Friday, May 7, 2010

Rooting Against the Hosts

Is there are group with more villains in it than Group A?  It's like the Anti-Super Best Friends.  It's like the Legion of Doom.  It's like a team of Fox News personalities.

What made Group A interesting when first announced what how balanced it was. This year's World Cup groupings seem especially balanced, and while a few groups are harder than others and some have a clear cut favorite, there's really only a small handful of teams that realistically don't have a chance of advancing even in second place.

Now, what's really interesting about Group A is actually finding a team to root for (if you care to find a team to root for out of each group).  Wanting the Mexicans to fail is a given.  They are the Lex Luthor or Bill O'Reilly of the group.

France is also easy to hate for multiple reasons, whether it's because you think they cheated their way in with Henry's handball, or because you can't stand capitulators or women who don't shave and general snobbishness.

Uruguay I can't say you have a reason to hate them, though they are historically known for a brutish, thuggish style of football that's not particularly endearing.

Naturally, the South Africans were left as the sentimental favorite as the home side.  Mind you they might be, well, are the worst team in the group.  But home sides tend to do well in the World Cup, and that boost makes Group A all the more competitive and intriguing.

Then the South Africans had to go and say this: "Our famous prayer is that the Americans don't make the second round. (That) they get eliminated and they go home."

This according to South African General Bheki Cele. The concern is that if the US advances, President Obama may be likely to make a visit to take in the World Cup, presenting the hosts with a large security problem they may not be able to handle.  Apparently the 43 heads of state confirmed to visit South Africa during the tournament combined would equal the effort it would take to provide the security needed for Obama.

Anyway, gracious hosts or not, once you pray that the Americans lose and fail to advance, you get put on the enemies list.  Your vuvuzelas were already annoying, and now you've forced me to root for the stadium to collapse against Mexico. Ok, not really, but you get the idea.  By the way, the World Cup is only 34 days away.  Just over a month away!  Already excited and there's so much more to come.  Vamos Estados Unidos!

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