It is here. The Biggest Sporting Event in the World is about to begin… and you know what that means… that’s right VFLOAB is a little more than PUMPED about it all. So we’ll cut to the chase and just give you our predictions…
Instead of giving IN DEPTH REPORTS on each team, we’ll leave that to those who know and see the game more often that we do. So if you want an informative and humorous take on each team, we suggest That’s On Point. Here’s the link to Angola, the Netherlands, and USA respectively from the fine bloggers at That’s On Point. Read them. Enjoy them. I love them and you should too. As for the rest… we’re going to use our buddies at the Guardian for help. They seem to like us a real lot and we know we like them.
For Info on Groups A and B go here
And for Info on Groups C and D go here
Group E and G you ask?
Oh and if you really care about checking out ALL the jerseys from the World Cup this year… go here.
France, South Korea, Switzerland, Togo
Their Deal: A group of skilled, but some what older, stars who may have helped to win the World Cup in 1998. They feature the former best player in the world, Zinédine Zidane, who is retiring after this World Cup and probably the best striker in the world, Thierry Henry. At first look, this squad seems like the time of team that isn’t getting enough respect. But a goaltending controversy and the fact that they feature a few too many players on the wrong side of 30… it makes you wonder. Does this team have one last ‘run’ in them? After winning Euro2000, they crashed out of the World Cup in 2002 and didn’t do much in Euro 2004.
Nickname: Les Bleus (Blues)
World Cup Best: Winners in 1998
Stud Muffin: Thierry Henry is going to rack up the awards here. He scores goals for fun with Arsenal in England, and while he’s got a bit of a reputation for not showing up in big games, he basically carried Arsenal to the Champions League Final this year. Faster than you and me, he’s probably a bit like Reggie Bush when I think about it… here’s why:
Random Thoughts: Isn’t it nice to have a Reggie Bush shout out? That just felt good… France really does have nice uniforms… Who doesn’t love the rooster?... Is it safe to say, while good, French food is overrated?... It’s also safe to say that the French make the greatest bread in the world… Better French saying, je ne sais quoi or C’est Le Vie?... Paris really is the greatest city in the world… I’m not sure if Napoleon is overrated or underrated historically, one thing is for sure: He was power hungry…I’m sorry, but the French political scene right now is dreadfully boring.
Best Name: Zinédine Zidane… Thierry Henry… Zidane… Henry… Thierry Henry wins!
American Sports Team They Best Compare To: Atlanta Braves… after years of coming up short, they finally won something… and now they’re always thinking about winning again, recently they’ve been good, but not good enough. But you can never count them out because, like Michael Myers racking up another victim, they never seem to die.
For the Women: If they were shoes . . . Manolo Blahniks
A high-end operation, with the trophies to prove it, and said to be sexier than most. But look closely and you see a plateau in the last few seasons. Are they heading up . . . or down?
Chances: They’ll probably get out of group play with ease and should win this group. From there a trip to the quarters seems likely where they’ll probably face either the Czechs or Italians… winner goes on to play Brazil in the Final (says here). This team is going as far as Henry takes them… at some point he’s got to come up big right?
Their Deal: Ten guys who run around like chickens with their heads cut off and a goalie. They score a few goals, people cheer, the opposing team looks around trying to figure out what’s going on, and then they realize that a lot of this running isn’t actually doing anything. Pundits of David Beckham say he does the same thing. I have no clue.
World Cup Best: Semi-finals in 2002
Stud Muffin: Park Ji-sung (Manchester United in England)
Random Thoughts: My grandfather was in the Marines and fought in the Korean War, he wanted his ashes spread over Korea, but we didn’t do that because I don’t think it was in the will… He was also at the Chosin Reservoir and Inchon… South Korea surprised a lot of people at the World Baseball Classic… Seoul seems like it’d be nice… Hasn’t it been interesting to watch the rise of South Korean companies, technology, and products over the last five years or so? For instance, Samsung makes all of something of Sony’s but I forget what it is (HDTV maybe?)… I sort of feel bad for Korean food, it’s sort of missed out on this who ‘Asian’ crazy where Thai food and sushi are as common and normal as Chinese food at this point, not to mention the rise of curry and Indian food… then again if they really do eat dogs…
Best Name: Kim Dong-jin, come on what did you expect from us Kim Do-heon? You should know us better.
American Sports Team They Best Compare To: Kansas City Chiefs… both the Chiefs and South Koreans do a lot of hard work and running around but it usually doesn’t get them all that far. Oh and their defenses aren’t that good. And they’re supported by a lot of people who are loud and wear red.
For the Women: If they were shoes . . . M&S* slippers
Brilliant at home; you can't fault them. But there's little point them being anywhere else: scant protection, mild support and could fray around the edges if they come up against anything rough
(* I believe that when they say M&S they are referring to Marks and Spencer a department store in the UK).
Chances: If they can beat the Swiss the second round looks nice… they can’t trip up against Togo (which shouldn’t be a problem) and maybe they’ll run so much that the ‘old’ French will keel over and… on second thought, probably not.
Their Deal: They can’t get away from France! Not only are they neighbors on a map, but they also were in the same qualification group… and now in the same World Cup group! Anyway, they’re a young team that apparently have some players. The question is: Are they too young?
Nickname: Die Eidgenossen (the Oath Comrades)
World Cup Best: Quarterfinals in 1934, 1938, and 1954
Stud Muffin: Why not Alexander Frei? Or maybe it’s Johann Vogel. We just don’t really know.
Random Thoughts: Word has it the Swiss have no opinion on this blog… neutrality is cool sometimes… did you know that Sweden was also neutral in the First and Second World War?... I hear they make those cough drops and clocks… and they’ve got world class banks… and they’ve got a reputation for being boring, but I honestly wouldn’t know… SWISS ARMY KNIFE IN YOUR BACK… WORD UP, Roger Federer. WORD UP!... I think pretty much everyone in America would have rather have seen Ireland make the World Cup over the Swiss.
Best Name: Tranquillo Barnetta
American Sports Team They Best Compare To: Milwaukee Brewers… ummm well see no one really hates or likes the BrewCrew and the Brewers are young and have talent but not as good as say the Cardinals. Sort of like the Swiss.
For the Women: If they were shoes . . . Scholl sandals
Have a certain quaint charm but charm will get you only so far. You have to have substance as well: here we have a lack of pretty much anything up front and wonder how they'll fare should things turn tasty
Chances: They’ll handle the South Koreans, Togo shouldn’t be trouble… WELCOME TO THE ROUND OF 16, now go lose to Spain.
Their Deal: It’s not good. Their coach quit over the weekend, then decided two days later to come back. Never a good start. But that’s sort of the icing on the cake of what’s been a bad 2006 for Togo. They some how qualified for the Cup, then decided it’d be a good idea to have a lot of internal turmoil, fighting, and bad play. They may be the worst team in the World Cup… we’ll have to ask Saudi Arabia first though.
Nickname: Les Eperviers (Sparrow Hawks)
World Cup Best: Us Catholics would call them ‘Marys’, others virgins, and still others first timers. Swipe that World Cup V Card!
Stud Muffin: Emmanuel Adebayor plays for Arsenal which means he can’t be that bad right?
Random Thoughts: Former French colony they could also be a poster nation of “Why Imperialism and Colonialism Sucked and Sucks”… you know the deal human rights abuses and plagued by political unrest… they speak French officially… Togo is sort of a cool English name though… looking to the west you’ll see Ghana… I wonder if they have national airline…THEY DO, but I’m not sure if they have a website, sorry.
Best Name: Cherif Touré Mamam, Drop the R and then switch the E and I in that first name Cherif and you’ve got one of the greatest names of all time.
American Sports Team They Best Compare To: If Angola is the CUA of this tourney, then Togo is the St. Ignatius College Prep basketball team. That’s right… High School baby. How many points would a high school team lose to a NBA team by? 134? More?
For the Women: If they were shoes . . . Prada bamboo wedges
This season's novelty - but have they been built up too much? You can't really see these newcomers going far. One false step and a crashing fall seems inevitable
Chances: You know what would be cool? Scoring a goal against France. Beating France would be like the biggest thing ever to happen to Togo (Senegal did it in 2002 btw)… but sadly scoring A goal would be a nice World Cup.
France (7), Switzerland (6), South Korea (4), Togo (0)