Every blog I've every read has been cranky. So here's my cranky blog.
I have several smoldering questions, only a few of which could be described as burning, running through my mind on the eve of the world cup.
1.) The most pertinent questions revolve around the response to the world cup among the actual populace of the US. Is it more or less popular than the media coverage it recieves would suggest? Is it equivalent?
There's no way to tell this without enlisting Zogby to throw down a few polls, but he's busy getting ready for the midterms, so instead you should just listen to me. The number of people who watch the world cup, or want to, in the US this summer will be the highest number in history. The investment the event will recieve from the network broadcasting it will be roughly equivalent to the investment the network will put into the WNBA playoffs. There will be no half-hour dedictaed studio show, though we will be treated to John Kruk's brilliant analysis of Phil Nevin's first week with the Cubs, as well as Skip Bayless, Woody Paige and Jim Rome doing their best Bill O'Reily impressions. My guess: one snydely presented highlight segment per sportscenter for the length of the tournament including: a.) one or two goals, b.) one or two fans who made incredibly poor wardrobe choices, and c.) one or two fouls/dives. This will be followed by a Tommy Smyth live shot sponsored by Coors, Miller Lite or the Home Depot where he answers two or three questions which will be marginally relevant to the interesting stories from the tournament (David Beckham's hair/wife is sure to make an appearance here) in his wee little accent and the anchors chuckle about David Hasslehoff. Only the best from the worldwide leader. If I'm right, you guys owe me a case of Junior Mints, deal? Deal. Blogging is awesome!
2.) Are the greater number of articles on espn.com about the world cup just an illustration of 4 years of growth for the company and in the technology?
4 years ago, if someone would have told you to check out their blog you would have a.) shrilly shrieked "How dare you!" and hit them with your purse b.) laughed quietly and smiled indicating you got the joke, the desparation in your eyes a dead giveaway of your social ineptitude or c.) pull a Josh Caldwell and walk away from the practice field crying because you suck so much. That's right I said it. Again, this is related to question number one, the special section on the website and the articles are a function of the technology and bleed-over from the soccernet site which is designed with Europeans in mind.
3.) Can the US make it out of their group?
Call me bold, call me un-patriotic, call me a dick, but I don't think they make it out. I'd love it if they proved me wrong, I'd be overjoyed, but from an objective standpoint this group is a far sight more difficult than Group D was in 2002, where we took second to South Korea after a shock upset of Portugal and getting waxed by the eventual bottom feeders of the group Poland 3-1. Anything can happen of course, but Italy the Czechs and Ghana could all shut us down. The biggest factor tipping the scales in my mind is the pressure. In 2002, these guys had nothing to loose, now in the brightest media spotlight they've been under (albeit a light powered by soft 60-watt bulbs instead of those shitty glowsticks they were using before) but nonetheless you're telling me they don't feel more pressure to prove to the country that soccer is a viable sport and to the rest of the world that 2002 wasn't a fluke? I hope I'm wrong but, I gotta go with steven colbert and go with my gut on this one. Donovan takes a dump in dusselberg and the US finishes either 3 or 4 in the group.
Cranky Edamame-Pyjama Pants