Friday, June 09, 2006

World Cup Vs. Stanley Cup

At work, they’re trying to set up a World Cup pool. Since I won the Oscar pool (I knew Crash would win Best Picture), I have a reputation to protect. The problem? I have no real idea what I’m talking about. I mean, I know the rules of soccer, but I don’t know much about the teams this year. Or any other year.

I’m thinking Brazil, Argentina and England look good. I’ve been doing my research. That’s what I do.

We started talking about why the World Cup is so much more exciting than the cup named Stanley. Here’s my personal top-10 list:

  1. It’s only every four years, like the Olympics. You can’t get sick of it that way.
  2. It’s a national thing. How many Oilers are from Edmonton? From Canada? North America?
  3. The teeth: I’ve never seen Beckham without his teeth in.
  4. Beyond the teeth: No scars. No major disfiguration. Essentially, the soccer players win in the beauty department.
  5. The fans are crazier. And make up about 1/3 of the world’s population.
  6. The commentators are so frikkin’ cool. Especially the British ones.
  7. None of this best-of-7 crap. They play and either win or lose. That’s the way it should be. And games are on all the time. For only a month.
  8. Toronto comes alive. Flags are everywhere; sports bars are rolling in the dough; everyone’s pumped.
  9. Anyone can play soccer. Even little girls who drop kick the ball over their own head into their own net. Again.
  10. Anyone can win. It’s the sport of the underdog. Go Trinidad and Tobago.
For those who are following closely, I have the weekend to decide who will be the No. 1 and 2 teams, and what the final score will be. Any suggestions?


Beth said...

your list makes me wish that i got TSN or whatever channel is broadcasting all the games. seriously better than the stanley cup. the only thing that would make it any better is if we stood a flying chance.

you like underdogs? go for our own team...oh wait. we aren't even IN it...

michael lewis said...

I read an article in Maclean's which highlighted Brazil. Not so much their footfall team, but that the entire country shuts down whenever a match is on, and everyone watches it. Now, that's a spectator sport.

I almost signed up for a $10 text package from Rogers which would text game highlights and scores of the entire world cup straight to my phone. But it wouldn't do the entire World Cup, just one of the starting groups. I had no idea which pool to pick. And apparently, wireless data is NEVER free. I couldn't find anywhere that would push content to my phone for free.

Maybe I will still sign up for it.

Ben said...


You have probably already made your picks, but I am going with Argentina. England has some key injuries that might hurt it in the later rounds. Also, no one wants to pick Brazil, cause it is the favourite.

I liked your World vs. Stanley list too, and even though I like hockey, I really like the one game format. Allows those sneaky underdogs to go all the way.

nadine said...

So I went with Argentina (good call, Ben).

I'm betting on Argentina beating Brazil 2-1 in the final. I'm also betting that Beckham will have the best hair. Even if he shows up bald.

I'm also blindly believing that Edmonton still has a chance. Tonight matters.