The World Cup is over. Four wonderful weeks have come to a close. Congrats to Germany on their stellar win in extra time against Argentina. Im happy for you. But Ill sure miss watching soccer games everyday.
Heres the best of the last four weeks:
1) The fabulous football of course, multiple times a day, everyday.
2) Goals, glorious goals. None more so than the one that clinched the final for Germany by Mario Gotze.
3) Fan zones. Thousands of spectators at local venues cheering in support of their country’s team. Rain or shine, all hours of the night.
4) Super-human Keeper saves. Germanys Manuel Neuer won the Golden glove, of course. But our very own Tim Howard was so amazing with his record-breaking 15 saves in the Belgium match that he was randomly drug tested for his troubles.
5) The rousing renditions of each countrys national anthem.
6) The stunning views of Brazil, especially Rio. The full moon over Corcovado and Christ the Redeemer after the final game was breathtaking.
7) Michael Ballack. Thank God for Michael and his common sense and serious soccer knowledge all wrapped up in that infectious German accent.
8) Ruud van Nistelrooy. Another cool guy with a ton of smarts.
9) Penalty shoot-outs. Nothing more exciting than watching individual skills and tactics.
10) Spending countless hours with my son, who perhaps loves the beautiful game even more than I do.
Things that sucked:
1) Getting nothing else done. A slave to the TV, my life revolved around the Cup. Lets just say, things suffered because of it.
2) The silly Alakazoo commercial. Seriously? If I never have to see that again
3) Pervasive shots of Messi who appeared to be pondering his very existence. I realize that he felt the tremendous weight of Argentina on his shoulders. But one more close-up of his brooding face was going to make me puke.
4) Speaking of Messithat Head And Shoulders commercial was a train-wreck. Yikes, whoever dreamed that up should seriously be shot.
5) Alexi Lalas. Pompous A**. If I had to hear him say listen or look at the start of a sentence just one more time
6) Penalty shoot-outs. Nothing more unfair than the randomness of penalties deciding the better team after a 120 minute battle.
7) Watching the Brazilian team play, anymore, ever, one more minute. Every game the Brazilians played was an exercise in disbelief as it seemed impossible that they could be that bad.
8) Giving the Golden Ball to Lionel Messi. It was gratuitous and he knew it. Its probably in his trash can as we speak. Come on Fifa. Who was the brains behind that one? No one really thinks he was the best all-around player in the tournament. Not even his Mom.
9) Seeing Cristiano Ronaldo get a haircut and eyebrow arch every other day. (Thank heavens Portugal was knocked out in the group stage. Aww)
10) Watching the US team be underwhelming. I love our US mens soccer team. I really do. I just think that things could have gone better if different decisions had been made. Sure they got out of the group. Sure they almost pulled one out against Belgium. But come on, if ya have eyes and a brain at all, the deficiencies stood out way above all the grit and determination. We have a long way to go. Lets hope four years can put a dent in it.
11) The cameramans wanton use of seeking out only the most attractive young women in the crowds. Really? I suppose some marketing genius suspected that ploy would win over the US male audience of viewers not yet sold on the whole soccer thing.
12) The sickening snap of heads so horrible that it left one Uruguayan player out cold and another who doesnt even remember his own playing time in the final. Germanys Christoph Kramer collided so violently in the 19th minute with Argentine Ezequiel Garay that he collapsed. Obviously groggy, he was allowed back in, but replaced about 10 minutes later when he went to ground again, unable to continue. He does not remember the entire first half of the game. Scary. Another matter to be sorted out, Fifa.