JLo’s beginner’s guide to the World Cup: Wow did I screw up and one way soccer is way better than the No Fun League
I have a full time job that sadly does not involve me writing blog posts all day, so I’ve been trying to squeeze in these World Cup updates either before I go to bed or in the morning while eating breakfast. Either way, it doesn’t leave me a lot of time to edit them before I post, and I’m a pretty horrible self-editor anyway, so every now and then some mangling of the English language or other mistake slips through. Usually it’s nothing too glaring though, a misspelling here or there or an example of my brain changing gears mid-sentence before my slow typing fingers catch up. Yesterday though I made a pretty big clanger which I didn’t catch until just a few minutes ago (and which by the magic of editing is now fixed for posterity) and I feel pretty bad about it, but I’m guessing you didn’t notice or realize or care because nobody pointed it out, but then again maybe you were just being nice and taking pity on me since I was in obvious distress after the gut-wrenching end to the U.S. match last night.
Anyway, I identified my man of the match as Colby Jones instead of Jermaine, and for that I am sorry. I think in my head I was actually thinking of Cobi Jones, who also happens to be another dread-locked U.S. midfielder, albeit one who is as old as me and obviously not the man of the match on Sunday night. So, my apologies to you Jermaine. Your effort was too good for some hack blogger to misidentify you. Just for that, I’m naming you man of the match for Monday even though you didn’t play. Congratulations.
One team that did play Monday was Mexico, and they clinched entry into the round of 16 and a match up against The Netherlands on Saturday. (Get this fun fact that isn’t related to anything I’m talking about right now but don’t know where to put it: Brazil has not lost a competitive match on home soil since 1975. That’s 39 years ago.) Even though Mexico is our hated rival, I will be sad to see them go when the Dutch send them packing because watching their manager Miguel Herrera is far and away the best entertainment value going right now. Take a look at this and try not to be mesmerized by it. The gents at Men in Blazers have dubbed this one “Wet Herrera.”
There are a couple of excellent clips in this highlight as well.
There’s a broader point here, and it is about the absolute joy and all around awesomeness of goal celebrations in general. Take Columbia for example, whose quasi-choreographed team dance celebrations have been nothing short of fantastic. I watch that and the words that come to mind are “fun” and “joy.”
Now think for a second about the NFL and ask yourself 1) when was the last time you watched an NFL game and either of those two words popped into your head and 2) how many penalty yards would Herrera and Columbia rack up in a game, in between time outs while the referees reviewed replays during commercial breaks to ensure that every bit of self expression and fun was thoroughly stamped out. I know which I prefer to watch.
Italy v. Uruguay is the big game today, featuring a matchup the two most talented and volatile strikers in the world, Mario Baloteli v. Luis Suarez. There’s definitely a high probability of goals, but a red card, a brawl, some biting, and perhaps a knife fight are also in play. I’ll take Uruguay 2-0 and after a Baloteli red card in the 30th minute.
Cheers and happy viewing.