One Day More

One day to go before the massive spectacle finally begins. I need to write a mental note to myself to remind me to spend at least part of all future World Cups in England. Or Brazil. Or Tibet. Anywhere but here in the States would be better. No atmosphere here whatsover.

Why is the MLS still playing now? Can any soccer fan in the country–even the most die-hard Salt Lake fan, give a toss what happens in the domestic league? Start two weeks earlier, finish two weeks later, and take a month off when the biggest event in your sport is taking place every four years.

It is actually better around here than it used to be, though. At least the papers mention something is actually taking place–even if they don’t quite understand what the hell it is. Even all the matches are going to be televised, on ESPN no less. Unfortunately, they’ll be making do with baseball announcers whose apparent qualification for calling the games is that their daughters may have once played the game.

I’ll try to catch as many of the matches as possible in a decent soccer pub–type establishment. I think there might be 3 or 4 of those in the country. They might even show the matches on the Setanta channel so the commentary will be in German. I suspect that will be more bearable.

Michael Ballack will miss Germany’s first game at least. The official reason is some slight muscle problem. His real problem is that gigantic mouth of his. Klinsmann must be sick of hearing it by now. He needs to shut it and actually do something on the pitch for a change to earn that superstar reputation.

Speaking of big mouths and big egos, Wayne Rooney returned to the team after getting the apparent okay from the doctors to play in at least some matches for England. He promptly announced to all the reporters greeting him that ‘the big man is back in town’. He’s just asking for it. Confidence and swagger are one thing, but when you start spouting things like that, especially playing on one leg… Well, it tends to come back to haunt you. Of course, he could have just been alerting the brothels.

Cisse managed to break his leg in a friendly. That might be the only injury that actually improves a team. Surely, the French are at least as well off without him.

The Mexicans run of bad luck has already begun. Goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez will miss probably the whole show due to the death of his father. He could return later, but the Mexicans will be with him back at home after 3 matches anyway.

It’s finally time to get the show on the road. I don’t care what your favorite sport is, if you can’t get into the World Cup you’re just afraid to try. And that’s a shame, because this is as good as it gets.

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