Sunday, July 13, 2014

When My Baby Smiles At Me...

You will forgive the nation of Brazil if "Sunday the 13th" replaces "Friday the 13th" as the calendar's most ominous date.  For a nation whose worst nightmare was not the obscene gobs of money spent constructing the soccer stadiums needed to host the World Cup, which stadiums will likely be used rarely if at all from this date forward but was instead not having the home team be one of the two teams left standing to duke it out in the Final in Rio, today is beyond the pale.

It is on this very day that Germany, which annihilated the hosts in the semi-finals by a 7-1 count (for you non-soccer fans out there who cannot appreciate just how complete a humiliation this was might I suggest you YouTube Denver's Super Bowl effort against Seattle, or the Cowboys, the Redskins or Giants for that matter), will compete for the 2014 World Cup against Brazil's South American arch-enemy, Argentina.  There is no happy ending today for Samba Soccer.  Should the Germans prevail, they will accomplish something that no European side has yet accomplished in the World Cup:  They shall win the Cup on South American soil.  Should Lionel Messi and Argentina rule the day, then Brazil shall have to endure watching Argentina win the World Cup on Brazilian soil and with apologies to Ms. Peron it shall be Brazil that shall be doing the crying. 

I know that my brother Bill and the Connecticut Kennys shall be rooting hard for Germany to win today and while the team that I was pulling for second most of all to win the Cup (after the United States) was sent home on Thursday by Argentina (I really dig the Dutch), all things being equal I shall join him in rooting for Germany.   A German win would make him and the rest of his familial unit quite happy.  That is more than enough for me to put my allegiance on the German side.  

As someone who loves soccer, I hope that it is an entertaining, exciting match.  Four years ago, the Dutch were thoroughly outclassed by the Spanish in a game that was over far before "Full Time" was reached on the clock.  When Argentina triumphed over the Netherlands in the penalty kick shootout on Thursday, the play-by-play announcer on ESPN blurted out, "It's Messi v. the Machine on Sunday for the World Cup!"  A bit over the top?  Perhaps - although I assure you that you have not heard over the top until you have heard Gus Johnson on the mic (Thanks Fox for outbidding everyone for the broadcast rights to World Cup 2018).  Compelling stuff nonetheless.  

Here is to hoping that the game matches the hype.  Game on! 


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