The World Cup

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Kizmet, Apr 9, 2018.

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  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    It's still a little way off but the World Cup will be starting soon. In my neighborhood this will be met with something less than unbridled enthusiasm despite the fact that it's probably the biggest sporting event in the world. Unfortunately, the US men's team failed to qualify and so US soccer fans will tend to seek out a team to root for. Some people will seek out a team that is somehow related to their ancestry. I'd like to propose an alternative. America loves an underdog. Root for the little guy. Root for the Icelandic team, the smallest country to ever qualify for the World Cup.

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  2. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    First match vs. Argentina in Moscow on June 16.
    Our tour bus driver in Reykjavik last fall proudly pointed out that every one of the 30 players on the roster was born and raised in Iceland. No Ronaldos here. And Iceland (population 350,000) defeated England (population 55 million). Impressive stuff. Go Puffins.
     
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I'm in!
     
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  6. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    The World what?? Whatever it is, it starts tomorrow with a match between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

    Is this that game that gibberish-speaking foreigners stubbornly insist on calling "football", despite it not having a quarterback who throws the ball or a running back that carries it in his hands? (Where's Trump when we need him??)

    The game where players run around aimlessly kicking the ball back and forth, while the officials wave yellow and red cards in players' faces for no known reason, until they inexplicably decide to tack some added time onto the end of the game so nobody knows when it ends? Before everyone decides to decide it with penalty kicks like hockey?

    Oh well, despite all that it still makes more sense than cricket....

    I like Australian rules football, easy for Yanks like me to learn since there's only one Australian rule: kill the guy with the ball.

    Where's the US women's team? I always enjoy watching them at the Women's World Cup.

    The Wall Street Journal had a big two page color spread today with detailed analyses of all the teams. (I actually read it!) It sounds like the usual suspects are favored: Germany and Brazil (of course, the game's their national religion). Argentina and France looked to be slightly behind but still contenders. Poland may be an up-and-comer. Belgium is an unlikely power. Portugal has some big star, whose name escapes me.

    England looks to be pretty good, but not top-tier.

    I like Iceland and their team. The whole country only has 300,000 people and their capital is about the same size as Cambridge Mass. Descendants of Vikings who arrived there more than 1,000 years ago. The place is lava flows and volcanoes, kind of a surreal Moonscape. They come from very tough stock who had to be tough to survive in a place like that. Their team did well in the European championships, but they aren't an exotic unknown any more and they won't be sneaking up on other teams who might have underestimated them. The WSJ made them sound like an over-achieving mid-tier team.


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    Another small-country team that I like is Costa Rica. Los Ticos are surprisingly good, but they aren't going to take it all. Another good solid mid-tier team.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  7. nyvrem

    nyvrem Active Member

    football
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    football
     
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Iceland is gorgeous and its people are delightful. If you ever have the chance, by all means visit. IcelandAir makes it easy by facilitating multi-day layovers there when one is crossing the Atlantic in one direction or the other. (WOWAir is also based in Iceland, but I've heard that they offer a comparatively mediocre experience.)
     
  9. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Russia v. Saudi Arabia is the first match. Overall it will be hard to beat Brazil. I know that only a small percentage of Americans care about soccer and even fewer will watch because the US is not represented this time around. Still, for those of us who love the game it's a special event

    http://digg.com/2018/us-not-in-world-cup-2018
     
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I'll watch when Nigeria plays and I'll watch the final, whoever is in it, but the whole thing really is an awful lot of soccer....
     
  11. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    It was actually a news story in today's SF paper that the "famous" resident cat at the Hermitage museum, which is said to pick football winners with great accuracy (presented with two labelled plates of food) has chosen Russia, according to the Hermitage resident veterinarian. Now the only question is: why does the Hermitage have a resident veterinarian?

    John (Go Iceland) Bear
     
  12. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  13. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Iceland tied Argentina! Wow!
     
  14. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  15. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    A tie is a de-facto Iceland victory, given that Argentina is supposed to be one of the world's "football" powers, a real contender to take the cup. I expected Iceland to lose and was hoping it wouldn't be too embarrassing.

    Apparently their next two matches are against Nigeria and Croatia.

    Nigeria reportedly lost 2- 0 to Croatia today. The whole country of Nigeria was glued to their TVs to watch the game, and then the electric grid collapsed and blacked out much of the country.

    http://punchng.com/breaking-total-blackout-hits-nigeria-as-power-grid-collapses/
     
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  16. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Big game tomorrow (Sunday) Germany v. Mexico
     
  17. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Argentina needs to let someone beside Messi take the PK.
     
  18. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Mexico beats reigning champions Germany 1-0. It's a bit of a surprise but they played a very aggressive game at both ends.
     
  19. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I agree. I discovered Iceland Skyr (Yogurt) and I now buy it here in the US. Their medical system is great and reasonable (emergency room, ortho surgeon, and night in hospital cost $1047). I visited a tomato farm - heated and lighted year round thanks to low cost geothermal energy.
     
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  20. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

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