Okay, after having my wisdom teeth pulled this morning I can't talk (and apparently I'm four teeth dumber). Given my predilection to rambling regardless of my audience's interest (or lack thereof) this is quite a blow to me.
Of course there's always one forum where ignorant, self-righteous blabbermouths can speak without fear of rebuke: Around the Horn! Since I can't go there, this blog will have to do.
Conveniently, silence lends itself to a better appreciation of the game (as well as the brilliance of Captain Wonderful aka John Harkes). Sadly, after being knocked out for the morning games and recording the unimaginative splendor of Netherlands V. Argentina for Matt today appreciating the beautiful game was easier said (or rather thought) than done.
But with eight more teams making plans for the weekend, here's a look back, ahead and askance at each team's World Cup.
Ready for a LONG Weekend--
Ivory Coast: Brent's right, this is a talented side that was stonewalled in their group. A 3-2 win today was more than deserved, it's practically a constitutional right. Life, Liberty and Didier Drogba! Bravo Tommy Jefferson!
Serbia & Montenegro: Okay, so the Famous Four flopped. I won't make excuses and I'm sure they won't either. After all they have to go back to Belgrade (site of the ever popular Girls Gone Wild: Balkan Beauties).
Iran: For all the hubbub and falderal surrounding their political and social strife few teams fell as flat as Iran. Now they have to go back to their oppressive regime and wait to trot out septuagenarian Ali Daei in 2010.
Angola: Say what you will about the team that was supposed to be the weakest in the entire field. This is a team that surpassed everyone's expectations. Getting not just one, but TWO points and staying alive until the last day should be enough to smack around everyone who said they didn't belong.
"Ummm, yeah...I'm going to need you to come in on Saturday. Oh, and ah...Sunday too."--
Argentina: The one team that look as good as we all thought Brazil would. Well, up until the dentistry at least. Still, smiles don't win world cups, hand ball goals do, and Cup winning hand ball goals is a category Argentina continues to lead.
Mexico: After a great first half v.s. Iran it's been a downward slide up to, and including, Omar Bravo's shanked PK today. Don't get me wrong I like El Tricolors but it's just not going to happen. (Lots of luck, but you need more than that to beat Argentina)
Portugal: I'd say something nice but I've only watched one of their matches (tuxedo fitting/trip to Portland/wisdom tooth removal). So...you guys wear maroon, huh? Good for you!
Netherlands: A little more creativity, a lot better passing and Herr Robbens back on the pitch should be all they need to dispatch Portugal. (Plus they wear Orange which is much cooler than Maroon).
Tomorrow is, at last, a serious showdown day, with the Azzurri in good shape to beat the Czechs. If they do, any result between Ghana and the U.s. will make me happy as it guarantees one of those teams goes to the next round. Brazil should be able to knock off Japan, and all the Aussies need to do is pull a draw against the goal-less Croats to move ahead. I may not be saying much, but as long as there's cup action to come, and a world wide information superhighway to gobble up my unimportant ramblings, I'm a happy man.