Every Sunday should be like this.
Wake up. Football. Shower. Football (upset result). Breakfast. Football. Football. Lunch. Football. Write DB’s Diary. Football highlights. Dinner. Football preview for tomorrow. Bed.
While it’s way too early to be sure, it appears this World Cup may well go down as one of the best. I know. Three days in and all that. It’s certainly got off, without a doubt, to one of the best starts. We’ve had goals in every game, upsets, attacking football and we’ve only seen half the teams so far.
Today got off to an early start, with the Barlow’s up in time for the Uruguay-Costa Rica match (Colombia-Greece was just too early to consider). I made the fatal mistake of dressing Theo up in an old Uruguay shirt, taking a photo and posting it on Facebook. It was a show of support for my Uruguayan friends but a move guaranteed to backfire. But what a backfire that was. The Central Americans blew their elderly South American opponents off the park to turn the Almost-Group-Of-Death into the Group-Of-Your-Worst-Nightmare for Uruguay.
The rumble in the jungle between England and Italy went as expected. England competed. Italy won. Rooney missed a sitter. Rooney gets hammered in the English press. To be fair, the Poms played okay and were a little unlucky not to nick something from the game, but Italy deserved the win if only for the pleasure of watching 77 year old midfield magician, Andrea Pirlo, in action.
Japan versus the Ivory Coast (sorry, can’t manage the French spelling) was a fine end to end tussle as well. My main interest here was seeing how well the team (Japan) I drew in the office sweepstake would go. It’s seems a lock that I won’t be winning anything there now. Not that I was ever likely to in the first place.
Three things are guaranteed in New Zealand during any World Cup: 1) People will pour mock outrage on all the diving and say that’s why they can’t stand football. 2) The old rugby versus football debate will rise up with absolutely no new or insightful comment. 3) Kiwis will try to come up with a replacement for the penalty shoot-out, “Cos it’s unfair”.
We’ve had 1 and 2 already. You’ll have to wait a week or so for 3.
Now, I’m a proud Kiwi and wouldn’t want to call anywhere else home, but boy, some of us can be pretty narrow and provincial at times, particularly when our ‘national sport’ is threatened, let alone even questioned. I’ll admit to indulging in that discussion when I was younger and even getting a bit fired up with it. But now…it’s bloody pointless.
No amount of threatening language on Facebook (cheers Tony Veitch) or ‘my sport is tougher than your sport’ logic (which always degenerates into a discussion about sexual preference) will change, short term, where either sport sits either here or globally. It’s a debate that can’t really be won.
I expect over time, however, that New Zealand will shift towards becoming more of a football country, given our changing demographics. It can’t not because most of our immigrants will arrive from football countries because, well, virtually all of the countries they come from are football countries. Of course it will be a gradual, probably even generational shift, but we’re not the isolated little backwater we were in the past so it’s coming. Without question.
Anyway, that’ll be my only regression during this diary series. I wish the All Blacks all the best as they bid to clean sweep their friendly series against England. It’s time for me to get back to the football, which is infinitely more interesting.
Score picking update
Both Nathan and I got one score correct in the BFWCSPC which led to us opening up a decent gap at the top of the table. I got the England v Italy match and Nathan nabbed the Ivory Coast v Japan score. Time for mum and Theo to get in the game.
Picks for day 4
Switzerland 1-2 Ecuador, France 3-1 Honduras, Argentina 2-1 Bosnia-Herzegovina.