Monday, June 19, 2006

Soccer not Heroin and Young Ladies

After not having posted here on the b-log for some time, I have returned with heartfelt apologies to all my faithful fans. I know you have been worried sick about what might have happened to me, but be assured I am safe and relatively ok after a fortnight’s black tar heroin bender in the South Pacific. I was off chasing the dragon and I caught it…oops. Anyway, it seems that while I was away the world has joined together to watch something called, coincidentally enough, “The World Cup”. I was able to watch bits here and there as I nodded in and out of a beautiful stupor, surrounded by fresh young ladies straight out of Gaugin’s syphilitic dreams. Here are my haziest impressions of this “World Cup” thus far.

Best Teams in the Tourney at this Point: (1) Argentina: Los Gauchos broke through the opaque opium smoke laden tropical air and my ochre colored dreams to impress me with their dominant play. Their midfield has played exceptionally well, distributing to the strikers and doing some scoring of their own. I wish they had something to play for against the Dutch. They will offer great competition to anyone as they move into the knockout rounds, and could win the whole thing.
(2) Spain: Now that I am back in the States and sober, well at least lucid, I was able to watch them turn a crap game around and take it to Tunisia after trailing 1-0 for 75 minutes. They were relentless on attack and have now scored at least 3 goals in 8 straight world cup games and have not lost in 25 international matches. Their two games have proven that the Spanish youth movement can perform on the biggest stage and that maybe the curse of underachieving may finally have been lifted. Hell, if the BoSox can win a World Series…
(3) Nederlands: Is it the return of the Clockwork Orange, or was that some nod out dream that I kept having…Cruyff? Perhaps not, but this Dutch side is very good, especially on the offense. Their defense is good but aged in places and a tad slow, however they do have one of the best keepers in the world to make up for any lapses in defense. If Mr. Robben can learn to loose that ball out to his teammates every once and awhile, the Dutch could find their way into the late rounds.
(4) Brazil: The champs are starting to play closer to their abilities after a slow first game and a half. For some reason they continue to play a largess Ronaldo who seems capable of only walking a few feet then stopping to catch his breath. Super Menino Robinho has had a great effect opening up the offense after subbing in for Ronaldão in the first two games. His youthful energy and sublime skills make that offense much more fluid and I certainly would like to see him start, or at the very least play an entire half. If As Canarias continue to warm up and improve, they should maintain their spot as favorites to win this Cup. The combination of Ronaldinho and Kaka in the midfield is extraordinary to watch, especially with the steadying defensive presence of Zé Roberto bailing them out every now and again when they are too busy moving forward. I’ll come clean, these are my boys and I have been a tad worried at times in games 1 and 2, but I see they are now beginning to show signs of O Jogo Bonito and when these guys are having fun and playing with the ball they are unbeatable.

Other Impressions
Fortunately, I was whacked out of my gourd, having serenading saccharine coos sung into my ears by beautiful Makalia lying on the powder white beaches, as the US was getting clobbered by the Czechs. I came to in time to witness the “gutty”, how many times will that be said, performance against the Italians. Even though the ref attempted to ruin the game, the Red White and Blue fought hard with an energy that was absent from game 1. They are going to be thinned out as a result of all of the red cards and multiple yellows, but if they can play anything like they did against the Italians and keep all 11 on the field against Ghana, they could win. Couple that with an Italian victory over the Czechs, and the USA will move on to the next round and play eeks...Brazil.

Oh Africa we hardly knew ye…I am saddened that the top African teams had such difficult draws. Of course Ghana can still advance, but I think that the US will beat them, making them the second best team, after Cote D’Ivore, to not advance. Les Elephantes of the Ivory Coast are a very good team and fun as hell to watch, but they found themselves in the group of death (1 of 2) and are now having to play a final game for pride without their stud forward Didier Drogba. It is a shame that these African teams get screwed with their group placements, but that is how it goes, just ask the USA, no respect.

Underdog to Root For
The World Cup, much like the NCAA Basketball Tournament, always produces a Cinderella team that you can’t help but root for. This cup’s darlings are Ecuador, the last team to qualify from South America and a surprise side that might just steal the group from an on again off again German squad. So, send them your love and support as they move into the Round of 16 and perhaps beyond.

I am too fatigued and itchy to continue this narration, so I will leave off. Now that I am back from lapping at the smooth white underbelly of the dragon, I hope to be more of a presence here at the blog. So, do not fret for I am home.

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