I was going to hold this for a day or two, but now that King Ing has kicked off the SCP World Cup preview by showing off his love of homoerotic photography, I decided to pull the trigger early.
South Africa 2010 is just about a month away. If you want to watch, but don’t really know what it is your supposed to be looking for, “The Glorious World Cup” might be for you.
It’s authors, Alan Black and David Henry Sterry took a few minutes to answer some questions.
SCP:Â So, let’s just get this out of the way right off the bat. I’m not a soccer fan. I’ve tried, but I just can’t get into it.Â What I can get into, however, is the hype. I love the fact that bars in New York open at 6am, so fans of specific countries can get together and watch their teams play. Which early games in the tournament are going to garner that sort of excitement?
AB/DHS: Well, the World Cup brings forth grudges and revenge with sprints of desperation. Rising for eggs and beer for breakfast will help the fan digest the battle between Germany and Serbia (6/18), a re-enactment of World War II. Another dawn brings a re-match between Portugal and North Korea (6/21), participants in one of the past World Cup’s greatest games. In 1966, Portugal came back from 3-0 to win 5-3, against a shock North Korea team that struck their opponents faster than an invading army. North Korea are out for revenge, and are experts in that department. And finally, weep away the sleep for the USA v AlgeriaÂ game (6/23). This could be the game that catapults the USA into the Round of 16, and on to the final! Ha!
SCP:Â Does it matter anymore that I don’t like soccer. In the past, soccer fans seemed to expend a lot of energy trying to convert the uninitiated. That doesn’t seem to be happening this time around. Is it a case of “You guys just don’t know what you’re missing,”Â or do you expect a new round of convincing to start as the World Cup approaches?
AB/DHS: Inevitably some critics will shape soccer as “a need to learn sport” but the facts on the ground don’t reflect this. For a generation, soccer has become the biggest participatory sport in the country, and there is a commonwealth of knowledge about the game outside of the mainstream media’s attention. There is a huge excitement about the World Cup in the country. Soccer has turned the corner. In a generation from now, soccer will be as American as apple pie Expect the USA to win the World Cup in the not to distant future.
SCP: Give us a quick rundown of the key players and teams we should be looking for. Other than South Africa , which teams will have the most fan support. Who will be the villains?
AB/DHS: Look out for Argentina, they have a rich vein of talent. FIFA’s World Player of the Year, Lionel Messi, leads the charge in attack, while the squad, coached by the legend Diego Maradona, is packed with great defenders and midfielders. Spain are favorites, players like Iniesta, Xavi and Torres are top drawer but can they play tough? Brazil glitter with quality as usual, with Kaka, Robinho and Lucio, all game winners on any day. Villainy pops up unexpectedly in the World Cup but the world waits to see if the thief Thierry Henry will be selected to play for France. He stole Ireland’s World Cup dream by using his hand to set up France’s winning goal in the qualifying rounds. The world will not forget his dastardly deed.
SCP: Which player wife or girlfriend will be getting the lion’s share of the attention?
AB/DHS: England has just announced that the WAGS (wives and girlfriends) will be accompanying their men to the Finals, reversing the coach’s initial ban on them. Good news for the paparazzi and the diamond retailers of South Africa. Expect the Prada bags to be filled with the kill of monumental shopping safaris. A website called Wag Rankings (www.wagrankings.com) can keep you up to date on the race up the slippery pole.
SCP:Â How does South Africa stack up as a World Cup site?
AB/DHS: Controversial choice. Thousands of people have been displaced in South Africa to make way for the World Cup juggernaut. Fearful media stories about crime and poverty continue to appear in the build up to the kick off. Alternatively, it could be a World Cup to remember, with fantastic shock results in a cauldron of soccer madness. South Africa is soccer crazy – the game is the soul of the nation, a guiding hope through the years of apartheid. Let’s hope the beautiful game flourishes in this great nation during the Finals.
SCP:Â A million condoms were recently shipped to South Africa in advance of the tournament. I don’t really have a question. That’s just a staggering number. Someone’s going to have one hell of a party.
AB/DHS: Double wrappings encouraged.