And here we are, one-and-a-half rounds of matches into the World Cup. Some observations:
- As you're no doubt aware, one of the features of this world cup has been the omnipresent high-pitched nasal drone of the foreign press complaining about vuvuzelas. Even the usually enjoyable Rick Reilly has stepped up to the plate (ooh, mixed sports metaphor!) on that front, producing what must be the silliest thing he's ever written (I think it's supposed to be funny. It fails). Anyway, FIFA boss Sepp Blatter got it absolutely right when, in response to calls to ban the horns, he pointed out that an African world cup was supposed to sound and feel different.
- Speaking of the feel of the world cup, did anybody realize (and I certainly didn't) that holding it in South Africa meant that it would be the first world cup played in the cold? I've seen a couple of matches in which the temperature was right around the freezing mark.
- At some point, the US will win a world cup. From what I have seen so far in this year's tournament, it's going to be sooner rather than later.
- It's been, obviously, a rough tournament for goalkeepers. England, Algeria, Paraguay, and Nigeria have all lost points due to bad goals. Throw in injuries to Italy's Gigi Buffon and the US's Tim Howard, and... well, eek.
- For some reason, I think the match that I've enjoyed most has been Brazil versus North Korea. Brazil deserved to win, and did, but North Korea definitely deserved to take something out of the match, and duly got a late goal to make things interesting. Well played all 'round.
More thoughts as this thing progresses!