I have no idea who’s going to win the World Cup. Neither does anybody else, but I’ve at least just admitted it. Some people’s predictions may, in fact, come true (when only seven countries have won the thing in 18 events, picking one of the usual suspects isn’t exactly Nostradamus-like), but nobody actually knows. Which makes it more interesting than, say, baseball, where it’s fairly obvious which handful of teams have a legitimate shot.
Anyway, because I don’t want to break it down by groups or do a bracket or anything like that, and because I have ADD, I’m just going to throw some thoughts out there and we’ll see afterward how I did.
- I’m thinking New Zealand might be the worst team in the field. At first I thought South Africa, but the Kiwis have done nothing to show me they won’t be three-and-out without doing anything.
- Can the US beat England? Sure, they can The thing about the Americans is that every once in a while they do something so completely out of character, so stunning, so…well, Worldly, for lack of a better term, that you think the USA has turned the corner and is finally ready to be one of Those Teams. Then they go all bipolar and you think, “Wait, what? Are the guys with the mullets back or what?” I could see England winning, and I could see the US playing out of their minds and getting a result. But I can’t see England taking the Yanks as lightly as the Brit tabloids do and letting the US have a dream start like against Portugal in 2002. By the way, I don’t think there’s any question Saturday’s game will be the highest-rated soccer telecast ever in this country, certainly the highest involving a US team (the ’99 Women’s World Cup has that distinction at the moment, I believe, with an 11.4 rating and 11.3 million viewers).
- I think the US gets out of its group. They’d better. Else everybody gets broomed and we get Gus Hiddink as our coach or something.
- I like Serbia. Don’t ask me why.
- Okay, I’ll do my picks to get out of each group: Mexico and France in Group A, Argentina and Greece in Group B, England and the USA in Group C, Germany and Serbia in Group D, Holland and Cameroon in Group E, Italy and Slovakia in Group F, Brazil and Portugal in Group G and Spain and it doesn’t matter in Group H. Okay, Chile, who cares? I’d say Honduras, but any team with Amado Guevara as its captain can’t win anything.
- Diego Maradona will say or do something incredibly inappropriate at some point. Like eat Lionel Messi or something.
- I’m picking Spain. Spain’s not one of the seven countries that have won it, but they are the favorites, so I’m not going too far out on a limb here. But you can’t do one of these things without picking a winner, so there you are.
Oh, and the official World Cup song is crap.