Editor’s retroactive notes:
Copenhagen’s comin’ along! Hmm. I should preface that I am referring to the Danish National Football Team and not the “Climate Change Treaty”. That accord is not “coming along” very well at all. If you’re hoping for some sort of multilateral breakthrough at the Copenhagen Conference in December (that includes you Angie), you’re dreaming! Kyoto had much more willpower, and cuter waitresses. I’ve been searching everywhere for the U.S. Position Points for the Copenhagen Conference, only to discover that there aren’t any. Whoops. This could be Barack Obama’s worst visit to Copenhagen since…..nevermind. Let’s skip it.
Before I get to the gloating, I would like to request a moment of silence for our keeper, Robert Enke. Robert took his own life on Tuesday, throwing himself in front of a RegionalExpress near Hanover. Details remain sketchy. He was a professional success with a beautiful young family. It boggles the mind what would possess someone with so much going for him to voluntarily leave this earth. Robert, I don't know why you did it. Whatever your reasons, I hope you found the peace you were looking for. Wir werden sie nicht vergessen! Herzlichen dank für ihren Beitrag. J
All right wops. Allow me to begrudgingly welcome back the reigning world champions. I’ll let you slide this time around and keep the ethnic slurs to a minimum. I must, however, mention that some 400,000 Italian Women have now signed the “Basta!” Petition. The word, which translates to “Enough” means that 400,000 Italian Women believe that 78 sex scandals, 243 bribery cases, 1,456 instances in which Berlusconi made a mockery of the Italian judicial system by paying his way to immunity, and shameless support for the “moral authority” of the Vatican throughout all of this is finally enough!! Berlusconi, you have enraged Italian women to the point that they are determined to sign a meaningless piece of paper! Sigh Yet again, Italian Women continue to focus their rage on all the wrong places. Business as usual L.
There is some debate whether or not they plan to show up. Evidently, they haven’t been given enough “time to prepare”. The lousy Karadzic joke aside, I hope this is the beginning of great things for Serbia. On the Euro-political stage, they appear to making all the right moves. Mark my words; it will not be long until they recognize Kosovo's independence. They threw those bastard radicals out in the 2008 election! One can tell they crave EU Membership. Everyone’s favorite holistic healer (Karadzic) has been delivered. He will die in The Hague just like Milosevic did! The only thing the Serbs have left to prove, insofar as I’m concerned, is that they can find Mladic and hand him over. That’s it. Well, I will subject you to my time honored tradition of making fun of countries in which every football player has the same last name suffix.
What did I tell you? WHAT DID I TELL YOU? Vladimir Weiss and da boysh are comin to Cape Town! I will name my first-born Vladimir in honor of this. Can you think of a scarier name than “Vladimir Vice”?
Ach Gunter…I must give thanks for the qualification of our bizarre microstate in the shrine of Account Number #465423. If you think these alpine assholes actually have a chance next summer, you haven’t wound your kuku clock. What is there to say concerning the country where everything is exorbitantly expensive and racist political campaigns resonate with the people? Hmmm…Here are the most outrageous butcherings of the marvelous German language by Bruno Ganz in the movie “Vitus”:
Diego Maradona told me, and everyone else who doubted him, that we can “suck it” That, at least is the mainstream translation. Here are all the sections of his wonderfully puerile press conference rant after Argentina qualified:
Yes sir! This World Cup is shaping up to be one of the best ever for those of us who love the ladies. In addition to the Koreans (both North and South), the Japs, the Argentines, the Brazilians, and the Spaniards we’ve got the South Africans, the Hondurans, and yes the “Red Hot Chilé Peppers”! Welcome back, Chile! I missed you!
I’m excited. They’re excited. Fernando Lugo’s so excited, he impregnated two nuns! (Scratch that. Fernando Lugo is the President of Paraguay. He has nothing to do with our beloved Elphenbein Küste I simply HAD to get that joke in somehow)
Last month, I came down pretty hard on Roberto Michelleti and Manuel Zelaya. I even remarked that I was commissioning my old roommate Reed, an expert in expelling “guys on the couch”, to the Brazilian Embassy so that things might be straightened out. A month later, absolutely nothing has changed!! This is nothing short of pathetic. Can’t you two get your shit together? I’m tired of reading Wall Street Journal Editorials averring that your country’s precarious political situation is part of some socialist White House conspiracy to leninize the continent! I have a special affinity with the Honduran people. They are the ones rebuilding New Orleans, along with the Haitians and the Mexicans. You clowns can’t even broker an electoral agreement without it falling apart in 24 hours. The revocation of your O.A.S. membership hurts your hardworking citizens while you play these vanity games. The U.S. Visa freeze separates families! You have until the start of the WM to find your bearings. If you cannot meet this deadline, well its not as if we cared much about you before, but say hello to the “Michael Corleone Moment”
Viva Galevison Games. Telemundo! Telecasts. Univision Utopia! We may all breathe a collective sigh of relief. America’s wacky neighbor will be streaming live with all the excitement of a country with something to play for. Bill Simmons’s foray into the Tequila haze of Azteca may be found here:
Before proceeding with the U.S. Section, I’d like to request a moment of silence for Charlie Davies. Charlie was involved in an automobile accident that will likely end his football career. The budding superstar was cut down in his prime. He was definitely one of the best to ever put on a U.S. jersey. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Charlie!
I won’t have Vaclav Klaus to kick around anymore L. Likewise, Peter Cech, Thomas Rosicky, Michal Kadlec, Radoslav Kovac, and Jan Simunek and any reference to how disgusting Pilsner-Urquell tastes are gone…gone I tell you!!! No!! Why?!?! Everything has gone wrong, thanks to Klaus’s footnote, I will not be able to reclaim my house in the Sudetenland!!
Speaking of Euro skeptic, backward, right wing countries that I love to lampoon with crude ethnic jokes, where will the Poles be in the summer of 2010? In a Warsaw Bar, drowning their sorrows in vats of Okocim. L Sorry, Polksa. I was so looking forward to the German team completely humiliating you with your own players. Thanks for all the memories (especially 2006 J) Goodbye-ski! Good Luck-ski!
Ulster lads, I had such high hopes. It appears increasingly likely that we will have NO other UK teams besides England playing in this WM. The Scots are an overdosing Ewan Macgregor riding around Edinburgh in a taxi while Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” plays softly in the background. The Welsh are entombed in a creepy looking Celtic burial mound. Now the Northern Irish have gone the way of the retired rev. Ian Paisley and there’s trouble at Stormont. Damn L L The Republic of Ireland is our only hope! One wishes that U.K. Football qualifying would unfold like an episode of “Highlander”. Whoever remains takes the loser’s power. There can be only one! By the way, hope you managed to catch Stephen Colbert doing this to Lou Dobbs last night:
Its Renaissance Fair time and I’ve got the medieval fever! Unfortunately, I will not be able to join my friends in East Texas this year. This misfortune is compounded by the fact that my old mate -------- has discovered the perfect costume: a self-flagellating monk! Does it get any better? Prancing around with a cross around your neck, drinking Meade, and whipping your back while loudly proclaiming, “I’m a sinner!! Forgive me Lord Jesus” Er…that sounds a little like last Tuesday. Oh well. I guess I don’t really need the Renaissance Fair to amuse myself in such a fashion. Should I find myself craving a little company, I can always find a Pentecostal bake sale or something.
The absence of a bunch of Nordic Vikings is hardly a big deal. The Swedes deserve a break, having long since shored up their banking system and now needing to concentrate on how the hell to make Koenigsegg a viable entity. There is one thing that I will truly miss are the Spanish announcers overemphasizing the vowels in Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The Kebab Connection will not be joining us. This year’s title of “Ugliest Team in the Tournament” will probably belong to the Greeks. I will continue to say this until I draw my last breath: The Turks are my German half-brothers. Their collapse during this qualifying campaign has me feeling as if a close family member just died. Sure, he wasn’t the most hygienic family member. He frequently forgot to shower or brush his teeth. He wasn’t the most polite either. He was constantly shouting at you, trying to sell you something, suing media that didn’t agree with him for back taxes. He also didn’t treat women very well or admit it when he had clearly committed genocide. HE WAS STILL FAMILY!! I miss him. Sniffle
“Vielen dank für ihre Interesse an der Weltmeisterschaft. Leider haben wir die Stellungen mit geeignteren Kandidaten bekleidet. Einen schönen Tag wünschen wir euch noch!”
Greetings, Africa fans! What an exciting weekend we have on tap. The “Super Eagles” need a miracle to rid our World Cup of those wretched Tunisians. Togo and Cameroon are battling hard for their spot in what looks to be some incredibly intense matches. Algeria and Egypt are fighting for one place as well….but who cares about Arab North Africa? Not me! It all comes down to this. Which deserving people are headed to Zuma Land? Stayed glued to your TV screen on Saturday for the most exhilarating matches of the weekend! We need a name for this momentous occasion. My nominations:
The Moroccans have absolutely no chance in this one. There will be a party at King Mohammed’s villa featuring belly dancers, ornate hookahs, and 7 course meals. Unfortunately, they will not be celebrating a Moroccan victory. Not only am I certain that Cameroon will win, I’ll even give you the goal scorers:
I’ve already expressed my sympathies for those suffering under dismal, worthless leadership in both of these countries. It would be nice if those in Gabon could celebrate a World Cup Berth tomorrow night. Regrettably, “Les Eperviers” will not go quietly. This sliver of an African country has WAY too much talent. Again, so confident of this am I, that I’ll give you the goal scorers:
What an unhappy year it has been for my cherished Kenyans. A recent UN Report prepared by none other than Kofi Annan confirms that the power-sharing government has been an absolute failure. Corruption now pervades the ranks of Odinga’s operatives as well as Kibaki. The Mungiki are as committing as many grotesque violent acts as ever. Perhaps the time has come for all of us to admit that the so-called “French Model” of a power sharing government after a disputed election is inherently futile! @#!@#$. I am instinctively distrustful of anything labeled “The French Model”, particularly when applied to the continent of Africa. This nonsense has proven itself ineffective all over: Zimbabwe, Kenya, Mozambique, Togo, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso. I am a self-professed EU lover, but there simply is no place for EU Logic in Africa. At least, not yet. For all their faults, the Chinese can effectively raise African living standards. Good democratic governance comes AFTER this, not BEFORE!!
A hefty Colbertesque wag of my finger to the British, American, and German media. Where is our coverage of the election in Mozambique? This is inexcusable! I don't need to know what Representative “Thumb up his Ass” (R, Alabama) said about the Health Care Bill. I already know what Representative “Thumb up his Ass” said! Something about it being un-American and how it’s time to wave the American flag and implement a tax cut. Give me in-depth global reporting. If one can’t trust “The Economist” or “Die Zeit” what does one have left?
A meaningless match. Neither of these teams are headed anywhere.
Hello Egyptian Females! Have you heard the good news? Artificial hymens are now a multi-million dollar industry in Egypt! The marketplace is flooded with them! That’s right. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re a virgin on your wedding night! Those of you who are actually virgins, yet busted your hymen on a bicycle, your problems are over!! All you have to do is purchase the “Artificial Hymen Kit”, now available from six different manufacturers! Your husband will never know the difference! No more worries for you! Well, there is one more worry. You still have to make love to an Egyptian man, tantamount to having sex with a disgusting warthog. Well, at least Smelly Mcdouchebag will think you’re a virgin!
An open memo to Turkish Premier Recep Tayip Erdogan:
I have to say this. I miss my friend “Amadou Mamadou” from Burkina Faso. I am prepared to embark on a scavenger hunt for him. He should still be living somewhere around Heidelberg. I WILL find him, and greet him with the ever satisfying:
Everyone chill. Our Ivory Coast Superstars will be on the pitch! Drogba, Eboué, Kalou, Kone, Sanogo, Keita, Koné, and Yaya Touré will be there! So will Viera, Demel, Boka, Zokara, Cissé, and Kolo Touré. This is the most talented African squad I and most everyone else has ever seen! They have such potential to be the African superheroes! You’ve got to believe!
These two drew in the first leg of their aggregate playoffs. The score ended nil-nil and I, thankfully, remembered to bring something interesting to read before sitting down to watch that feeble excuse for a game! For those of you who, after 7 ½ years, still think you can make money off me, I’d like to throw you a bone. In this match I’m betting with my heart and not my head. I hate New Zealand! The “All Whites” can kiss me on the all white. They may have more talented players, but I don’t root for British Colonies on whose teams no natives play! Bahrain forever! In a stunning turn of events, I back the Arabs! Take advantage of me…..if you dare!
Uruguay v. Costa Rica
Here we have the CONCACAF/COMNEBUL Playoff. Do take note that from this point forward, ALL BETTING LINES ARE SCORED ON THE AGGREGATE. To clarify that briefly: All further matchups will consist of TWO GAMES. Therefore, the bet to be placed will be on the AGGREGATE number of goals. This is the reason you see “Saturday/Wednesday” in the header above. Clear, everyone? Good. Time to settle in for some exciting playoffs! As you may recall, in the last edition of the sportsbook, I struggled to come up with something original to say about Uruguay. The best I could muster was some asinine alliteration: “Montevideo Madness”. Over the past four weeks, I’ve managed to recall a Simpsons episode in which Homer pronounced Uruguay, “You are gay”.
The Final Qualifying Matches—UEFA
I must suppress my innate yearning to sing the European National Anthem. That should be quite easy as there is NO European National Anthem. The EU Constitution initially called for Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” to be the national anthem of Europe. After French and Dutch voters overwhelmingly rejected the constitution, such blatantly integrationist Power Bloc Measures were scrapped. Lisbon is now the governing treaty of the European Union. The document contains no reference to a new flag, anthem, conservative cable news channel, or anything else that may be considered the hallmark of an ultra nationalistic Super state. It occurs to me that I might have been disproportionately hard on Europe in my last edition of the Sportsbook. I referred to it as a “patchwork quit of medieval fiefdoms”, “an army of technocrats squabbling over milk subsidies”, and a place of “bizarre micro states galore!”
Hahahahah. This is a script Tolstoy couldn’t have written. The first “Yugoslav Breakaway Republic” vs. “Mother Russia”?!? The EU’s Golden Child vs. the Soviet Menace? The Slovene performance will mirror their turn at the EU rotating Presidency: Hopeful at the beginning, embarrassing by the second half. Pavulyuchenko, Arshavin, Kerzakhov, Pogrebnyak, and Zhirkoz will make it to the cape. Break open the Vodka now.
Something occurred to me as I was watching Viktor Yushchenko’s 47th appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations over the past two years. In point of fact, many things occurred to me, but I’ll get to them later. I believe the overriding emotion was one of vexation. Since the Orange Revolution, we have been pressured into hanging on every word of Viktor, Julia, and Yanukovich. I suppose my question is this:
The “luck of the draw” pits two of my favorite teams against one another. I’ve paced around on this one. I’ve smoked two cigarettes at once. I’ve gone back and forth more than Tim McCarver after the game. On the one hand, a WM without the French is like a Bachelor Party without hookers. We simply must have our Henry, Gallas, Gouvou, Anelka, Riberry, Benzema, Evra, Abidal….I could prattle on all night! I’m also deeply concerned about the staff at “France Telecom”. France already tops the global suicide rate list. In the past three months, 23 employees have decided that corporate restructuring is too much for them and hurled themselves out the window! How horrible! Imagine what will happen if France loses, the Peugeot Factories close down, Germans stop purchasing plots for nuclear waste, and no French citizen can download pirated music anymore. I don’t want blood on my hands!
Pop open the Port. Ronaldo, Deco and Co. are headed to South Africa. This was the luckiest draw at the lottery. Start celebrating Portos. I was worried about you for a while. J