackass and despise the great striker for not working miracles at your club like he does everywhere else. Either way, you’re wrong.
Reason to root for: They’re the only African team left in Africa’s World Cup, and they eliminated us, so we can pull the “well at least we lost to the eventual Champion” card.
Reason to root against: They’ve eliminated us two World Cups in a row, plenty of reason to root against them if you want to.
Reason to root for: These guys haven’t taken the Oranje bus out of second gear yet and they’ve been in control of all their matches, winning each one comfortably. The volatile Dutchmen are playing harmoniously despite their penchant for conflict off the pitch (and sometimes on it). This could be the year for them.
Reason to root against: A team full of supremely talented egomaniacs playing for a country with a rich history of choking in the World Cup; if you watch auto racing for the crashes, go ahead and root for the Dutch to implode.
Reason to root for: Well if you’re like TYAC’s Neil Blackmon and have a man-crush on Kaká I guess that’d be one reason. Or if you like the fact that Robinho’s a party animal who shakes off his hangover and turns into Superman when he puts on a Brazil kit, that’ll work too. Take your pick.
Reason to root against: Dunga has in part taken the fun of watching Brazil out of actually watching Brazil. He mandates they play more defensive soccer. You’re not supposed to watch Brazil hoping to see a moment of brilliance here or there, you’re supposed to watch the team attempt those glorious moments of offensive flair and skill on at least every other attack.
Reason to root for: This German team is far more likeable than past squads in that it’s primarily not made up of ethnic Germans. Turks and Poles rule the roost. Also, as my experiences from the ’96 Atlanta Olympics attest to, the Germans know how to party.
Reason to root against: Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Reason to root for: Carlos Tévez, Lionel Messi, Sergio Agüero, and Gonzalo Higuaín all “coached” by crazy person, World Cup winner, and occasional cocaine addict Diego Maradona!? A wealth of striking talent the likes of which we may never see again managed by a mentally imbalanced dude who was better than all of them when he played! It’s not not entertaining.
Reason to root against: I don’t know, maybe you’re English, they seem to hate the Argentines. I wonder why…
Tales of the Uninvited: German midfielder Torsten Frings may have been deemed too old and off-form for Joachim Löw to bring to South Africa, but he was sure that he had the last laugh when national team midfield partner and team captain Michael Ballack went down for the count in Chelsea’s FA Cup Final. After many hearty defensive midfielder bell laughs, some at the expense of the inexperienced German squad and some at fellow snub Thomas Hitzlsperger who signed for West Ham, Torsten was as surprised as anyone to see that the young German midfield is playing better than the old Frings/Hitz/Ballack combo. Currently his only happiness is springing from his supreme confidence that he’s got much sweeter hair than the rest of the actual national team put together.
Jon Levy is a senior writer for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.