Posted by Irregaahhdless
Folks who only go to church on Christmas and Easter (hey, like me!) are labeled “C&E Catholics.” I’m sure there’s a similar term for soccer fans who only follow World Cup-related stuff. Whatever it is, feel free to stick me with that label, too.
I don’t watch the Premier League or La Liga (though I really think I need to start). The only time I was in the proximity of a stadium when an MLS game was going on was after the conclusion of a U.S.-Honduras CONCACAF qualifier. (The DC United played immediately afterward as part of a doubleheader.) I left. But, Christ on a bike, I love me some World Cup — so much so that I went to Germany in 2006. (OK, the prospect of consuming mass amounts of beer and hooking up with some cute gal from the Netherlands played a part, too. Also, for the record, only one of those things happened.)
Anyway, the 2010 World Cup draw has completely sucked me in today. It’s fascinating. The sport’s governing body broke the 32 qualifying teams into four pools. They’ll draw one team out of each pool to make up the eight groups for round-robin play. (The top two teams from each group advance to the Round of 16.)
The top 7 teams (using October’s FIFA rankings) and South Africa (the host country) were placed in one pool — helping to keep some of the top teams from picking each other off in the first round while also giving the host nation a (slightly) easier path to the second round (for the record, this doesn’t bother me at all). Otherwise, though, it’s open season. Could we possibly see a group of Spain (No. 1 in the world), Cameroon (No. 11), Greece (No. 12) and the United States (No. 14)? Yes, yes we could. And that would be F-ing awesome (except, you know, for the U.S.).
(By the way, I wrote out the above scenario while waiting for the draw to happen. I’m sure that we won’t get that group. But I’m also sure I’m way too lazy to go up and change my potential Group of Death. Just know that there’s going to be one and some really good team is gonna be done by the end of the tournament’s first week. Tremendous.)
Additionally, I love how we’re 188 days away from the start of the World Cup and teams already know their first THREE opponents. What other major championship lets you stew on something like “Holy shit, we have to play England in our second game” for six solid months?
Please note that about 38 seconds after typing the above paragraph, I received the following IM:
Sheinkin [1:09 P.M.]: US gets england. hmm. tough.
Is it too late to get tickets to Johannesburg?
(Also, in case you didn’t know where the headline came from.)