December 7, 2009

Do you believe in conspiracy? Grab some hot cocoa, get ready.

Argh, so much to write and say, about everything. I feel like football goes through phases when nothing exciting happens and then out of nowhere South Africa becomes relevant.

First, let me start  by saying again, great draw, amirite? I said before that I would come back and hash out this interesting little Group C. And I am going to be straight for the first time, and just come and out say it. I am an American, and as we get closer to June 13th, this may or may not become more apparent. In any case, I won't be sympathizing with an English perspective of the E(ngland) A(lgeria) S(lovenia) Y(anks) group.

The Sun has never really been an accurate predictor of even the weather (if they've ever been ballsy enough to do that), but I'm fairly certain most of England, and maybe the rest of the world, will feel similarly. But let me just point out, that despite the obvious "Oh well, it'll be England - Germany in the next round" statements, there are a number of eerie coincidences that might make a 9/11 conspiracy theorist wary.

A couple months back, the new kits for World Cup teams were starting to get leaked. The following somehow surfaced on the interwebs, as supposed USMNT kits for South Africa.

It's a pretty good looking shirt, but even better is that it was designed as a tribute to the 1950 US team that went to the World Cup Finals in Brazil.

When I first saw this, I didn't even think to question what was so special about these guys. I vaguely remembered a movie made about it, or something odd like that, but like most sports history it was too far away for me to care.

Recently, I decided to dig a little deeper. Turns out that in the 1950 World Cup finals, the third World Cup appearance by a hugely underfavored yanks and the first ever appearance by an English team, the USMNT and England were drawn in group play. In Belo Horizante, the US beat England 1-0 in what is considered one of the greatest sports upsets in history. That entire team was inducted into the USSF Soccer Hall of Fame. The manager of that team, Bill Jeffrey, was a legend himself, coaching his entire life and dying of a heart attack on the field in the middle of team training.

So, before the draw had even happened, the kits had been decided (or at least leaked). But now, after the draw, it's been made so much better. A little less than 60 years later, England will again be playing the United States, again with hugely differing expectations and odds. To say the US will be underdogs is only a confirmation of your mental sanity. It's just odd how history has a way of repeating itself. Karma? Or vindication?

If that doesn't get your juices flowing, how about this...

There is a possibility of Landon facing off against lover-turned-hater-turned-lover Becks this summer. You have to admit, these boys have gone through a lot together now. Drama, fighting, gossip, and a loss in the finals. Injury woes, travel, bad haircuts and balding heads. What doesn't break it only makes it stronger, and you can bet that these brothers cannot wait to face each other. Wait, Beckham won't be playing? But they look so happy together on FC Hollywood...

Not that I am a sick freak who enjoys watching personal meltdowns, but come ON, this could be better worse than Rooney and Ronaldo. I don't doubt for a second that the World Cup brings out the best and worst in teammates. It's only the fact that Landon is sitting on top of the finest game of his life, and Beckham is getting ready to choose between the paths of 'has-been' and 'legend'. Both have a lot on the line this summer.

So, a personal rivalry spanning the Atlantic, and another history lesson to be taught in remedial summer school.

You still aren't excited by this tie? OK, what about the fact that there's this World Cup, but then there's 2018?

After watching that you have to stop to think. Wait. What? England, the footballing nation, has to put together a three minute instructional video telling you why they want to host the finals? You know, the UK never really understood technology and the changing times...

Which is why when you see this, you have to be impressed. The US committee may not have Becks, but we have Drew Carey and Harry Kissinger. I think Drew Carey alone got the quarter of a million votes on the petition.

It may or may not be a stretch, or even related in the least bit, but you know it just as well as I do. If the US beats England on June 13th, and even gets past the group, the US 2018 bid becomes that much more legitimate. The same goes for if England win, the English media will ride that horse until it's dead, reaffirming English football superiority. The fact is that even if the match itself has nothing to do with hosting the finals, this summer's performance will be sitting in the back of Sepp Blatter's head.

It's great though that for something as big as the World Cup, there are still people who think the BCS championship game is fairer than the World Cup draw. Not saying it's rigged... but how can one match and one game mean this much?

Of course, it can only be this special if you want it to. Like a paranoid schizophrenic who finds hidden meaning in everything, this match won't just be a score line. I can't help but see all the small details building up to such a fantastic fixture. This draw is on it's way to being historical.


  1. Great post on a great blog. Gotta love conspiracy theories. I totally agree with your point about the gobidusa big.

    Anyway, I was wondering if you would be interested in guest blogging on my blog?

  2. The same goes for if England win, the English media will ride that horse until it's dead, reaffirming English football superiority. The fact is that even if the match itself has nothing to do with hosting the finals, this summer's performance will be sitting in the back of Sepp Blatter's head.

  3. I hate soccer, is a dumb sport without sense, I prefer chess or other discipline that involves our intellect.

  4. It's always my pleasure to read this type of stuff.I am very much interested in these types of topics and it's my habit to read this.