In “The Politics of Futbol,” William Safire says, “Set aside the game itself; this is not the sports page. Consider instead the intelligence, geostrategic, cultural and diplomatic ramifications of futbol, with its World Cup played, as always, halfway between U.S. presidential elections.”
This World Cup has unquestionably been one of the most exciting ever. In the 72 years since the tournament’s inception, only seven teams have ever won the title: England, Brazil, Germany, Italy, France, Argentina, and Uruguay. This year, only Germany, England, and Brazil have made it to the quarterfinals, where they’re joined by Spain, Senegal, S. Korea, Turkey, and the US. England plays Brazil tomorrow morning at 2:30 a.m. Eastern, and the American team battles Germany at 7:30 a.m. Eastern.
For the first time since 1930, the US men’s soccer team has advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Cup. They beat Mexico 2-0 today and will face Germany on Friday.
World Cup update: the US tied South Korea 1-1 today. Clint Mathis scored in the first half, and Brad Friedel’s brilliant play in goal salvaged the draw. With one game left in group play, the American team is likely to advance to the second round of the tournament.
Gourd speakers are cool.
Here’s a convenient list of food-themed holidays.
Grant Wahl, of Sports Illustrated, has written an excellent column about the US’s victory over Portugal yesterday.