We're bad at prognostication. It comes with the blogging territory; after all, if we were good at this stuff, we'd have cashed in our Blogspot aliases and joined Miss Cleo's merry traveling band of 1-800 crystal ball carriers and fairground fortune tellers.
And so, the Confederations Cup is finally here on Sunday. We've previewed all the teams and all the individuals involved, so it's time to make some bigger guesses about what'll actually happen. Then, when we liveblog the action from start to finish, you can tell us how misguided we were in every single comments section.
Who's Winning This Mickey Mouse Thing, Anyway?
Folks are well and truly divided. The fashionable ones among us (u75, Spectator, Autoglass, NY Kid, Likely Lad and yours truly) are siding with the Spaniards. After all, they provide most of the world's costliest players, so why not? All eyes on La Liga when it comes to fancy transfers and big, big money.
Precious Roy fancies the hosts South Africa to pull off some pre-WC magic/witchcraft, while Fan's Attic chooses the Brazilians to thrive. Nuttiest of all, Ian raised his head from a bunch of finance books to offer an Egypt tournament victory, although it's not too outrageous. They're a low-key, well-organized team with the benefit of being picked from mostly two clubs (El-Ahly and Ismaily), a formula that worked nicely for Turkey in the Euros and Greece in Euro '04.
On the sarcastic side, Bigus thinks the winners will be countries who said South Africa can't hold a tournament, whatever that means.
Pass Me a Brown Paper Bag, Lest I Hyperventilate
For shocks, opinions are divided into two camps: those expecting single-game upsets, and those fancying a dark horse or two escaping the group round.
On the 90 minute tip, u75 reckons the USMNT can shake off some dire recent form to topple the Azzurri, and Precious Roy is sticking with his South Africa love over the Spaniards. Not entirely unreasonable.
The real fun is reserved for those looking at the bigger picture. Ian and Spectator think Brazil will dilly-dally and fail to qualify for the semi-finals (Spectator foresees a similar fate for Italy), and I think Iraq will survive Group A. Looking to incite rage among our hardcore USMNT supporters, Autoglass thinks the US will fail to get any results, whereas the rosy-tinted brain of The Likely Lad reckons that same Yankee Doodle Collective will advance out of their group.
The NY Kid and Bigus Dickus take a tongue-in-cheek approach: the former predicts that Bob Bradley will murder Rossi, while Bigus thinks that every single player in the tournament will avoid two of South Africa's primary exports, robbery and murder.
Finally, things get more uniform, and divvied between the usual suspects.
Kaka, BRA - u75, Autoglass, Fan's Attic
Pato, BRA - Precious Roy
Xabi Alonso, SPA - Spectator
Xavi, SPA - Likely Lad
David Villa, SPA - The NY Kid, Ian
Robinho, BRA - Lingering Bursitis
"Gilberto Silva at the card table" - Bigus Dickus (can you tell he put the effort in?)
Rossi (the bastard), ITA - u75
Pato, BRA - Precious Roy
David Villa, SPA - Ian, Spectator
Fernando Torres, SPA - Autoglass, Fan's Attic, The NY Kid
Mohamed Zidan, EGY - Lingering Bursitis
Robinho, BRA - Likely Lad
The Likely Lad, while killing time until his heroin dealer turned up, added two more categories despite not being asked to.
Top Twitterer - Freddy Adu
Best/Worst Obnoxious Italian Pleading Face - Luca Toni
So there you have it! The fun begins this weekend, and we'll be covering it all (as if I didn't say that earlier): liveblogs, wrap-ups, gossip, etc. I mean, what else will we do until mid-August?
Give us your predictions in the comments!
Any exposition or other awards are welcome, too.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Behold, the trophy up for grabs. No, it's not an Atari joystick circa-1985