Thursday, October 10, 2013

WMQ 2013--"Der Wille zum Syndikat"

WMQ 2013 (2)

Greetings Friends,

The countdown continues, syndicate members

244 days remaining….

Last go-around, we welcomed the following four countries into the fold. Five new ones now join us for a total of 9 secure places out of a total 32.

I grit my teeth at the prospect of inserting STILL MORE material from previous syndicates. Being unoriginal constitutes my primary personal vexation. Repeating myself comes in a close second. Having to write in broken French piggybacks in as an even closer third.

Nevertheless, the contours of our society leave me with little choice but to deploy all three irksome devices at once.

Here’s my “Bete Noire”, people:

The current government shutdown forces me to conclude the following:

A) No Americans are paying attention to much of anything other than how much more time the Hot Pockets have left in the microwave.

B) Social Media has completely eradicated our short-term memory.

C) No one was meant to be happy….unless one happens to be a “Duck Commander”.

D) The way to win any argument is to whine that “it’s too complicated…wah….wah….baby want bottle!”

E) I hate Wops

To be absolutely fair, (C) and (E) exhibit only tangential relevance toward the Government Shutdown and more closely reflect prevailing personal grievances. They do, however, course through the same veins that bring my seething metalloproteinase-based fluids to a boil.

Grrrrrr…….WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!?!?! You act as if we haven’t had FOUR FULL YEARS to study and acquaint ourselves with this particular piece of legislation.

Two weeks? Fine. I can understand. Two months? No problem. You were busy. Two years? Cool, cool. Those were your birthing years. You wife gave birth to “Irish Twins”. Perfectly understandable. You had your hands full. Three years? Okay, okay. It’s all good. Catch up when you can. Your college education kept you occupied. Surely you can find time to nominally inform yourself about a watered-down, private sector friendly Health Insurance Program that entails low-risk, low-cost premiums that, at the very least, protect you in the event of an emergency.

True, it sucks to have to fork over an extra $50 a month to pool risk and effectively subsidize a slightly older population that never gave you the respect that your Facebook Profile obviously warranted…..but don’t give me this “whoa, whoa, whoa….this is too much, too soon” Bullshit. Moreover, I don’t want to hear any more of this “We need to take more time to study this” Nonsense.

To all those 26 and older, you had FOUR YEARS to learn a few simple precepts. The “Talking Points” elucidated above belong to the members of the generation that you despise. They’re rich lawmakers hell bent on building their own careers on your back. They’re precisely the sort of thankless opportunists you always thought your parents were.

Nixon was reported to remark that anyone hoping to get a simple message across should repeat it at least 1,000 times before people even began to contemplate listening to it. I don’t care if I come across as the asshole who wasted the past four years writing analysis of the Health Care Law. My message is simple:

Here’s your repeated material……and get affordably insured for fuck’s sake. Do it for yourself.

From WMQ 2013: Das Fröhliche Syndikat

Already qualified


A hearty Sura-del Bunda welcome to the Samba Kings, henceforth to be referred to as “the hosts with the mosts”. Even though quarterly GDP Growth has predictably slowed to fewer than 5 percent, this bookie still avers that the Brazilians have much to be grateful for.
The Brazilians put the ‘B’ in “BRIC”, but insofar as I’m concerned B stands for “Behavior”. Call attention to your grievances peacefully, quietly, and in a civilized manner. The sheer amount of genuine misery in the world necessitates that you do not spoil the fun for all those seeking a pleasant distraction.

Think me too harsh? I honestly don’t give a shit. I’m tired of absorbing fatality statistics over my morning coffee. Some people purport to eventually become desensitized to such statistics. I don’t trust those people. Every last flame of life extinguished eliminates exponential potential from this world. Protest peacefully period. I stand by what was written a few short months ago.

From CC 2013: Semifinals

E-mail Riff of the Day

(Female) Reader: Instead of counting “Hot Girls”, why don’t you address the Brazilian Protests?

Vicey: It would be my great pleasure ; ). Don’t let my love of the puerile fool you. I’m actually an entirely too well read individual who wastes an inordinate amount of time reading newspapers. I keep myself über-informed, much to the detriment of anything resembling a social life. Not only am I aware of Latin American Political Activists, I make it my business to write about them:

From “WBC 2013: Round Four”:

--One piece of writing I can link to is the fascinating vlog of Chilean activist Camila Vallejo. Here’s a Guardian article that will take you all the way to the Promised Land:

Yes, I’m attracted to her. That doesn’t mean she’s not a genius!

Your friendly bookie obstinately refuses to be a shallow individual, no matter the costs may be ; ) While we’re all engaged in the frivolous exercise of watching football, everyone should pay heed to the legitimate grievances of those in lands that lack social justice. You may point out that the U.S. also lags behind when it comes to “Social Justice”, but that’s nothing more than a moot point. Whatever tribulations you face, it doesn’t compare to the challenges a full third of the world must deal with. Poverty sucks. I can attest to that. Nevertheless, “abject poverty” sucks even more. Imagine not knowing when your next meal will come.

The people of Brazil rise up in reasonable and rational opposition to policies that affect their daily lives. The movement began as a simple gathering of voices opposed to an increase in transit fees. Confronted with the opulence of the Confederations Cup, ordinary citizens understandably wondered why all of these ornate new stadiums were being erected directly in their faces. The World Cup may bring a hoard of tourism dollars, but will the money be adequately re-distributed?

Brazilians have had to put up with far too much wasteful nonsense. After Lula’s departure, the Rousseff administration has been plagued by one scandal after another. The manner in which corrupt government officials aggrandize and enrich themselves constitutes a personal affront to all those who seeking to make a living in an unfair society. Rousseff herself is a former Guerilla Commander who spent years in prison fighting for the same rights that the protesters currently reach for.

The moral of the whole sordid tale is as follows: Life remains unfair. My Syndicate Members know this. The key is to remain humble, even in the face of improbable success When Rouseff addressed the nation; she reminded everyone that peaceful protests were completely acceptable. She also promised to invest all of the World Cup income in the “Bolsa Familia Program”. Time will tell if that promise will be fulfilled, but the words sounded sincere in any case. Brasilia my full permission (as if that means anything) to rise up in protest just as the South Africans did in 2010 and 2013. It’s not cool to have people celebrate a manufactured carnival on your doorstep ;)

Sorry to be the arrogant Westerner seeking escape from his First World Problems. I just love football. Love your movement too….

How about celebrating your team? Scolari has brought back the magic. What little evidence gleaned from Neymar’s nascent Barça season leads most of us football enthusiasts to believe that he will surpass Messi within a matter of months. Just rejoice. There’s a time and place for everything. That’s why we have elections….in theory anyway.


The new Wop manager has proven a real shot in the arm to our beloved Blue Samurai. The tournament won’t be the same without them. I maintain as much enthusiasm as I did four years ago.

From WMQ 2009—“Syndicate with Avengeance”


Too bad they’re not hosting this year. Hatoyama, Ozawa, and all the poorly connected DPJ newbies could stand to benefit from a “Merkel Moment”. An affectionate welcome back for the beloved “Blue Samurai” (THAT is a nickname) and an admiring salute to the indisputably goofiest people on the planet! Seriously, I do love these people. Here are
Three reasons to be categorically ecstatic that Japan is in the WM (and, NO, you perverted jackasses, none of them have with precocious schoolgirls, WOWOW-TV, or tentacles!)

1. Japanese announcers—If you thought the guys who wrote the programming code for “Marvel vs. Capcom 2” were doing their utmost to induce a seizure with the 5,637,662-hit combo, listen to these cats:

I wish, I wish….that I could have found some WM 2006 Japanese announcers! That Oliver Neuville goal against Poland was priceless. Why can I not receive the NHK feed on my basic cable package? WHY????

Hello hemorrhaging aneurisms for all!

2. Empress Michiko in the stands! Naturally, one may assume she’ll call in sick as usual. Nevertheless, the opportunity to witness the porcelain empress never fails to stir that deep anticipatory excitement! This may be the year I finally witness her shift her elbow, budge her arms shift or even blink! (I have a long running wager with a friend on whether or not she is, in fact, a robot.) I will recoup that $20!! This brings us to……..

3. ROBOTS!!!!!! Colbert fans unite; these automatons pose a serious threat to the beautiful game. As many of you are already aware, the RoboCup Community has tasked itself with the ambitious goal of pitting a humanoid robot team against the World Champions in 2050. Keep a lookout for some steely-eyed Toshiba Goons in the stands! Be vigilant for they must be stopped! If a technological feat such as this really is possible, let’s hope the 2050 Champs are the Italians.


I had high hopes that the Socceroos would ultimately falter after joining the AFC. Sadly, Timmy Cahill and the boys will be coming along. Nothing personal against Cahill, whom I still revere for his infamous “Kaiserslautern KO”. I remain remiss, however, when coming up with novel ways to describe this team. I remain equally remiss to write anything original about “comeback kid” Kevin Rudd. I’ve little choice but to re-post more “blasts from the past”.

From FWM 2011—Semifinals


What did I say about the Australian back line?? Elyse Perry is a pretty girl with a pretty goal to her credit, but she had a nightmare day at the back. Unzunlar upgraded her performance from “catastrophe” to “miserable” and Tameka Butt was subbed in far too late to make difference. (No, people. I refuse to make a joke about either Tameka “what..what” or Bayern keeper Hans Jorg “in the” Butt).

So the dream dies for our “lady-roos”, “waltzing Matildas”, “outback ovaries”, blah blah blah blah. Rest assured we’ll be back with this perennial oceanic qualifier next time around, talking about their fierce “Never say die” attitude, trying (and failing) to find something funny to say about the Prime Minister, and pretending as if Yahoo Serious is a legitimate pop culture reference. Yawn. Don’t you understand? They won’t go away! They’re always coming back! LEAVE ME ALONE!

South Korea
South Korea

One final re-post in the “qualified” section. I promise. This has to be emphasized. Everyone must understand the presence of the Koreans is so vitally important:

From WMQ 2009—Syndicate with Avengeance:

South Korea

Oh yes. Yes sir. Together with the Spaniards and the Japs, there will be no shortage of eye-candy in the stands for the male viewing contingent! The triumvirate of gorgeous hotties is already in! One might even call the Korean girls the Jefferson of the “Mount Rushmore of Babes. The Spaniards are my Roosevelts. I’m just not cool enough. Besides that, I can’t dance. The Japs are my Washington. They will dump you quicker than you can day ”Snow Falling on Peter”. Oh well. Other than reasons that make me appear to be a very “dirty old man”, here are four reasons, why I’m psyched about the Koreans:

1. The drum section of the “Tigers of Asia”. If you haven’t heard this fan club yet, you’re in for a treat!

2. In poor forlorn Kaiserslautern, you simply have to love a team with the nickname “Red Devils”….er with the possible exception of the loathed ManU

3. The Koreans got completely gypped by those microstate cheese yodelers known as the Swiss in the 2006 WM. They were polite to the Ref and everything!! Fucking useless Swiss.

4. ManU’s Ji-Sung Park ready to kick some ass while Park Chu Young is poised to tear up the scene (Chan-Ho Park is still bothered by a hamstring). Lee Chun-Yong of Bolton Wanders is an intriguing prospect while Lee Dong-Gook (tearin’ up the K league) and Lee Young Pyo are back for more! In addition, we’ve got Lee Keun Ho, Lee Chung-Yong, Lee Jung Soo, AND Lee Woon-Jae called up? How about that? Kim Young Kwang, Kim Dong-Jin, Kim Hyung-Il, and Kim Jung-Woo are ready to play!!
(Okay…love my Koreans. Still waiting to meet one that does not have Jong, Hong, Park, Kim, or Lee in their name. Also, is anyone NOT from Seoul? I’m looking forward to meeting you!

Go see Park Chan-wook’s latest epic “Thirst”. I mean, GO RIGHT NOW! If you loved “Oldboy”,  “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance” and “I’m a Cyborg, but that’s Okay”, you’ve not a moment to lose! The Koreans are the ONLY ones left that can still do artful horror.


Rouhani or Rowhani? The precise spelling is immaterial. Our new clerical “Philosopher King” is neither a moderate nor a potential I.A.E.A. miracle worker. Iran will continue to enrich weapons-grade uranium. Crippling sanctions will continue to drive the Rial and—thus—the entire country’s currency into a despondent state of ruin.

That being said, it would be fantastic if everyone could suspend their more geopolitically inclined thoughts and welcome the Iranian Nationals to our tournament. The football team has absolutely nothing to do with our persistent snafu. Don’t forget, this is largely the same team that wore green ribbons during the qualifying stages four years ago. They fight hard for their people. Wish them well, even if they do bow in prayer after every goal.  


To paraphrase Professor Farnsworth, “Good News, Everyone!”. Five more countries have secured a place in Queen Rouseff’s Court:


It simply wouldn’t be a quality tournament absent Clockwork Orange….or one could argue that the failure of the Flying Dutchmen to qualify in 2002 did ultimately lead to the epic 2003 documentary film “The Other Final”. In my best estimation, I’ve touted the virtues of this masterpiece 5,437 times since the inception of the Syndicate. What’s wrong with a little repetition? Nothing if you ask Nixon…..

A potentially novel piece of information:

This film provided the origin for the “signoff phrase” found at the end of every syndicate:

“Now get out of here….and go kick a ball with a stranger”

God bless Louis van Gaal. Fly on, Dutchmen. ; )


The Guineas are coming. Hopefully they won’t get a flat tire along the way. We all know what happens when Italians get a flat tire:


I’d proffer a Berlusconi gag here if it stood even the remotest chance of serving any purpose. Instead, I’ll simply have to pretend as if I’m a worthwhile professional of some sort. Italians are marvelous at such charades…just ask a worthless Wop with the initials E.E.C.

United States
United States

Props on a very convincing victory against the beleaguered Mexicans! It appears as if “Klinsi’s Krewe” stands an outside chance of surviving the travails that await them in a more competitive arena. Between Donovan’s persistent hustle, Altidore’s raw talent, Danny Williams’s potential, and the unexpectedly reliable consistency of Eddie Johnson and Demarcus Beasley, count me in as a believer!

Take it away, “Petey Pablo”

Costa Rica
Costa Rica

What a joy it is to welcome “Los Ticos” back after an eight-year absence. Back in 2006, Wanachope humbled us Germans with a spectacular brace in the opening match ; ) This Summer we can look forward to Bryan Ruiz, Joel Campbell, and Rodney Wallace providing us with some similar spectaculars. 

Don’t bet against this country!!


It may very well be time for La Albicelesta to reclaim their former glory. Messi faces stiff competition from Neymar over at the Nu Camp. Sergio Aguero is off to a cracking start over at C.O.M. Mascherano and Zabaleta show no signs of slowing down. I do believe we’ve found ourselves a favorite. Under the tutelage of Sabella, it may finally be their time!

And on that happy note, let’s dive into the matches….


Since we last had the pleasure of corresponding, the following teams have been eliminated: Serbia, Wales, Macedonia, Malta, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Andorra, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Finland, Georgia, and Belarus.

Considering that only three teams were mathematically eliminated whenst we last spoke, a full NINETEEN eliminations should earn some resonance. At least attempt to understand why I wrote such words:

From WMQ 2013—“Das Fröhliche Syndikat”

That means…….Can you FEEL THE EXCITEMENT!? What a fantastic week of football intrigue lies before us!

Intrigue prevails. The Croats, Swedes, Belgians, Greeks, and French are still fighting for a favorable playoff spot. The Czechs, Norwegians, Danes, Swiss, English, and Russians are still fighting for their lives. The Romanians, Irish, Turks, Austrians, and Albanians can still make it happen with a bit of luck. Don’t miss out on what promises to be a top class weekend of international intrigue!

The poor souls tasked with writing the next Bond Movie know nothing of the gaiety you’ll soon experience!

It’s the final group stage week! Call in sick! Eleven qualifying places remain at stake. Seven will be filled by next Wednesday.


Croatia vs. Belgium


Two teams virtually assured of qualifying; two nations that shouldn’t really exist save for the arbitrary delineation of Europeans and their goddamned borders.

THE LINE: Belgium +1 Goal

Wales vs. Macedonia


Such a shame that neither of these countries will be party to the festivities. An even greater shame; I don’t care enough to set a line.

THE LINE: Pick em’

Armenia vs. Bulgaria


The Bulgarians appear poised to defend their prospective playoff spot with all the zeal of a few rabid junkyard dogs. My money’s on Ilian Mitgsanski of the KSC. He’ll grab a brace.

THE LINE: Bulgaria +2 Goals

Malta vs. Czech Republic


A cruel joke this one is. Even if the “Golden Age” is “vorbei”, Tecl, Kolar, and Darida will…….they will….er…..”subjugate” 

THE LINE: Czech Republic +3 Goals

Denmark vs. Italy


Zero worries for the Wops. The Danes continue to scrap for their playoff berth. Hence, we push the button.


THE LINE: Denmark +1 Goal

Faroe Islands vs. Kazakhstan


Not even bothering to set a line here…just kidding. Call me a postmodernist..

THE LINE: Kazakhstan + 3 Goals.

Deutschland vs. Republic of Ireland


Do the Irish actually have a chance here? My body says, “Let’s go”, while my heart is saying “no.”

From WMQ 2013—“Das Fröhliche Syndikat”

The Paddies have a serious shot assuming they can run the table against inconsistent opposition. The cat a’int exactly in the sack (as Trappatoni would put it), but there’s real reason to assume he a’int dead!


Alright. I’ll admit it. I essentially said the same thing four years ago ; ( The Micks exert  mystical powers over bookmakers. We talk ourselves into them. We allow ourselves to be infectiously swayed by such fallacious thoughts as “Perhaps Keene still has plenty left in the tank”, or “But Hoolahan and O’Shea still hustle!”

Grrr….Stop talking yourself into them Vicey! Since finishing a Henry Handball short of a place in South Africa, Trappatoni has stubbornly clung to a group of aged relics who exhibit about as much creative prowess on the pitch as the current Taoiseach.

No! NO! Not this time! The man who brought us “WAS ERLAUBT STRUNZ” is finished and so is his team!

There is no “cat in the sack”! The only fucking cat one should reference when attempting to prognosticate Irish prospects is Schrödinger’s. I can’t see inside that box! I’ve no clue if that cat is breathing! What I do know is that I’m not doing this anymore. ;( I’m through losing money on these “Erratic Erins!” NO MORE!  WAS ERLAUBT DIE IRREN?

Die Katze ist tot.

”Ich habe Fertig”

THE LINE: Deutschland +2 Goals

Sweden vs. Austria


Now this is intriguing…insofar as Ibrahimovic vs. The Ghost of Jorg Haider is intriguing. Case closed. The Scandinavians reign supreme.

THE LINE: Sweden +3 Goals

Andorra vs. Romania


Lucky for V. Piturca and the Transylvanians….they face mountainous opposition….. “mountainous” in the most unflattering of senses. The Romanians may yet qualify. Lucky for all of us. We may yet get to see Stancu in action!! Keep up the good work, mate. You’ll fight your way out of the Turkish League soon enough.

THE LINE: Romania +5 Goals

Estonia vs. Turkey


Much love to Terim and the “Tenacious Turkmen”. Sadly, even if we achieved triple alliteration, it’s inconceivable that we might welcome you to our tournament, I’m so sad that I have to eat three whole Döner Kebabs before I can even begin to feel better. Seriously…

THE LINE: Turkey +1 Goal

Netherlands vs. Hungary


Nothing much here for Louis van Gaal and the Brilliant Orange to play for. Conversely, the “Magical Magyars” spilt a pair of lopsided results in the previous round. Zoltan Gera’s men maintain a light advantage over the Turks and Romanians, both of whom nip at the heels of a historically cursed nation attempting to qualify for its first major international tournament since 1986.

One has the sense that it’s now or never for the Magyar descendents. Veteran internationals such as keeper Gabor Kiraly, fullback Vilmos Vanczak, and striker Tamas Hajnal are already in their mid-to-late thirties. All three have their retirement papers submitted and triple-stamped. The once prolific Hajnal no longer lights it up for first and second tier Bundesliga Clubs. The sole remaining hamlet he can find gainful employment in remains….Ingolstadt…ugh.
With few promising players in the pipelines, the Hungarians face another decade of football obscurity if they can’t pull it out here.

That’s why we’re calling for…you guessed it….


Dzsudzsak grabs a brace and Hajnal adds a late penalty to cap an entertaining shootout.

THE LINE: Hungary +1 Goal

Albania vs. Switzerland


Oh these bloody racist “mountain men”. If they’re not banning minarets, they’re voting to perpetuate compulsory military service. I’ve had more than my fill, but they’re coming across the pond whether we like it or not.

“We go blah”

(alpine horn)

“We go blah”

THE LINE: Switzerland +2 Goals

Iceland vs. Cyprus


The “Ssons” have shocked us all! They fought toe-to-toe with the Swiss to earn a 4-4 draw in an absolute slugfest that rivaled Balboa vs. Drago. Following that, the “Dark Sharks” took care of business against the Albanians to propel themselves into second place in the group.

The team affectionately dubbed “Strakanir Okar” by the peculiar inbred inhabitants of this tiny volcanic slab of land are surging at precisely the right time under the tutelage of legendary Swedish coach Lars Lagerbäck. Don’t count them out! These people know how to survive on shark meat, how to geothermally exploit natural disasters, and even how to recuperate from a banking disaster that rendered every last ATM in the country kaput for three fucking months!

They’re even poised to benefit from auspicious scheduling down the stretch. The Cypriots a’int exactly Gordon Bombay’s Mighty Ducks. Lagerbäck and the lads should win this one quite handily.

THE LINE: Iceland +3 Goals

Slovenia vs. Norway


It’s just not coming together for the “Fraternity of the Fjord”. In a possible sign of desperation (or capitulation depending on how one views it), head trainer Per Høgmo has opted for youth in his battle for a playoff spot. Veterans Ruben Jenssen, Espen Rudd, and Alexander Søderlund have been left behind. Despite persistent rumors, we won’t see the old talismanic captain John Arne Riise either.

Høgmo appears set to roll the dice with Mönchengladbach’s Harvard Nordtveit, Blackburn’s Joshua King, Red Bull Salzburg’s Valon Berisha, and Braunschweig’s Omar Elabdellaoui. Quite the gamble, even if graybeards Brede Hangeland, Frode Johnsen, and Daniel Braten stand ready to come off the bench should the squad require an extra spark.

Difficult to see them prevailing against a red hot Slovenian side riding high after three consecutive victories. In the final analysis, there will be no dancing in Oslo unless Høgmo makes the wise adjustments heading into Tuesday’s match. I have about as much faith in him as I have in this ridiculous “Cerulean-Cobalt” Coalition government to be sworn in the day after they’re eliminated.

THE LINE: Slovenia +1 Goal

Azerbaijan vs. Northern Ireland


Curtains for both of these nations. They’ll play for pride and nothing else. Don’t bother wasting a nanosecond of your all too short life on this pillow fight.

THE LINE: Pick em’

Luxembourg vs. Russia


Seems as if everyone has an opinion on Putin these days…everyone except this bookie that is. Just a bit “burnt out”. Honestly not sure what’s left to write, other than that one should perpetually expect a condescending tone from both Putin and Lavrov…for the rest of your natural life. That’s jut the way it is. Well. That, and:


Yes, I’m talking to YOU. All you. Every last one of you from West Hollywood to Greenwich Village. Stolichnaya is manufactured in LATVIA. It’s not even Russian!! You’re only embarrassing yourselves.

One yearns for a simpler time; an era when the ideas would simply pop:

From WMQ 2009—“Syndicate with Avengeance”:

Russia v. Germany

Where does one begin here? A Barbarosa gag? Some puns about pipeline politics? A heartless joke about Angie’s cleavage seducing Guido Westerwelle out of the homosexual scene? A soft jab at the Ruskies for bringing Soviet Flags to games or the three blades of grass on the Moscow field? A faux conversation between bubbling idiots Podolski and Pavlyuchenko? Oh there is too much to say. One must fight the temptation to spend all damn day on this. Mayhap I’ll keep it simple with a passage from Taylor Branch’s (The Clinton biographer) book:

“During an official Visit to Washington in 1995, the Secret Service discovered that President Yeltsin was not in his room. After a frantic search they discovered Yeltsin on Pennsylvania Avenue in nothing but his underwear, trying to hail a cab. When asked what he was doing, a clearly inebriated Yeltsin replied that he merely wanted a pizza.”

The beauty of this is that I don’t even have to write a joke here. Anyone still wondering why Putin enjoys such great popularity?

THE LINE: Russia + 4 Goals

Portugal vs. Israel


Your friendly bookie received some very slight impotent blowback from the following remarks:

From WMQ 2013—“Das Fröliche Syndikat”

The Jews retain the status of the favorites. That doesn’t mean I’m rooting for them. Not after this:

Russia vs. Israel

Among the things that the Israelis should keep in mind: You wouldn’t have a fucking country were it not for Russian immigrants. You shouldn’t even have a country if you’re not willing to be humble about it. You only have your country because WE (the world) let you have it, We felt sorry for you. Don’t test our patience.

Look. Anyone wishing to contextually cherry-pick the Syndicate and write short-burst accusations directed at your friendly bookie has plenty of material to choose from. (Over 2000 pages by my last count). Be advised that the sheer volume of material also works to my advantage ; ) ; ). No one can read AND comprehend that much text in a single lifetime. The only one who has intimate knowledge of it is me. ; )

Were it a religious text, marginally literate ministers would pick contradictory messages on a daily basis….whatever abetted their goal of selling an invisible product. Were it a scholarly text, associate professors would cite contradictory passages daily…whatever abetted their goal attaining invisible status.

So…you wish to make a point? Understandable. Among the most significant things that sustain us over the course of this fleeting, menial, and largely meaningless life happens to be the ability to make a striking and salient point. Trouble is, if I may be so brazen as to paraphrase Richard Pryor’s “Mudbone”, “the only point I’m trying to make is that [ultimately] there is no point to be made.”

“Cuz you didn’t ask to come to this motherfucker and you sure as hell can’t choose how to leave. Better have some fun and plenty of it.”

This bookie plans on continuing to have fun…whether the hell you like it or not ; ) ; )

THE LINE: Portugal + 2 Goals

Lithuania vs. Latvia


Poor Latvians. As noted above, Angry “Culture Warriors” are pouring their Vodka into the sewer under the false pretense that they’re Russian. Moreover, they ain’t coming to Brazil.

THE LINE: Lithuania +1 Goal

Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Liechtenstein


The “Golden Lillies” of this newly cleaved pragmatic arrangement are, barring some improbable collapse, GOING TO QUALIFY!!!

Hurrah! Welcome Bosnia and Herzegovina. Come next summer, we’ll have a total newcomer to talk about.

Congratulations to Edin Dzeko and the “Balkan Dragons”. With any luck the exceptionally talented core of this lineup will keep B & H a formidable international force for years to come.

THE LINE: Bosnia and Herzegovina + 3 Goals

Greece vs. Slovakia 


“To Piratiko” are assured a playoff spot at the very least. Santos has called up another solid cadre of footballers including Salpingidis, Tziolis, and both Samarasses. They’re all buying into his system. They may win ugly, but they still win.

THE LINE: Greece +1 Goal

Moldova vs. San Marino


Zzzzzzzzz…hrmph…what’s that you say? Right, right. The “Six Fundamental Principles of Extraordinary Customer C…….zzzzzzz. True, this fixture won’t be anywhere near as boring as this week’s staff meeting, but at least you can choose to skip it.

THE LINE: Moldova +2 Goals

The Ukraine vs. Poland


Don’t laugh. This one actually promises to be an eminently watchable one! After a sluggish start to the qualifying campaign, Blazcyzkowski and the boys find themselves back in fighting form. The overachieving Ukrainians appear to be teetering on the edge of overheating. Can Tymoschuk really direct midfield traffic whilst being dutifully harangued by Lewandowski, Blaszyzkowski, and Polanski?

As evenly matched as the two contingents may be, this bookie answers a resounding “no” in his most courageous pick of the week. Do me proud Poles. I won’t miss this one.

THE LINE: Poland +1 Goal

England vs. Montenegro


Hodgson’s Three Lions have somehow managed to turn their languid campaign around. Aware of how crucial this match against the pesky Serb Breakaways is, Roy has called up the streaking Daniel Sturridge of Merseyside fame to help seal the deal. Gary Cahill and Tom Cleverly are back as well thanks to fine recent form. Looks like we won’t be poking fun at our perennial failures for quite some time. That is to say, not until next summer’s inevitable tumble ; )

THE LINE: England +1 Goal

Spain vs. Belarus


Stop asking me about La Roja’s prospects next Summer. It’s too early. I don’t know. All I know is that this one will be brutal.

THE LINE: Spain +4 Goals


Apologies, but we do not have time for an “Original Rambling Section”. It remains a matter of utmost importance that we take a brief respite from the World of International Football to discuss something entirely different. Allow me to offer some quality e-mail riffs from my extensive treasure trove of a collection and a few Syndicate Classics. I’ll reiterate that I don’t wish to be Nixonian. However, in a world in which the government is forced to shut down, I shall too ; )



Reader: Vicey, how long do you plan on hiding from the world?

Vicey: An apt observation. Hiding can prove a great deal of fun! Having one’s own private solitary space within which to work can be a real blast. I don’t mean to rub my good fortune in your face. After all, I’m sure you’ve had thirty times as much sex as I’ve had over the past few years. I’m still happier. Just call me “the happy monk”. ; )

Reader: Where for the fascination with football?

Vicey: Er…. “wherefore”? Call that a sophisticated use of “Olde English” and I’ll believe you at once. Anyway, my “right honorable friend”, thank you for the question. Most of the planet is fascinated by the beautiful game, which makes me wholly “un-unique.” The absolute best musings I have to offer concern the endurance, the determination, and the acrobatic athleticism of it all. It’s also nice that I don’t have to sit through commercials while watching it. That’s indelibly cool.

Reader: Y don U go fuck yourselves?

Vicey: I do quite a bit of that. I’m a highly skilled physical masturbator. I’m also not too shabby at the art of “written masturbation”. That’s how I know you meant to write, “WHY DON’T YOU go fuck YOURSELF”? Learn how to write after you’re done waxing your pathetically small carrot. In the meantime, I’ll go fuck myself ; )


This “Syndicate Classic” reaches all the way back to 2004. The only reasons I elected to write a sequel to the original syndicate related to boredom and depression. Continuing in that vein, the only reason I don’t possess enough mental horsepower to compose original rambling sections relates to my desire to devote as much of my free time as possible to helping others who struggle with depression. I hope that all of my members can scrounge up some free time to do the right thing for their fellow ape-like descendants:

From EM 2004—“Revenge of the Syndicate”

Editor’s retroactive notes:

2004…and we’re still dealing with the LSU Computer Lab. Unbelievably more anachronistic, the remainder of this vintage tome was typed up on a….wait for it….secondhand Gateway 2000 running Windows ‘95! Around my third semester in college, it was aggressively conveyed to me that I couldn’t actually LIVE in the computer lab. In spite of my efforts to unassumingly wedge a cot underneath the particleboard desks, the unceremonious Middleton staff happened to notice that a red-eyed scruffy gentlemen emerged from the jungle of wires like clockwork every morning at around 6:45. Shit. Perhaps the toothbrush, cardboard blanket, and portable urinal/milk jug gave it away. Once my efforts to revive the “Antwon” character from “In Living Color” met with stiff opposition, I wondered how I might possibly afford a word-processing machine to accommodate my eccentric writing habits. Enter my friend Michael Thyre, who generously donated his unwanted garbage to me for a six-pack of beer and two measly hours of conversation about the Franco Dictatorship. For this paltry fee I received a beige computer. Drink that chromatic adjective in. A BEIGE computer. Yes, children. Once upon a time your elders worked with machines that were neither slick nor black. The mouse was a SEPARATE accessory. We had geometric screensavers. There was no such thing as texting…..or sexting for that matter. The $1.00 that you refer to was actually worth $0.98!! We walked to school! Fuck, we WALKED! We had to deal without 500 Channels, the iPhone 4G, the iPad 2, Playstation 3, X-Box 360, and HD-Radio! Damn you kids!

Thinking back on this bizarre summer, the antiquated computer dominates the mind. Beige? Beige? BEIGE?!?! For nearly a decade, Jobs decreed that the Macintosh be quirkily white. In due course everyone came to their senses and realized that a black computer would symbolize a bigger hard drive. When it comes to products, the only secret to marketing revolves around the male crusade for a better-endowed schlong. Anyone who has ever downloaded Internet porn must fight through a veritable forest of “Are you satisfied with the size of your dick?” spam emails. Although my words fall on deaf cookie-hacker ears, I’M QUITE SATISFIED! LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE! What sort of dud combats writer’s block by looking up porn and then decides on a whim, “You know what, I need some of those Cock Steroids!” How many suckers are truly born every minute??!?!?

Whew! Where were we? Oh right. T’was the Summer of 2004. America cared about all sorts of useless shit. More importantly, I quit smoking for an entire three weeks! Yeah! Once again your friendly bookie found himself alone and depressed. His girlfriend ran away. His cat ran away. His cigarettes were unavailable. His best friends were busy. His mother lost her mind. His father was in an aloof mood. His “random hook ups” turned out to be cold fishes. His plants died unexpectedly. Had he developed an affection for a misshapen fungus on a piece of bread, it would have surely spontaneously combusted for no adequately explored reason. Whisky and C-Span. C-Span and Whisky. Without warning, a notion surfaces…….


Hey mates,

They say that the years between 19 and 21 are the most formative years in human development. The crystallization of the plastic mind finally takes place, the chemistry finally settles down, and we Homo sapiens determinately end our exotic “Particle Zoo” in favor of a patterned structure. The W-Map data recently confirmed that the universe consolidated itself around 180.000 years after the Big Bang. Cosmically speaking, 21 years corresponds to moment of human solidification. I wish to celebrate this anniversary with you, every single one of you.


Serbia vs. Macedonia


Loads of pride at stake in the showdown between these two former Yugoslav Republics. Not much else, however.

THE LINE: Serbia +1 Goal.

Belgium vs. Wales


One day the Welsh will grace us with their presence…or at least grace us with something other than Christian Bale and Michael Sheen.

THE LINE: Belgium +2 Goals

Scotland vs. Croatia


This simply isn't the year to be a “White Cross Enthusiast”. Even though the Scots bested the Croats as recently as June, they won’t do it again here; certainly not without Shaun Maloney.

THE LINE: Croatia +1 Goal

Bulgaria vs. Czech Republic


As the fight rages on in the most open of the remaining groups, this one is simply too close to call. Much depends on Friday’s results. The line may move, but only if traffic dictates.

THE LINE: Pick em’

Denmark vs. Malta


Olsen’s Eleven shouldn’t have much difficulty running up the score here. The only question remains, will it prove “too little, too late”?

THE LINE: Denmark +3 Goals

Italy vs. Armenia


Yeeouch. Call it hyperbole if you must, but I predict some stateside barroom scuffles. Here one has the two proudest blue-collar ethnicities to ever emigrate to America. Thankfully, the Wops are mostly concentrated on the East Coast whilst the Armenians are turning wrenches in California. Okay. Forget the prospect of barroom scuffles. The Armenians are also too civilized to engage in such snafus. They outclass the Wops in every respect…save for football.

THE LINE: Italy +2 Goals

Sweden vs. Deutschland


Understanding Joachim Löw proves challenging ; ( ; ( By the time this fixture kicks off, we should be home free after earning at least a draw against Trappatoni’s Micks. Nevertheless, let us assume for the moment that we’ve been stunned.

In this hypothetical situation we now face a determined set of Blaugults who still stand a mathematical chance of topping the group. The Swedes by no means constitute a pushover. Where are our attackers? Understandably enough, Klose has been left out. On a more shocking note, so have Podolski and Gomez. The only natural striker on our roster is Max Kruse of Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The DFB is known to undertake leaps of faith with younger talent as tournaments approach. Reus, Götze, and the Bender brothers are unquestionably the wave of the future, but are they ready—AT THIS MOMENT—to carry us over the finish line?

It’s all likely to be a moot scenario. Our Mannschaft will surely have already qualified. I broach the topic merely in an effort to underscore the following: Löw isn’t waiting to jettison the past. His future is now.

THE LINE: Deutschland + 1 Goal

Faroe Islands vs. Austria


About all I can conjure up here is a tired pun on the tiny town of “Fucking, Austria” (pronounced [FOOK-King]. Pretty much anything and everything regarding the unintentional linguistic clash spurred by this ACTUAL town has already been written. I suppose all that’s left to point out is that the local pastor could at least take pride in being officially known as “The Fucking Minister” or “The Minister of Fucking”

THE LINE: Austria +3 Goals

Republic of Ireland vs. Kazakhstan


The Boys in Green may technically draw breath by the time Tuesday rolls around. It might be worth a look.

THE LINE: Republic of Ireland + 2 Goals

Hungary vs. Andorra


Roll forward, Magyar majesties.

THE LINE: Hungary +2 Goals

Romania vs. Estonia


The Estonian elimination remains too heartbreaking to discuss. Please qualify for Europe in two years time, my friends ; )

THE LINE: Romania +2 Goals

Turkey vs. Netherlands


Again, “too close to call” stands as the prognostication. One cannot set a line until one knows whether or not the Turks have anything left to play for. Sorry, but so it goes.

THE LINE: Pick em’

Cyprus vs. Albania


Mediterranean Madness!! Loser has to take in the survivors from the next Italian cruise shipwreck.

THE LINE: Pick em’

Norway vs. Iceland


Iceland was actually originally settled by the Norwegians. It’s interesting to note that Icelandic is actually a slightly altered dialect of ancient Norwegian. Cool, no?

THE LINE: Pick em’

Switzerland vs. Slovenia


Enough of the damn “Alpine Assholes”. I’m hitting my button.


THE LINE: Slovenia +1 Goal

Azerbaijan vs. Russia


Bwahahahahaha. For the American audience, this one is essentially the same as “The U.S. Military vs. The Federal Confederation of the Duck Dynasty”

THE LINE: Russia +3 Goals

Israel vs. Northern Ireland


A fairly meaningless match, though the two countries can meet afterwards in order to exchange advice on “State Terrorism”.

THE LINE: Pick em’

Portugal vs. Luxembourg


There’s not enough herb in Mexico to make this impending massacre funny.

THE LINE: Portugal +4 Goals

Greece vs. Liechtenstein


Antonis Samaras would do well to attend this match and get some valuable tax cheat information from Adrian Hasler while he’s at it. The Principality of Liechtenstein stands no chance here. Prince Hans-Adam II will spend the entire game enjoying a nice sloppy blowjob from his mistress.

THE LINE: Greece +3 Goals

Lithuania vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina


Bring it on home, B & H.

THE LINE: Bosnia and Herzegovina + 2 Goals

Latvia vs. Slovakia


At least you have your independence, boys.

THE LINE: Slovakia +1 Goal

England vs. Poland


There will be plenty of upset Polish Plumbers in the Heathrow area come Tuesday night. Roy’s boys will roll on for now. 

THE LINE: England +1 Goal

San Marino vs. The Ukraine


If all goes according to plan, Fomenko & Co. will salvage trace amounts of pride.

THE LINE: The Ukraine +6 Goals

Montenegro vs. Moldova


Give up the spunk. We want the spunk. C’mon “Brave Falcons”!! We believe!!

THE LINE: Montenegro +3 Goals

France vs. Finland


It’s a walkover for Les Bleaus. Blanc’s rebuilding project may be considered complete.

THE LINE: France +2 Goals

Spain vs. Georgia


The U.S. State of Georgia could earn a more merciful line here.

THE LINE: Spain + 5 Goals


Apologies, but we do not have time for an “Original Rambling Section”. It remains a matter of utmost importance that we take a brief respite from the World of International Football to discuss something entirely different. Allow me to offer some quality e-mail riffs from my extensive treasure trove of a collection and a few Syndicate Classics. I’ll reiterate that I don’t wish to be Nixonian. However, in a world in which the government is forced to shut down, I shall too ; )



Reader: I want to move to another country! Obama is a Maoist Socialist Communist. He’s gonna take away our guns and freedoms! Fuck this country. I want liberty!! WAKE UP!

Vicey: I’m awake and lucid. You’re the delusional somnambulist. Sorry that it took me nearly a year to reply to you, but I wanted you to feel the full brunt of what a fucking pediatric fool you made out of yourself last November.

“Waaaahh. Baby want Romney!! Baby want Romney!! Baby want Romney or baby run away and YOU’LL BE SORRY!!”

Oops. Apologies my childlike nameless friend. Looks like you didn’t end up moving to another country. Can’t say I’m surprised. You speak no other languages. You can barely speak English. You are—for lack of a better term—a “dumb, shit-kicking hick”.

All of that isn’t to suggest that I don’t love you like a lost brother. You’re just myopic and stupid. Keep working your ass off. Just don't come crying to me when an election that has nothing to do with you doesn’t swing your way.

Reader: I know all about Obama’s Foreign Policy!! I went to LSU and took Poli-Sci courses. I got at least a B+ on all of my papers!!

Vicey: You poor bastard. I don’t know whether to berate you or give you a patronizingly condescending hug. You just don’t get it, do you? College was meant for you to learn. You were supposed to expand your mind and your horizons. Instead, you joined a Frat House and drunkenly composed a bunch of incomplete sentences you thought might have some minor chance of pleasing your father.

Good for you. You made your Frat House proud. You did your father proud. You even did it all without taking a single math class. You also earned at least a B+ on all of your papers….mostly because your professor read the first two sentences, flipped through the remaining six pages, and then came to the following conclusion:

“Fuck it. This kid comes nowhere near to making any sense. At least he sat down for a half an hour and wrote something. Yawn. I’m tired and I’m hungry. I’ll give him a B+ and call it a night.”

Reader: U a loser…and I wants my guns!!

Vicey: Kid, I’d call you the “dumbest person I’ve ever met” if I didn’t already have the profound displeasure of being forced to work with such individuals. You don’t even get to claim that mantle.


Picking up on the theme? It was almost a year ago that The Syndicate deviated from Sports and made a brief foray into politics. After mulling over various suggestions, we opted to name it “Election 2012: Syndicate Apocalypse”. Here’s a sampler:

FROM Election 2012—“Syndicate Apocalypse”

“I’m doing this only because the preceding election season, an especially harrowing one for a Shadow Scholar, has caused my faith in humanity to precipitously drop to its lowest level in years. In other words, it’s a very special gift straight from the heart.”

Alles klar? Alright. So where are we? After the completely predictable pivot of both candidates back to the center, we find ourselves where we always knew we would be. You have your choice of lax and amorphous platitudes to subscribe to. Essentially, you’re choosing between two automobiles of the same model. You have your choice of color, but the country won’t be significantly different no matter what the car’s shade happens to be.

I won’t hide my disgust for the GOP. There it is…in writing. From a global political perspective, it has to be one of the more embarrassing western political entities out there. They resemble an imbecilic Eastern European Conservative Party more than anything else.

Nonetheless, Obama…Romney. It really matters very little. After the dust settles, America will continue to be the same Kentucky-fried country. A stagnant political system will continue to pass mostly meaningless legislation. GDP growth will remain comparatively anemic for at least another decade. The housing market won’t rebound for at least as long. Real wages will remain stationary. Consumer debt may not grow exponentially, but it will increase at a steady pace. Ditto the government budget deficit. Obama’s most optimistic prognostications only foresee a potential surplus in 2024. Romney doesn’t have a plan at all. Hate to make this a generational matter, but the battle for a functional and responsible government was lost long ago…when Americans elected George W. Bush…..twice.

This isn’t to say that we’re on the road to an irreversible decline. No one should ever worry that Americans will face a calamitous and apocalyptic reckoning that forces us all to wash our linen in the river. We’ll continue to be a nation of gluttonous and profligate consumers….off to spend, spend, spend on all manner of useless shit we don’t need.

What then, pray tell, is this election about? Well…if you’ve been paying attention to the stump speeches, it’s about someone like me. I could easily be inserted into one of these canards:

“This is election is all about folks like Peter Weis. He works two jobs to pay off his student loan debt. Even though he runs a small business, he has trouble paying his bills. He faces an uncertain future; one in which he must accept the fact that his dreams are out of reach and he must find some way of adapting to the New World Order.”

All of this would be spectacular were it not for the fact that I make a bullshit living writing horseshit for people full of their own shit. Peter Weis likes his jobs. He enjoys mundane work. It’s a fabulous distraction. He doesn’t really mind writing checks to pay down debt or re-working budgets to adjust to realities. To hell with the sophomoric “Dreams of Childhood.” We all have to learn to let them go. It’s called growing up and becoming an adult. To hell with “uncertainty”. Just get to work already. Fuck the “New World Order”. Anyone can survive it provided they devote enough time to learning and as little as possible to formulating explanations for the idiots that demand them.

Overall, Peter Weis is doing quite well. So are you. Even if you’re not, don’t have the gall to write me about how a politician will change everything for you. This election isn’t about you. It isn’t about me. It isn’t about anything really, not even the much-discussed “Gender Gap”. True, we might see a 2-1 split of females voting for Obama and males voting for Romney. Dearest conservative friends, if the past four years have proven anything…it’s that you bitch, whine, and moan as good as any woman. Deal with it. Instead of sowing your oats, you spread your whinny nonsense all over profile-based websites and online forums like a bunch of teenage girls. For fuck’s sake…..


Having bested Uzbekistan, Jordan must now wait for the final CONMEBOL results before learning of their final opponents. Expect a classic ; ) ; )


The Dark Continent shakes it into high gear with the first leg of the final Aggregate Knockout Round. Ten countries currently vie for the Confederation’s five World Cup Slots. We knew little of the “final ten” heading into last round’s matches. Algeria, Egypt and Cote d’Ivoire had already secured passage, with seven hungry nations still to be determined.

The newly retooled African qualifying format effectively transformed what had been the most boring final continental qualifying stages into the most exciting. When this bookie sat down to write “WMQ 2009—Syndicate afterlife”, he lamented having to schlep his way through several meaningless group stage matches. No such grimacing here. Now we’ll be treated to playoffs.

Your remaining seven finalists are: Senegal, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Cameroon, Ghana, and Burkina Faso. One expected that traditional heavyweights such as the “Lions of Teranga”, the “Super Eagles”, the “Black Stars”, and “Les Indomitables” would punch their way through. (er…that would be Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon to the uninitiated). Their recent appearances in the 2013 Cup of Nations notwithstanding, it’s still a surprise to see the Ethiopian Antelopes and the Burkinabe Stallions alive and making a serious play.

The Burkinabes fended off a feisty challenge from Congo NDR to top their group by the slimmest of margins while the Ethiopians managed to hang on against a desperate and determined South African that came close to making up for lost ground.

Yes, you read that correctly. Last tournament’s hosts, everyone’s beloved Bafana Bafana, are OUT. A 4-1 thrashing of neighboring Botswana wasn’t enough, not after Bernard Parker’s clumsy own goal gave the Ethiopians a shocking scalp in the second-to-last group stage match. In spite of the consistent woes experienced by Gordon Igesund’s boys, the South Africans remained highly favored to pull it out. Instead, the entire program in disarray, Igesund finds himself on the edge of resigning in disgrace, and the only thing an über-shamed Bernard Parker is “pulling out” is his own junk at some squalid Port Elizabeth Strip Club. Yikes.

Alright…let’s move on. The first round of the aggregate playoffs commence this weekend, with the second leg to be played in mid-November. Off we go.


Cote d’Ivoire vs. Senegal


Forget about attempting to call me during this match. I’ll drown the damn phone in the toilet. No true football enthusiast should even remotely consider plying him or herself away from the screen as these two West African powerhouses jostle for position in an epic struggle written in the goddamned stars!!

It’s Marcus Miller meets Thelonius Monk. I swear! Les Elephants have called up Didier Drogba, Kolo Toure, Soloman Kalou and Didier Zokora for one FINAL hurrah in front of the home fans at the Stade Felix Boigny in Abidjan. Zero chance these players will be called up for the second leg in one month’s time. Lamouchi simply needs them to feed off the raucous home crowd so as to give his declining side the best possible chance for aggregate qualification.

Football domination in former French West Africa moves in cycles. At one time, “Les Indomitables” of Cameroon reigned supreme. The Senegalese “Lions of Teranga” had their ephemeral moment before the advent of Drogba. Cote d’Ivoire claimed the crown for an extended period of time….that now draws to a close ; )

Have they one last gasp left in them? With talent like Papiss Cisse and Mohammed Diame, I think Macky Sall’s Senegal is finally ready to trigger a real “West African Renaissance”.

Of course we won’t know until we see 90 minutes of action on the pitch.


Fuck if I’m picking up the phone. My mother could be hospitalized. I’m still not picking up the fucking phone.

THE LINE: Senegal +1 Goal

Ethiopia vs. Nigeria


The “Saga of the Super Eagles” will continue unabated. The Antelopes cannot expect to remain competitive against the lineup that Keshi has assembled. He’s brought back Echielije, Mikel, Musa, Igiebor, Obinna, and Ideye Brown. Emenike and Victor Moses are now healthy and fit. Keshi has even demonstrated a keen eye for talent with the retention of Kwambe and Francis Benjamin.

The 2013 African Cup of Nation Champions have drawn the unlikely Cinderellas. The latest incarnation of the East African Antelope Squad features only two internationals. Too much pressure on the youngsters as they open the first leg of the playoff in Addis Ababa. Look for matters to get ugly quick.

THE LINE: Nigeria +2 Goals

Burkina Faso vs. Algeria


A sour taste to end the feast. I want my beloved Stallions to win this one. Sadly, it looks as if it will rain shit on Ouagadougou…again ; (

THE LINE: Algeria +1 Goal


Tunisia vs. Cameroon


The “Eagles of Carthage” open up matters as heavy favorites on home soil. They may have missed out on 2010, but that broke a streak of three consecutive World Cup qualifications. The may have also floundered during the most recent African Cup of Nations, but even those losses had an anomalous feel to them.

“Les Indomitables” aren’t quite ready for Primetime yet. Joel Matip, Eric Moting and Jacques Zoua are still working things out in the German Bundesliga. Should any of them earn a Premiership contract, we can entertain talk of a resurgence.

For now, the North Africans (regrettably) will triumph.

THE LINE: Tunisia +2 Goals


Ghana vs. Egypt



I don’t give a shit what an amazing job Bob Bradley has done. No one will deny the Black Stars, not in Kumasi anyway.

THE LINE: Ghana +2 Goals


Whilst watching Eddie Johnson and Landon Donovan double up on the snake-bit El Tri, I recall worrying for the safety of Jose Manuel del La Torre. After that shitshorm, the poor bastard desperately needed to apply for asylum in the U.S. In essence, he did just that, remaining in Columbus for another two days until his long-awaiting sacking was officially announced. Unless someone can send me a report to the contrary, I’ll assume he hasn’t set foot in Mexico since.

Into the breach steps Primera stalwart Victor Manuel Vucetich. Can he resuscitate the qualifying hopes of the once-proud Aztec warriors? Prospects look surprisingly bright. Surely a team that features Giovanni dos Santos, Javier Hernandez, and Gerrardo Torrado can eke out victories against Panama and Costa Rica. In the event that six points elude the “jolly upstarts”, four or even three points should suffice in securing an intercontinental playoff spot.

Bottom Line: Stay tuned. CONCACAF supplies us with an interesting storyline….for the first time…ever.


Honduras vs. Costa Rica


The latest “Los Ticos” squad fails to inspire. Ergo, expect the Blue/Whites to win convincingly.

THE LINE: Honduras +2 Goals

United States vs. Jamaica


Savor the flavor, Uncle Sam. Jozy and Demarcus return for a bit of target practice. This one will play out like a loose friendly. Kudos to some of my new friends who will have the privilege of watching this one live in Kansas City.

THE LINE: USA +3 Goals

Mexico vs. Panama


One has to believe. Believe in the power of Vucetich. Believe in the ability of Giovanni dos Santos. It’s happening. Trust me.

THE LINE: Mexico +2 Goals


Costa Rica vs. Mexico


Not sure what I’m prepared to believe here. I’d call all bets off if that didn’t violate the basic rules of bookiedom. Feel free to take your pick.

THE LINE: Pick em’

Jamaica vs. Honduras


All signs point to the Hondurans securing their second consecutive World Cup Berth. Hard to envision them not getting it done here. Espinoza, Bengston, and Espinoza again.

THE LINE: Honduras +2 Goals

Panama vs. United States


Always meant to give that canal back to you, mates. Sorry about that. The atmosphere in the late seventies simply wasn’t conducive to that Treaty. ; ( ; (

THE LINE: USA +2 Goals


Re-reading through last round’s commentary, I find myself remiss…Literally tens of thousands of Americans found themselves fascinated with our southern Latin Americans at some point. Literally dozens opted to head South and go naked “Burning Man” Style. I’m no such person. Moreover I have no intention of proffering the rather shallow point Oliver Stone made in 2009’s “South of the Border”.

I will, however, call your attention to some highly salient keystrokes from our previous installment:

From WMQ 2013—“Das Fröhliche Syndikat”

“I was never some haughty asshole hoping to brandish my knowledge in your face to make you feel stupid. There were simply times in my life (okay, unemployed times) during which all I did was read…all day…every day. Man do I ever miss those days ; ) If you still think me a pretentious and smug “know-it-all”, take comfort in the fact that I have a full time job now….and I might as well be dead ; ( ; ( ; ( ; (“

I don’t want to read about Nicolas Maduro anymore. I’ve got the general gist. He’s a wannabe autocrat with a moustache. Plenty of those out there. Until I see convincing evidence to the contrary, he won the election legitimately. Let the man rant in peace.

Likewise, I’m not interested in Pinera’s minor infractions. The guy is practically “Blomberg-esque” for renouncing his party. Both of these cats are at least moderately sincere public servants. That’s more than one can say for most of our jokers. I don’t believe the concept “service” ever crossed their mind. 

It’s not looking like I’ll be able to write this section without mentioning Jose Mujica’s controversial experiment of Full Marijuana legalization. Look, people. I don’t have a dog in this fight. I haven’t toked up in years. The prospect of doing so again doesn’t even remotely interest me.

What I do know is that Mujica is an impressive public servant. Yes, we’re going there. Above you’ll find measured admiration for Pinera and Maduro. Admiration for Mujica isn’t anywhere close to measured. It’s unabashed. The man lives in a fucking shack! He sits in his shack all day, thinking about ways to improve the lives of his citizens.

Latin Americans have a great deal to teach us…at this particular moment in history. After the yoke of colonialism was discarded, faux constitutions, corruption and ruthless dictators dominated for hundreds of years. It happens. They sheltered Nazi War Criminals. That too happens. Following that, American interference precluded the rise of a socially aware political class (Allende and Guevara). Even after that, the initial uninterrupted rise of Socialist leaders was fairly disappointing. (Chavez, Evo, Lula, Kirchners, etc) Now they’re working overtime to catch up. Someone like Mujica inspires a great deal of hope.

We’ll never see such a thoughtful leader in the American media landscape. Even if their intentions are as pure as a teetotalling Virgin Princess, constant scrutiny won’t allow them to implement any of it. A good leader flowers as rarely as good grapes. The best wine comes from obscure forgotten corners of the world. Why not the best leaders?

Latin America’s rises with a message of humility and hard work. Even “Pope Frank” continues to impress. Watch out world.    

“Pope Frank” continues to impress….as does Jose Mujica. The “Humble Servants”. Where have they all gone? I know I’m supposed to be growing old and looking for a more comfortable life…but I’ll never fail to acknowledge “The Humble Servants”. God bless ye. Don't be a complete asshole. That’s all I ask.

CONMEBOL continues along its wayward course, though a recent surge by the Uruguayans threatens to put everything back in order. The “Cinderella Columbians” have very nearly secured their place. Chile, Ecuador, and Venezuela remain in contention.


Columbia vs. Chile


Fresh off their 3-nil demolition of the Venezuelans, I do believe it’s time for all of to invest in a few shares of Chilean stock. Even without Vargas and Gonzalez, we can expect a couple a goal from Sanchez and Pizzaro respectively. 

THE LINE: Chile +1 Goal

Ecuador vs. Uruguay


Tabarez went ahead and catapulted La Celesta back into contention. They may not gain six points from this round, but they’ll almost certainly qualify.

THE LINE: Uruguay +1 Goal

Venezuela vs. Paraguay


Sorry, Los Llaneros fans. Even if the “Parasailers” are no longer in the hunt, you still blew it. Way to fuck up royally! All you had to do was draw the Chileans!!

THE LINE: Paraguay +1 Goal

Argentina vs. Peru


Forget it, Peruvians. No one stands in the way of Messi after Neymar has adversely affected his pride. All the oddsmakers foresee a Hat Trick.

THE LINE: Argentina +3 Goals


Paraguay vs. Columbia


The “Coffee Growers” will not be denied. No moral victory for the formerly proud Albiroja.

THE LINE: Columbia +1 Goal

Uruguay vs. Argentina


Finally we arrive at a truly competitive match. I’m not touching this one. Forlan, Suarez, and Cavani may very well be mercurial individuals, but they cannot be expected to fail when their country’s qualification is on the line. Furthermore, Sabella may well choose to rest Messi, Maxi, Aguero, Higuain, and Di Maria after qualification has been secured. If you have a hunch about this one, best to get your bets in early.

THE LINE: Pick em’

Chile vs. Ecuador


Tight contest, but the triplicate threat of Suazo, Sanchez, and Pizarro should prove to much for the “Pretend Spicks” to handle.

THE LINE: Chile +1 Goal

Peru vs. Bolivia


No sense in even drawing up formations. I’d rather listen to “GAY-FM House Radio”. Earn yourself some change if you’d prefer to do the research.

THE LINE: Pick em’


Apologies, but we do not have time for an “Original Rambling Section”. It remains a matter of utmost importance that we take a brief respite from the World of International Football to discuss something entirely different. Allow me to offer some quality e-mail riffs from my extensive treasure trove of a collection and a few Syndicate Classics. I’ll reiterate that I don’t wish to be Nixonian. However, in a world in which the government is forced to shut down, I shall too ; )



Reader: You’re too difficult to read. You’re like a hipster without the fedora

Vicey: Bwahahahahaha. Well done, brother. Couldn’t have put it better myself. ; ) Feel free to assail me bluntly with whatever you have to offer. Nothing quite like laughing at oneself. ; )

Reader: You shy away from social media because you’re scared that anyone will find out who you truly are.

Vicey: Bullseye, brother. I hate for anyone to find out that I moved back in with my mother and work at Walgreens. Ooops. There it is. Boom goes the dynamite ;) ;)


Vicey: I know. “Dust in the wind”. All we are is “dust in the wind”……….


The Summer of 2012 afforded us all the best mailbag since Shelley wrote to Wollstonecraft:



Reader: Yo, Vicey. If you’re planning on doing a Sports Guy mailbag, you’ll have to fill the following parenthetical response quotas:

1) (searching for a comeback) x 5
2) (nodding politely) x 3
3) (afraid to say anything) x 3
4) (something original) x 1

Vicey: Bwahahahaha. (nodding politely, searching for a comeback, and laughing uncontrollably). You forgot (raiding the mini-fridge for more small bottles). Everyone can relax. No syndicate members are out to stalk or outwit Simmons. The only sad reality pertains to the fact that….yup…we are among his millions of readers.

Reader: Thanks to you, I can no longer subconsciously appreciate a passing shot of a hot fan girl. You and your damn standings

Vicey: I….I’m so proud…I can barely contain myself. Can I get some Kleenex over here? I’ve accomplished what most human beings can only dream of. I’ve called attention to the blatantly obvious. That’s it. I’m through. Go ahead and shoot me now. No reason for me to exist any longer.

\Reader: Do you ever get tired of being perpetually sardonic?

Vicey: Based on that last answer….you do the math.

Reader: Your frequent misspelling of player names reflects irresponsible journalism.

Vicey: Yeah, the misspellings are a real deficiency. The problem is….I am actually an editor and this happens to be my hobby. I have neither the energy nor the will to comb through my own text looking for player misspellings, homonyms, misplaced conjunctions, or any of the other mental blind spots I spend most of my waking life correcting. Moreover…..wait a second…did you just say “journalism”? Journalism? JOURNALISM?!?! What the Woodward and Bernsteining fuck are you talking about. “Journalism”!! Christ, I don’t know what you’re huffing in your mom’s basement, but I sure would like some. “Journalism”. Hahahaha. “Journalism”

Reader: Hey, Peter. Why did you use a scale model of the ICE as a vibrator metaphor? You could have referenced the Beate Uhse Rabbit 4000.

Vicey: Um….okay. You’re right. Can’t say I know much about vibrators myself…anymore.

(Female) Reader: Women are united in their hatred for you.

Vicey: Oh please. Women are not united on where to have lunch. What planet are you living on? You’ll have to do better than that, girl. Give me something like this….

(Female): I’d call you a douche, but that would insinuate that you occasionally get close to a vagina.

Vicey: Hehehe. Brilliant. Loved it. This clever counter had me reeling for an entire morning. I don’t even want to contemplate a comeback. It’s enough to share it with everyone. Let this be a lesson to all the prissy little bitches who have seen fit to waster their own time sending me hate mail over the past two weeks. I’ve received pathetic attempts at vitriol from every last species of insecure cunt.

I’m a guy. Your feeble and petty attempts to take me out by the shins won’t work. I’m not one of the sweet girlfriends you viciously bring down to your level so you can have someone else to be miserable with. I’m not a novelty you can tame and cage to make yourself feel better. Call me fugly all you wish. I honestly don’t care. Try to psychoanalyze me if it improves your self-esteem. I assure there isn’t even a remote chance I might give even the slightest of shits. Write the fourteen-point treatise on “whatta man” you have and how his sensitivity dwarfs mine. It’s going straight into the trash, but write it anyway.

If you really are so disturbed that you want my attention, flex your creative muscle and show some wit. The “Hot Girl Standings” are tongue-and-cheek irreverence. I’ve fallen madly in love with the slightly less-attractive girl you keep around to make you feel like a goddess plenty of times. Laughs always trump looks. The more seriously you take yourself, the uglier you are.  

Reader: I’ve composed a poem to keep Fernando Torres out of the lineup:

“When you walk through the pitch,
you better watch your back.
don’t give in to the itch
walk the straight and narrow track
If you walk with Llorente,
He’ll save your soul,
You better keep Torres,

Vicey: Will you be my personal hero?

Reader: Goddamn fucking mountain monkey inbred lazy pot-smoking Pagan worthless pickled herring-eating socialist self-righteous shit beer-making anti-American polar bear infested permanently winter-stricken slutty alcoholic overrated Swedes!

Vicey: He’s not even finished yet. Here’s the e-mail from one minute later:

Reader: ….and ABBA sucks too. Come on, Sweden. Grow a set and pick a fucking side to be on. What a fucking bunch of neutral bastards. At least the Swiss back the pope.

Vicey: I’m no Simmons, but can’t I plagiarize “Yup, these are my readers” just this once? No, you say. Oh well. I’m just happy we’re all together again.

Actual Reading ex-girlfriend: Just the same as you always were, Peter. Indelibly cute until you open your mouth.

Vicey: (afraid to say anything)

Reader: Do you realize what a pathetic loser you are for sitting in front of these games with your notebook and spending entire afternoons writing about them?

Vicey: Er….well, the short answer is ‘yes’. Considering that I’ve been at it for ten years, you’re a bit late with that revelation.

Reader: Why do you refer to Denmark as the “flaccid peninsula”? Everyone knows that Italy deserves that title.

Vicey: An interesting point, but the Wops (as much as I hate them) resemble more of a geographic “swinging dick”. At the very least, Josh Brolin in “No Country for Old Men” confirms that this idiom still works. The Danish Peninsula conjures up images of Japanese porn. Sorry, but I’m sticking with my reasoning.

Reader: So many misspelled names. Are you dyslexic? 

Vicey: I accept your criticism of the names. What remains unforgivable is your failure to include a Val Kilmer/”Tombstone” reference. Can a shadow scholar get a little bit of “Let’s have a spelling contest”? C’mon. I don’t believe I’m asking too much.

Reader: So much hate in your descriptions of the Croats. Have you considered joining the NAZI Party?

Vicey: No, not really. I have, however, considered taking that job at FOX News. Sometimes I sound like an ignoramus with nothing but ill-informed and poorly thought-out bile to spew. I could be Hannity’s new partner.

(Female) Reader: What did your mother do to you?

Vicey: Hey…that’s none of your damn business!! She’s a good woman who frequently feels the need to sharply criticize. Rather like you actually….do you have dinner plans?

Reader: What hint are we Danes supposed to take?

Vicey: No hint. It’s just…well…the wife and I have our Samba Dancing class tomorrow. After that I have to drive her to crocheting class and pick up the kids from soccer practice – not so subtle yawn – and then there’s the bi-monthly community garden meeting – another not so subtle yawn – which should be finished around nine, just in time for me to – third consecutive not so subtle yawn – come home to pickle the cucumbers and water the plants. I wouldn’t waste your time with all of this minutia…but I love me some hint-takers. Yes sir. Nothing like those who know how to take a hint. Have I mentioned that you’re the hint-takingest hint takers that ever took a hint?

Reader: Will we finally behold semi-finals that features teams that are actually IN Europe?

Vicey: 2008 is in the rear view. No Russia. No Turkey. Only Czechs, Wops, Frogs, Krauts, Navigators, Greeks, Limeys, and Spaniards. All eight are firmly under the EU umbrella. Six out of the eight even use the single currency….for now. That may be reduced to five out of eight eventually, but let’s forget about it.

FROM EM 2012—“Semifinals”


Reader: Your blog combines all the excitement of a dull academic paper with the annoying aesthetics of a headache-inducing green font. What say you to that, Shadow Scholar?

Vicey: I dunno. Would a “thank you” really be that out of context?

Reader: Will the Three Lions ever make it past the quarterfinals again?

Vicey: No. Next question.

Reader: What I like most about this year’s Sportsbook is that you’re considerably less full of yourself.

Vicey: Cool. I’ll take it. Even a backhanded compliment is worth something.

(Male) Reader: I think I understand your newfound obsession with Adele. She sets fire to the rain. You set fire to the keys.

Vicey: Wow. I’ll take that one as well. I know you’re a dude, but can we get married? It’s now legal in six states!

Reader: Per your discussions of some of the Euro-trash classics in the Day 14 Recap, I do believe we’re entitled to a Letterman-style Top Ten List of the most Euro-trash Pop Songs. Be sure to include Eiffel 65’s “Blue” and at least two Aqua songs in there.

Vicey: What a fantastic idea! It’s been some years since I’ve composed a Top Ten List. I’m well overdue. Sadly, we do run into a few problems. One might say that Aqua has produced enough material to fill it's own list. Perhaps there should be a separate category for terrible songs related to sex? I’ll leave the hashing out of the details to the syndicate members. With everyone chipping in, I’m confident we can eventually compile a list of the “500 most Euro-trash Songs of All Time.” In the meantime, I’ll plant the seeds with this….

“Top Twenty Most Euro-trash Songs of All Time”

20. “Geil” –Bruce and Bongo

Oh yes. In the event you STILL don’t recognize it, allow me to refresh you with the opening lyrics:

“On Friday the zerteenth of December, Bruce and Bongo discover Germany’s most successful word…..geil…g-g-g-g-eil.”

19. “The Riddle” –Gigi D’Agnostino

“Near a tree by the river, there’s a hole in the ground,
where an old man of aran goes around and around,
and his mind is a beacon in the veil of the night…”

Hold on a second. I need to write this down. Anyone have a pen?
18. “It’s True (I wanna sleep with you)” –E-Rotic

Our first horrible sex song! This group was popular in Europe in the late nineties. They also had a song entitled “I know you love my tits”. Even more absurd, I saw them live once on the Karlsruhe Marktplatz.

17. “Eurofighter” –E Type

What the regional-integrating fuck was THIS song about?

“The time is now…we’re back in town…we can do whatever, dance the night away…EUROFIGHTER!”

16. “Blue” –Eiffel 65

If I hear this song again…I swear to fucking Christ.

15. “Sex Bomb” –Tom Jones

Only in Europe:

“Sex Bomb, sex bomb
You’re my sex bomb
And baby you can turn me on.” 

14. “Daylight” –The No-Angels

Germany’s early naught answer to the Spice Girls. Careful. Just by listening you might contract AIDS.

“I wanna be Daylight in your eyes
I wanna be sunlight, only warmer.”

Er….WHAT? Sunlight, “only warmer”? What the proverb-mangling fuck are you talking about?

13. “Sonnendeck” –Peter Licht

Hey…I didn’t say that some of these songs weren’t good. I’ve got this one, along with “The Riddle” on my i-pod.

“Wenn ich nicht zu Hause bin, bin ich auf’m Sonnendeck
bin ich, bin ich, bin ich, bin ich”

12. “I’m horny” –Moose

Who the fuck greenlit THIS song?

“I’m horny…horny, horny, horny”

That’s the entire song. It goes on for five minutes.

11. “Papi Chulo” –Lorna

Another one I happen to like…or at least I did the first 342,891 times I danced to it.

10. “Wild Dance” –Ruslana


Er…why not? It’s the closest the Russians have ever come to something that doesn’t make one want to chug vodka, fold one’s hands over one’s elbows, and kick one’s feet while shouting “Hey…hey…hey…hey…hey..hey” 

9. “Coco Jamboo” –Mr. President

Let’s just pretend this never happened. The group, that is. They never happened. Are we clear?

8. “Let’s Get back to Bed, Boy!” Sarah Connor featuring TQ

No, you’re not high. An artist named SARAH CONNOR once transfixed Europe. Man, I’d like to go Schwarzenegger from the first Terminator on her.

“Sarah Connor?”

For this hit she was joined by an American rapper you’ve never heard of named T.Q. His contribution to the song, besides calling Sarah a “brand new diva” was to utter the line:

“I get us some Dom,
it make it better,
wake up in the morning,
we be stuck together.”

How romantic. Almost as Romantic as her follow-up “We’re goin’ do what they call the French Kissing.” Oh God. Poor Europe.
7. “Country Roads” –remixed by the Hermes House Band

Someone has yet to explain to me why Germans love John Denver’s “Country Roads”. Are we truly such bucolic people? 

6. “Generation of Love” –Masterboy

Just like Aqua, Masterboy really necessitates it’s own list.

5. “Autobahn”—Kraftwerk

Gotta show some love to the classics. I only wish I had room for “Endless Europe”, “Showroom Dummies”, and “Franz Schubert”. We want za money, Lebofski!!

4. “Lollipop”—Aqua

Here we are. She was one hot Danish bitch. I even almost bought the new album just to see how she’s holding up. Then I remembered that I don’t make that much money…

3. “Make Me Wet (Makin love in the shower)” –E-Rotic

They’re back. Fuck this band. “It’s True (I wanna sleep with you)”, “I know you love my tits” and “Make Me Wet (makin love in the shower)". Jesus fucking H. Christ. This band ruined so much for me. When I was living in Berlin, it took me three whole weeks to build up the courage to ask out the cute Turkish girl working the cashier checkout at the “Penny Markt”.

Finally I had my lines memorized. I went to the store and selected a wholesome lot of items that did not include alcohol, cigarettes, or porn. Here was my big moment. She scanned my bundle of broccoli, packet of candles, and assortment of fresh fruit. AND….then this song was piped in. A bit sleep deprived and giddy, I couldn’t help laughing. She thought I was insane. She was right…but…DAMN THIS SONG!

Don’t listen to this song if you ever want to have sex in the shower again.

2. “Dieci Cento Mille” –Brothers

Let’s just ban Italians from recording studios.

1. “Sexy Vampire” –The Fright Rangers

You want the lyrics, don’t you? I’ll oblige.

“Sexy Vampire,
I’m falling in love,
And drink all my blood…oh yeah”

“Sexy Vampire,
I’m falling love, you want to do,
Cuz you need my plasma more than I.”

Sorry, “Twilight” fans. Euro-trash was a good decade ahead of you. Anytime I meet a girl who likes the Twilight Saga this song rushes through my head. I’ll laugh so hard you’ll think me insane…and you’ll be right.

I know I’ve missed several….hundred. That’s the bottom line, syndicate members. Together we can top 500. Send in your picks.

Actual Reading Ex-Girlfriend: So I was reading your section on partying with the Italians. [Day 16 Recap]. All I could think of was “Look, there’s a guy who tries something out for a little while. Then he arbitrarily concludes that ‘it will all end in tears’ and runs away to hide out somewhere else. Sure sounds like the Peter Weis I know.

Vicey: What the….why would you….I mean…how could you…that’s totally…I mean……I’m human and…….OUCH! OW, OW, OW! I won’t lie. That one stung a bit. I laughed it up, but it was mostly to keep from crying.

(Female) Reader: You do realize that you’re wasting your talent on this stupid nonsense?

Vicey: Dad? Is that you? Why are you pretending to be a woman?

Reader: Goddamn cheese eating surrender-monkeys!

Vicey: Guess who’s back?

Reader: Why couldn’t you fucking bastards just lose with a hint of dignity?

Vicey: Back again.

Reader: It’s one thing to play a shit game and lose to the team that will go all the finals before being beaten by the Über-Krauts.

Vicey: This cat’s back.

Reader: It’s a whole different beast to award a penalty kick at 90 fucking minutes into the goddamn game. You could have lost by one, but no, you worthless fucking bastards had to screw it all up. Worse yet, you cost me my fucking bet. I could taste victory with your average defeat, but no, you had to fuck it up. Next time Germany invades your lazy excuse for a country, don’t go looking for Big Brother America to bail you out again. Get ready to beg for Munster and forget the memory of Brie. Fucking Frogs

Vicey: Tell a friend.

(Female) Reader: Your “Hot Girl Standings” remind me of how soccer matches are “scripted” for the male gaze.

Vicey: ….but there’s plenty for you too! Talk about how hot you find individual male players. Go ahead. It’s fine. I promise you. If some guy gets uppity jealous…well he’s a pathetic man-child. Ditch him. Any real man will simply laugh and be grateful that you’re getting into the match with him.

(Male) Reader: I must admit I enjoy reading about your travels and adventures. Why can’t you give us more of that and less lineup predictions?

Vicey: Grrrr. Look, I don’t mean to be sensitive about this topic, but there’s a very good reason I don’t travel more: I’M NOT INDEPENDENTLY WEALTHY! Even penniless hitchhiking costs money when you’re a chain-smoking boozehound with a load of expensive computer equipment. Obviously, if I had my way I’d spend 365 days a year traversing the globe writing about international sports tournaments. There’s this thing called REALITY that we all must learn to accept. Sorry to come down so hard on you, but you almost sound like one of my ex-girlfriends.

(Female) Reader: Respect the cunt and tame the cock!

Vicey: (giggling uncontrollably). Nicely done!

Bookie’s Greek cousin Viceis Papapeteros: My friend, my friend, my friend, my friend. Why you no call me? I haif some very nice extra good filling specials for special good friend. Baklava melt in the mouth of extra good special friend. Souvlaki taste like extra special heaven filling good special!

Vicey: (Pretending not to be here)

(Male) Reader: [in re Day 16 Recap] How can you leave a bunch of sixteen-year-old girls in the lurch like that?

Vicey: You pervert! I’m reporting you to the authorities! I hope you share a cell with Sandusky. I like WOMEN, not little girls! Incidentally, that reminds me of a helpful hint for determining whether an American girl is too young. Like, she will, like, go through this, like, phase. Like, during this phase, she’ll, like, say like, like, every third word. Don’t, like, worry. She’ll, like, grow out of it. Until she, like, does, she’s, like TOO YOUNG. To tie this in with the ruminations on wealth, LEAVE THE YOUNG GIRLS ALONE. You rich bastards, too. Let them live their life. They don’t need you fucking it up.

(Female) Reader: You’re a male chauvinist shithead. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about your shallow, stupid, and immature commentary! I’d insult you more, but it seems like any further invective will just make you want to fuck me.

Vicey: In the ass, baby. Excuse me while I get started on the letter:

Dear Penthouse Forum,

I never thought it would happen to me…


Once again, no matches scheduled. New Zealand awaits the fourth place finisher from CONCACAF

Everyone knows what comes next!