June 21, 2010

World Cup 2010 thoughts and predictions

I've become more of a football (the real kind) fan in the past year or so, largely thanks to Mercurial Outfielder over at ACB, who is a big Tottenham Hotspur fan. I watched maybe half the Spurs matches last year and had a great time doing so. Plus, they made the Champions League this year! Yay!

Still, even then I've been surprised by how much I've been enjoying the World Cup. I was talking about this with Adam the other day - one thing that always bothers me about the Olympics is all the nationalistic jingoism stuff. Somehow it doesn't bother me in the World cup. Maybe it's just that the gap between the traditional world powers and the rest of the world doesn't seem so small.

Even though the US doesn't necessarily dominate the Olympics (though they generally do quite well), the media here would like you to think so, and all the planning and media revolves around the US because that's what generates the most money. Not so much with the World Cup - it's much more global than the Olympics - people in the US don't care as much about football, and people around the world could generally give a crap about swimming, track and field, and ice dancing.

It could also be that the World Cup isn't rocked with the kind of scandals and political maneuvering as the Olympics (though this could just be my ignorance shining through). Football fans have respect for good teams, and most of the hate that flies around is either for the refs or for unsportsmanlike play (especially flopping).

I know it's late in the game for predictions, but here I go anyway (based on the results through round 2 of the group stage)

Mexico (1A) beats South Korea (2B)
Germany (2D) beats England (1C)
Netherlands (1E) beats Italy (2F)
Brazil (1G) beats Chile (2H) (Spain, Chile, SUI tie in group H, but goal differential causes the the swiss to lose. Chile is a good team though, and I could see them drawing Spain and knocking them out of the tournament)

United States (2C) beats Serbia (1D)
Argentina (1B) beats Uruguay (2A)
Paraguay (1F) beats Denmark (2E)
Spain (1H) beats Portugal (2G)

Mexico defeats Germany
Netherlands defeats Brazil
Argentina defeats USA
Spain defeats Paraguay

Mexico defeats Netherlands
Argentina defeats Spain

Argentina over Mexico

As much as I hate El Tri...I think they have a good team