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."
"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."
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.