Thursday, April 26, 2012

WM 2002--Round One

WM 2002

Now that you know a bit about the participants, let’s get on with the matches!


France vs. Senegal


A colonial match up in Seoul gets us started! Ze French begin their title defense against a rapacious African Nation tired of being condescended to. Les Bleaus limp into this match, with three of their starters injured during the one-month exhibition period. The central aspect Prompting Chirac’s cynicism has been some very choppy play and reported internal feuds among the players. By contrast, Senegal seems well poised to shoot straight for the Achilles Heel. The Senegalese are essentially a French team. They have a French coach and all but two of their players play in Ligue 1. Furthermore, they’re right fucking pissed. Black French commonly refer to Black Africans with French ties as “little brothers”. Racism is rampant in European football, but especially epidemic in the French league.

I’m placing my money on the “little brothers”! I challenge all those of you Europhiles to call my bluff. Commercer! 

THE LINE: Senegal +1 Goal

Editor’s retroactive notes:
RESULT: Senegal 1 , France 0 . Good fucking lord, was this a game! The later to be christened “Lions of Teranga” dominated the fist half, keeping the ball away from the sluggish and clumsy Bastille Boys. They made them look utterly silly. Le Merde did recover after the restart and launched an impressive offensive assault. The “little brothers” banded together with some intrepid defending, brave slide tackles, and heroic goalkeeping. I shall never forget witnessing this match unfold, worried that I had kicked things off with an audacious line that was all heart and no knowledge. In the end, character prevailed, my boys came through, the money rolled in, and a game that no African will ever forget provides every last one of us with a means of starting a conversation. Try it sometime J


Ireland vs. Cameroon


Should they manage to maintain sobriety, the edge goes to Irish in this one. Shay Given is quite possibly second only to Oliver Kahn as the best goalkeeper in the tournament. Nothing gets past him. Looking forward to a good match here. By all means it should resemble one of those drunken brawls under the Perkins overpass on St. Patty’s day.

THE LINE: Ireland +1 Goal

Editor’s retroactive notes:
RESULT: Ireland 1, Cameroon 1. Shay Given has stood the test of the time. He’s reliably been among the Premiership’s top keepers, first for Newcastle and now for league leaders Man. City. In a parallel vein, whichever bar happened to be pumping out booze under the Perkins Overpass has also stood the test of time, reliably facilitating a festive atmosphere within which to get drunk and dance with inebriated girls for over ten years!

Uruguay vs. Denmark


Given the flat performance of the Danes in the months leading up to the tournament and the hopes swirling around the Montevideo Mannschaft, have to give this one to the South Americans. They have better players and a deeper bench.

THE LINE: Uruguay +2 Goals

Editor’s retroactive notes:
RESULT: Denmark 2, Uruguay 1. Er…oops. Every bookie must matriculate in a few courses over at the School of Hard Knocks. Repeat after me: Per-tournament matches mean NOTHING. I vaguely recollect throwing an oblong object at the television screen and shouting some obscenities, during the second half of this of this one. Somehow I had to will trainer Victor Pua to make a few tactical substitutions. He would not budge, making all three swaps during the final ten minutes. All of the shouting convinced my mother to sleepily stumble down the steps and conduct a rather apt profanity-laced lecture on what a hopeless loser I was for being unemployed and staying up all night watching football. For a full ten seminal minutes I probed deep into my soul in pursuit of some existential impetus forward out of my rut…...then the Germany match came on. J 

Germany vs. Saudi Arabia


To quote Tellah from Final Fantasy VI, “WE SHALL AVENGE!” You don’t have to go to war with Iraq! We’ll get payback for all of your pain and suffering right here! I predict that Oliver Bierhof will score a Hat Trick and these Arabs will drop to their knees and beg for mercy. No one stops a German machine, as this late-night Autobahn wayfarer an attest. We’ll run over them at 200 km/hr and never give it a second thought. We shall cut off their Johnson, stomp on it, and squish it!

THE LINE: Germany +3 Goals

Editor’s retroactive notes:
RESULT: Germany 8, Saudi Arabia 0. Christ, was this a raping. I do not purport to take perverse pleasure in watching aggressive porn. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Saudis take it straight up the ass. Bückt dich, bitches! As it turned out, Bierhof didn’t even start. Instead a young Miroslav Klose established himself as the new German striker for the new century, grabbing a brace before the 26th minute was out and completing the Hat Trick long after all eleven Saudis had been castrated. This was where it all started for the shy Polish striker who didn’t even speak German very well. Another fresh young face hitherto reserved and ineloquent emerged: The awesome Ossie Michael Ballack, with a thunder strike in the 40th minute. A new template of Mannschaft began to take shape. No longer would Deutschland be represented by big hulking Aryan Westerners with typically guttural German names like Matthäus, Müller, Breitner, Beckenbauer, and Klinsmann. In their stead a new eclectic group of immigrant sons would take the pitch, forever redefining what it means to German. They would soothe a beleaguered nation of naval-gazing self-haters, restoring a populace’s faith in their own identity. Yawn. Be forewarned, Iran. This is what we’re going to do to you once we meet on the pitch

Three more quick notes. First, it was not at all displeasing to read a sentence about Iraq in the pre-emptive tense. Secondly, you’ve just witnessed the first of 312,023 Lebowski references to be used in my Sportsbook writing. Finally, to those of you dumb enough to bet on the Saudis in the match, I squirm with delight thinking of the morning you had. You know who you are.       


Argentina vs. Nigeria


Heart palpitations ensue. I’ve thrown my lot in with the Argentines and the “EU-Wing Theory”. Here comes the first test. I expect them to come out with guns blazing. Should their coordination not necessarily match their talent, they can always cheat Maradona style.

THE LINE: Argentina +2 Goals

Editor’s retroactive notes:
RESULT: Argentina 1, Nigeria 0. Not ready for primetime yet. The “EU-Wing Theory” did in due time find corroboration in this tournament. I simply picked the wrong squad.

Paraguay vs. South Africa


The hour grows late and the handicapping these two teams cannot be achieved. In principle Paraguay should be the favorite, seeing as how they advanced further in the previous World Cup…barely. Four years constitutes quite a long time and these sides are evenly matched. Gentlemen, we have our first pick. Trust your intuition.

THE LINE: Pick em’

Editor’s retroactive notes:
RESULT: Paraguay 2, South Africa 2. Years later I would recuse myself from picking draws until the third round. It seemed just a tad unfair that I took bets from both sides and won money from both sides. Though I do this in most matches, a pick from the bookie crosses line from sly trickery to outright cheating. To summarize: I am an untrustworthy bastard who excels at manipulating your emotional tendencies for my own financial benefit….but I’m not heartless.  

Spain vs. Slovenia


Taking the above discussion regarding Spain’s lack of punctuality in account, I am extremely apprehensive about picking La Roja to win. I honestly would feel more comfortable betting on my girlfriend’s menstrual cycle. In the final analysis, I must ride with the talent, bareback or no.

THE LINE: Spain +1 Goal

Editor’s retroactive notes:
RESULT: Spain 3, Slovenia 1. They didn’t disappoint. Neither did my girlfriend’s menstrual cycle. Odd that a young single man with little experience in women felt confident enough to write that barb. Within a year, that gag would become a sad reality. For the love of everything holy, NEVER allow a girl not on birth control to talk you in unprotected sex. “So…it’s the 17th…how are know…going, sweetie?” Even the eventual onset doesn’t allow for a sigh of relief. Then you have to deal with her morose mouth saying things like “Nothing’s really wrong….but nothing’s really right” for at least two consecutive days. Seriously, ladies. WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN?

England vs. Sweden


Time for me to bust into my rendition of “God Save the Queen”. Ahem.


For St. George, mates. For St. George.

THE LINE: England+1 Goal


Editor’s retroactive notes:
RESULT: England 1, Sweden 1. Fuck the Queen. Should have known that those Nordic hordes would catch up to them.