It’s been a great few weeks of international soccer, and we now arrive at the apex. For one last time, Alex & -J. reflect upon World Cup 2014, and make their inexpert-but-enthusiastic predictions for the final couple of games.
2014 Reflections & Discoveries
-J.: As we approach the final two games, I’m both ready for it to end, but also a bit sad to see the end arrive. I’m looking forward to devoting my full attention to being disappointed by the Chicago Fire and demoralized by the Milwaukee Brewers. I’m waiting to see what happens in Brazil — culturally and politically — now that the financially crippling World Cup did not result in a 6th title for host Brazil. They laid out so much money and sacrificed so much of the common good for FIFA twice (Confederations Cup last year, World Cup this year), and are doing the same for the IOC (Summer Olympics in 2016). I’m going to enjoy the ability to pretend that Sepp fucking Blatter does not exist on a regular basis.
But I will miss the fans and the coverage of this tournament. Chicago went outlaw wild for Team USA and the World Cup. I loved the ESPN coverage, which is no small feat for a network I tend to give the side-eye. The nightly analysis from former World Cup stars like Michael Ballack, and from the few American international vets like Alexi Lalas, was entertaining and illuminating. When the analysis would break up for the “last call” style of reflection, it was a perfect way to end the day. Hell, I could watch Lalas and Ballack go back & forth, even if Alexi needs to let others get a few more words in. [Read more…]