So, in case you didn't know it, the World Cup starts tomorrow, and runs through July 11. For those of us on the west coast, the World Cup is again in an annoying time zone, as the earliest group stage matches kick off at 4.30AM Pacific time. I don't think I'll be watching every single match this time as I did in 2006 and 2002. The World Cup is probably my favorite sporting event - it's so easy to immerse yourself in it, to get all wrapped up in it, and to follow as much of it as possible because, unlike American sports leagues or even the English Premier League, I don't have any out-and-out hatreds of national soccer teams.
There are teams I like more than others, and there are rivalries I can appreciate, but it's not like I ultimately give a damn whether Cameroon beats Japan. The World Cup is a tournament for the neutrals, especially for the United States, who typically don't get very far in these things. This year the US should get out of their group, though, so that's good.
Before we dive in, one caveat: If you don't like soccer, please, do not post about your hatred of the sport in this thread. We won't change your mind, you won't change ours - let's agree to disagree, and you can go about your business while we talk about the World Cup.
Let's get to it. Questions!
1. Who is your favorite team in this tournament? Why?
2. Who do you think will win the tournament? Why?
3. Which player(s) will you be watching the most?
4. Who will be the biggest disappointment (player and/or team)?
5. Who will be the biggest surprise (player and/or team)?
6. Match you're most looking forward to in the group stages?
And, in case you missed it in the offtop, here's the official World Cup anthem to get you all goosebumpy for tomorrow.