Monday, July 10, 2006

Yes, I Am Gloating: A Post-Cup Review

I just thought I'd review my pre-Cup predictions:

"USA results: I think we get a tie against one of Italy and CR and lose to the other."


"I think we narrowly beat Ghana to finish with 4 points and fail to advance on goal differential."

But for a really crummy PK call, I might have got the results right, but then USA would have advanced. So at least I got the ultimate result right: an early exit.

World Cup champion: "I think it's safe to say that the winner will be one of Brazil, Germany (the host country advantage), Italy, England, and the Netherlands."

Bingo again.

"Brazil is the easy choice. Germany is attractive since they are the host, but they have a serious problem if Ballack's not healthy. So I'm taking Italy despite some health concerns there as well."

Bingo thrice.

And by the way, in a previous post I had talked about how European teams dominate Cups in Europe. Of course, you might have noticed that all four semifinal teams were European.

This was a Cup marked by extremes: truly memorably performances of greatness and, well, truly memorable performances for their putridity.

The good: Germany, both as a team and as a host nation. Reports were that the Germans were remarkably efficient and precise (even for Germans); the first 99.99% of Zidane's minutes.

The bad: Officials; Landon Donovan; Kakanaldodinho; Golden Ball (MVP) voting regulations that allowed votes to be submitted before Zidane's expulsion, leading to two consecutive World Cups in which the winner was the goat late in the final match.

The ugly: The last .01% of Zidane's minutes; diving, particularly Portugal's world-class exhibition.

Farewell until 2010.


Coach C said...

Good calls, Ben. It was hard to know who to root for in the final. . .I finally decided just to root for Zidane personally. Just imagine if his header had gone in. . .
I can't believe he commited that foul. What could the guy have said that Zidane had not already heard before in his life. What a crazy way to end things.
It was over when the match went to PK's, France did not have a chance with the the clown, Barthez in the net.

Michael C. said...

Impressive. Would I correctly assume then that you won the World Cup office pool at Positive Action?

bob said...

I was extremely disappointed with Zizou and I'm very interested in his statement he is going to make in a few days. He is not justified, but I would not be surprized if FIFA deals strongly with the antagonists. The stuff that is coming out is interesting.

ANd... if you are going to headbutt anybody, there is no one in European soccer that deserves it more than Materazzi. They guy is a violent, dirty, and racist thug with a widely known track record.

It wouldn't have been half bad if Z had waited until after the game!

Brandon said...

Ben, congrats are in order. I think you are officially ready to take over for Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio. (As always...just a joke!)

Ben said...


You should see the prize!


From the moment it happened I had every confidence that Materazzi had said something pretty inflammatory, and I hope he's suspended, assuming the early reports from the lip readers are accurate. But I can't imagine how Zidane was unable to control himself in that situation. Unbelievable.

After the game would have been a great idea. It would have been well worth the $10K fine, I would think. What else can you do to a guy who's retiring?


That job would require that I care about MLB and NBA. Not gonna happen.

Matthew LaPine said...,,28783-2263995,00.html

pretty severe taunt