Friday, April 09, 2010

Prepare to be bored

The World Cup is coming up in June. I got your "Superbowl" right here. The World Cup is far and away the biggest sporting event on the planet. Hell, even the final of the Champions League had more viewers this year than the Superbowl did. Real football is the worlds most popular game. Get over it.

Anyway, here is how I see it and a long-ass rant about how it could be better. The numbers in parentheses behind teams are how many times they've won it.



In with an outside chance: FRANCE (1), PORTUGAL, NETHERLANDS

Serious contenders

Most likely to succeed
: BRAZIL (5), ITALY (4), GERMANY (3)

The World Cup should be cut down to 16 teams. Four groups of 4, play each team in your group twice with the winner and 2nd place advancing to the knockout stages. Having a 32 team tournament that only 8-10 teams are capable of winning is just fucking stupid.

Africa has 6 teams in this tournament and not one of 'em is good enough to lift the trophy. South Africa is in as host but why does the rest of the continent get 5 qualifiers? Because Sepp Blatter has a hard-on for Africa, that's why. If an African team does win it it'll be under controversial circumstances (ie: Blatter telling the refs to hand it to 'em should they make the final). He wants an African team to win the Cup so he can keep getting re-elected. His support in Europe is almost non-existent anymore so he's sucking off all these little shit countries to keep himself in power.

That man is a cancer hell-bent on destroying the game. His latest what-fucking-planet-are-you-from idea is to do away with the offside rule. That'll make the game about as exciting as basketball...he shoots, he to the other end...he shoots, he to the other end...yawn. Super fucking yawn. Americans say it's boring because of the low scores but I beg to differ. Goals are rare and therefore scoring actually fucking MEANS something.

It should be organized this way...

Two from AFC (Asia, which should include Oceania), two from CAF (Africa), two from CONCACAF (North America, Central America, Caribbean), four teams from CONMEBOL (South America) and six teams from UEFA (Europe).

OFC (Oceania) is a fucking joke. It only has 16 member nations and includes such powerhouses as Tonga, Cook Islands and Tahiti. Holy shit...not ONE of the countries in Oceania even has a domestic professional league, not since Australia whined its way into moving over to AFC (Asia) because it could never win the playoff against a South American team. Either disband it completely or fold it into AFC (Asia).

CAF (Africa) and CONCACAF (North America, Central America, Caribbean) at least have professional leagues, although any good players from those countries play in South America and any really good players they have play in Europe.

AFC (Asia) has professional leagues but very few players of any quality. Park Ji-Sung at Manchester United, you say? Oh, gimme a fucking break...Park isn't there because he's a Manchester United quality player - he's there because Manchester United sells metric assloads of shirts in Asia with his name on 'em. Asian teams simply can't compete physically against the top teams from Europe or South America. That isn't racism, it's a simple fact. I remember seeing Germany against South Korea one time and the Germans stood a good foot taller and weighed 40-50 pounds more across the board. Football is a physical game and 5'-4" 135 lb Asian players are never going to win against 6'-4" 200 lb Germans or Italians.

CAF (Africa) has a number of quality players but they all play in Europe. And no African team has more than 2 or maybe 3 of those at any one time. Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto'o are world class but without a supporting cast they'll never get anywhere near lifting the World Cup. A lot of African national teams even field players who aren't professionals just to fill in the ranks.

COMNEBOL (South America) is where it gets interesting. Brazil is the shit when it comes to football...5 times World Cup champions and twice runners-up, more than any other country. Argentina has 2 but that was with Diego Maradona and he had to fucking cheat to get one of 'em. Uruguay has 2 but they hardly count since they came back in the day when the Cup was just getting started and there were four teams in the 'tournament' or some shit like that. Still, South America has tons of great players so they deserve a good number of teams to qualify.

UEFA (Europe) is where top class football is played in a number of countries. By any reckoning the top four leagues in the world are in Europe...English Premier League, Italian Serie A, Spanish La Liga and German Bundesliga. Europe and South America each have 9 World Cups but South America only has 3 teams (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay) to have won it while Europe has 4 (Germany, Italy, France, England).

It is a telling statistic that ONLY South American and European teams have ever appeared in a World Cup final. No team from anywhere else has ever gotten there. USA took 3rd way the hell back in 1930 at the very first one and South Korea took 4th in 2002 (when Turkey, a country FIFA says is somehow in Europe took 3rd). That's it. The World Cup has been played 18 times and only 3 teams from outside of Europe and South America have even broken into the top four. That's 3 out of 72.

Sepp Blatter can snuggle up to Africa and Asia all he wants in order to keep his sorry ass in power...but that ratio ain't gonna change. Stop fucking around with all these no-hope countries. Instead of a bunch of games between countries that can't win the damned thing give us a bunch of games between teams that can. Who wants to see Algeria play Slovenia or New Zealand play Slovakia? Their own fans, sure...but seeing Brazil play The Netherlands twice or Argentina play Germany twice would bring far more interest and far more viewers. The wanna-bes will still have a chance but will have to actually deserve being there by making qualification harder.

Sepp Blatter and FIFA should pull their heads out of their asses and give us a better tournament.

I'll save my actual predictions until the domestic leagues are over. Important players can still be injured and not make the tournament.