Folks, the World Cup starts tomorrow. If you're on the East Coast, the festivities begin at noon — please do your part and root against Germany. The sooner they're eliminated, the better the tournament will be. Do you want to watch the Germans play slow, rational, methodical football any more than you have to?
Plus, they'll be playing Costa Rica, wearers of this year's best kits:
How cool is that paint stripe?
In honor of the World Cup, ESPN Page 2 writer Paul Lukas unveiled a special edition of his Uni Watch column. Guest writer Dave Dixon introduces and critiques all 32 kits, and Uni Watch comments. It's a pure delight. Having looked through them all, my second favorite has to be Angola:
Stripes get me every time. Even the one stripe on one sock look the U.S. is sporting looks great. Nice work Nike.
Although I'm envious of the frenzied state most of the globe is in, in a sense it's nice to be an American fan: I don't have a lot of hope for our side, but they're good enough to be competitive and perhaps even make a serious, enthralling run like they did four years ago.
Apart from rooting for your home country, there are several other factors you can use to determine who to root for. Here's a few I'll be using:
- Root for poor countries to beat rich ones — especially if they're from Africa. It means more.
- Root for teams which play beautiful, spectacular soccer over teams who attempt to put up a goal on a set play and then play defense like sissies the rest of the game. This is particularly useful when the game is match up between superpowers. Pick Brazil over Germany every time — even though it does feel a little bit like rooting for the '27 Yankees.
- Don't be afraid to let a team win you over with their sheer charisma. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of simple minds.
- If all else fails, root for a country whose people and culture you admire, or a place you've been to on vacation. While this is clearly the lamest deciding factor, it'll work in a pinch.