World Cup Fever

The 2010 World Cup is a little over a week away and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m not a “once every four years” soccer fan, I’m a true blooded, through and through soccer fan thanks to my time in Africa. I was in Alaska during the 2002 World Cup and watched the 2006 Final in Oregon. In fact, it was the 1996 World Cup that first got me into the beautiful game. I remember watching the great Alan Shearer (go Newcastle!) and young Michael Owens (thanks for the time at Newcastle, we miss you) pass, dribble, and shoot, and thought to myself, what a great sport. I grew up in a football town, soccer was a secondary or non-existent sport, yet I ended up playing my senior year in high school and even considered playing in college until I went out for the tryouts that first day in Florida and it was 105 degrees with 100% humidity and thought otherwise. But my real love affair started during my time spent with Africans. They are true fans and I have them to thank for making me one as well. Many nights were spent crammed into a hot, wooden shack/fire trap with 200 guys crowded around one TV watching the Champions League and Premiership games. Good times indeed.

Anyway, back to the World Cup. I am thrilled that it’s being hosted in Africa for the first time and I would have given anything to actually be there for it, but alas, it just didn’t work out that way. HD television practically makes it feel like you’re there though. I’m still debating in my head who I would like to see win. My obvious choice is the USA, but being realistic about it I go back and forth between England, the Netherlands, or maybe an African team that could pull it off. Germany would be a nice victor as well, I just don’t want Spain to win, or Italy, or Brazil (they win too often). I must cheer against France since they knocked out the Irish (sorry Mark). And I do have reservations against the English winning because then we’d be hearing about it from them every day for the next 50 years (sorry Craig you know its true). Maybe the USA can pull off a miracle, after all, we’ve done it in other sports….

Who do you think will win?


4 comments on “World Cup Fever

  1. Craig Dean says:

    OMW it’s not far off 50yrs since we last won it and we still dime off it. The flag has been flying all over the place for weeks now.

    First game against the US and last time we met (in the 50s) we lost 1-0! I can tell you most fans are more nervous about the prospect of losing to the US than getting to the final!!! The horror! First games can be wobbly too.,.

  2. Phil says:

    Of course I hope the US has a great showing, but in terms of realistic cup contenders, I really hope the Netherlands win. They’ve got a great squad and are long overdue. No to Brazil, no to Spain, no to France (shouldn’t even be there). And an emphatic NO to Germany. They beat us in 2002 1-0 when we could have tied it up if a goal line hand ball had been called, and I’m still pissed about it!

  3. Marko says:

    Thanks for your sentiments – I appreciate your anti-French stance. And also since Spain knocked us out in ’02 we won’t support them. It would be nice to see an African team win it. Ivory Coast maybe?
    Phil: I feel your pain – see Ireland/France above!

  4. Phil says:

    Well, Ivory Coast ain’t winning anything now. Not with their captain Didier Drogba out for the tournament. Shame.

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