Open World Cup thread

by Chris Bertram on June 11, 2010

Can’t believe we’ve not started this already. RSA 1 Mexico 1 … not a bad start for the competition. Now looking forward to England-USA where I may be the sole Timberite cheering on Stevie G and co. Now listening to Macka B’s “Pam Pam Cameroun” ( sexist, arguably racist, but the best WC song ever, even for an England supporter). Predictions? Observations? Fire away.



God 06.11.10 at 6:27 pm

England 1 – USA 2


Delicious Pundit 06.11.10 at 6:53 pm

I predict I’m going to get pretty sick of those horns.


Earnest O'Nest 06.11.10 at 6:54 pm

Germany are a mess during the 1st part of the tournament, then kick out England that played remarkable up to then. Germany ends up loosing to Spain without putting up a fight, in the final.

The latter is meant only figuratively as Bastian Schweinsteiger knocks his own captain out cold (declaring famously that the Arschlog lacked Kampfgeist).

PS: ah yes, Geert Wilders shows up in support of the Dutch team – & is found in a hotel room with his nether lands painfully stuck in a vuvuzela.


Piglet 06.11.10 at 7:12 pm

Time to pay those colonizing bastards back for 200 years of tyranny and taxation without representation, to say nothing of trashing our Gulf and those ridiculous snooty accents — USA 2-UK 1. You’ll be able to hear the collective angst all the way across the pond. USA….USA….USA.


Substance McGravitas 06.11.10 at 7:16 pm

I am worried that an England loss will prove that government-provided health-care is WRONG WRONG WRONG.


Ken Houghton 06.11.10 at 7:16 pm

There are a lot of posters here thinking more about 1950 than 2010.

Donovan breaks J. Cole’s leg, confusing him for his now-former teammate. England goal in extra time leads to a 2-1 victory in the positive scenario; 3-1 or 4-1 final in the realistic projection.

Note that Voros McCracken’s scenarios place England-US as more of a mismatch than RSA-Mexico was supposed to be. US celebrating ended with John Oliver’s segment last night; will resume only when playing Algeria.


yabonn_fr 06.11.10 at 7:23 pm

I am worried that an England loss will prove that government-provided health-care is WRONG WRONG WRONG.

Rule 35 : if you can think of something stupid, some wingnut will write it.


Hektor Bim 06.11.10 at 8:22 pm

Isn’t it a given that England will underperform? They always do, except when they are hosting. Who knows how they will do against the Americans, but clearly they won’t do well.


Marco 06.11.10 at 8:45 pm

I predict I’m going to get pretty sick of those horns.

I thought so too, but they fade into the background quite quickly.

In sports news, the French and Uruguayans just played to a lackluster 0-0 draw. One point each, but hardly scintillating stuff. Ribery looks strong and fast and unhampered by the heat. The Francesco Totti-lookalike (his name escapes me) for Uruguay had a couple of nice chances.


Andrew Smith 06.11.10 at 8:46 pm

The USA can’t win the title, but if the USA beats England then hundreds of thousands of kids across the country will play football instead of gridiron or basketball, and they’ll have a pretty good chance when they are hosting in 2022.


Ewan 06.11.10 at 8:51 pm

538 has England as ~11% for the title, behind Brazil and Spain. That seems pretty sensible to me; I’m guessing 3-0 against the US. And as the sole UK member of my lab, this will determine who gets to give whom stick over the next few weeks..


stostosto 06.11.10 at 9:10 pm

The Francesco Totti-lookalike (his name escapes me)

Diego Furlán.

England are going to beat the USA, I have little doubt. 2-0 or 3-0.


Wax Banks 06.11.10 at 9:13 pm

I called up my dad’s satellite TV provider to pay his bill for the month (Happy Father’s Day!) and upgrade his plan to include ESPN (Happy every-other-holiday!). They were more than happy to charge him an additional $6/month for ESPN and some other nonsense – but in doing so these vicious dribbling little fuckbarrels cancelled the Fox Sports Network, i.e. the Fox Soccer Channel, i.e. the one thing dad enjoys in life other than what England’s going to do to the latecomers tomorrow. I will be forced to downgrade his account…the day before the final. (Luckily it’s on ABC, not ESPN. But let’s give thanks briefly for the nonnecessity of those additional homicides I’d have committed, had things gone otherwise.)

ENG 3-1 US as I down three absolutely delicious bourbons-over-ice: one in anticipation, one in celebration, one out of spite.


lemmy caution 06.11.10 at 9:48 pm

The USA can’t win the title, but if the USA beats England then hundreds of thousands of kids across the country will play football instead of gridiron or basketball, and they’ll have a pretty good chance when they are hosting in 2022.

Boatloads of American kids play soccer now. It is a good sport to teach kids because they run around and get some exercise. It just isn’t the most prestigious sport in the US so the best athletes switch over to other sports by high school.


Farren Hayden 06.11.10 at 10:11 pm

I never watch sports, but had my arm twisted into watching this down at the local on the grounds that not doing so would be unpatriotic. I surprised myself by yelling louder than anyone. SA got off to a shaky start but man that goal was a beaut. And we were denied a 2-1 victory by the post. I thought World Cup fever would extend as far as reading about it in the papers and flying an SA flag on my car, but I might actually watch some of the other matches now.


Farren Hayden 06.11.10 at 10:15 pm

Oh and props to Wax Banks for “vicious dribbling little fuckbarrels”


Farren Hayden 06.11.10 at 10:16 pm

Also, I found this blow-by-blow commentary at the Guardian quite amusing, spelling errors and all


dsquared 06.11.10 at 11:33 pm

not the only one: I have forgiven the Saxon oppressor for the duration of the contest …


piglet 06.12.10 at 12:10 am

Not totally on topic but bear with me…

Please go and read Paul Krugman’s blog post titled “Histories” The connection is in the observation that soccer is known as Ersatzkrieg for Europeans. What do you think?

[Btw Piglet 4 is a different piglet! Hey, that nom de plume is already taken!]


Substance McGravitas 06.12.10 at 12:13 am

[Btw Piglet 4 is a different piglet! Hey, that nom de plume is already taken!]

What you need is a better name.


piglet 06.12.10 at 12:25 am

What you need is a better name.

No ad hominems in this forum please! Chris Bertram, do something!


Neil 06.12.10 at 12:59 am

Which Piglet is the Piglet who thinks that the US is going to play the UK? Perhaps that one should call itself Pigignorantlet


Neil 06.12.10 at 1:00 am

Oh, and it isn’t an ad hominem, Piglet. It’s an ad porcunim.


piglet 06.12.10 at 1:08 am

That’s a lame one and I think it’s ad porculam. Please correct if anybody knows better…


Neil 06.12.10 at 1:17 am

Are you questioning my pig latin?


roac 06.12.10 at 1:31 am

Ad porculum. Second declension.

(According to an 1837 dictionary, “porculum,” besides being the accusative singular of “porculus,” can also mean “An implement to be put in the screw of an oil-press.” In which case it is neuter.)


fenderbend 06.12.10 at 2:26 am

I’d say the Dutch have a long history of kicking ass in south Africa…..


David 06.12.10 at 5:20 am

According to The Sun, Brit fans in in Rustenburg are singing “You’re not swimming anymore” to their NA counterparts .


MBSS 06.12.10 at 6:59 am

if the horns start to get to you then just lie back, close your eyes, and imagine a huge swarm of bees and hornets furiously chasing you with malevolent intent.

but don’t do that for too long because you might miss a goal.


Chris Bertram 06.12.10 at 7:38 am

Incidentally, I think USA are good value to beat England at 7.4 (Betfair). They probably won’t, of course, but odds like that are sufficient to tempt me to market.


Leinad 06.12.10 at 7:52 am

Mexico must be rueing those missed chances, there’s not going to be an easier host nation to play until Bhutan 2046.


chris y 06.12.10 at 8:47 am

Dear American Cousins,

The UK is not participating in this tournament, nor in any other tournament, not now or any time.

Love, Chris


Walt 06.12.10 at 9:21 am

What, they didn’t even qualify? Tragic, given how its the birthplace of soccer and all that.


Earnest O'Nest 06.12.10 at 9:34 am

Chris-28, that is good value. If they play Italian style and pump Onyewu in the box each time the possibility is there (and the last 10′ if still a draw), why not? If he is fit of course. JoB


David 06.12.10 at 11:35 am

So if Gordon Brown were still PM, would he be pretending to root for England ?


FlyingRodent 06.12.10 at 12:51 pm

Let’s not forget that the USA’s participation in this tournament is essentially an act of treason against the British crown. While I’m supporting the US for the duration of the tournament, I think it’d be only fair if an English victory resulted in the Americans stumping up over two centuries worth of back taxes.


ejh 06.12.10 at 12:58 pm

My current view is non-existent, due to the introduction of digital TV having deprived me of nearly all my television channels (the signal’s weaker and won’t reach me in my village with a church tower directly between my roof and the transmitter). Still, I can follow it on the radio, via the internet, can’t I? Well, not on the World Service, but Radio Five Live did have South Korea v Greece commentary a bit earlier……for about ten minutes, after which a studio discussion cut in. I can understand why I might not be able to get commentary at all, living abroad as I do, but for pity’s sake, why the ten minutes?


des von bladet 06.12.10 at 1:33 pm

35 comments, and no mention of what I am reliably informed is the most important question of the tournament: will Arjen “Man of Glass” Robben’s hamstring be up to the job?

I can only assume that hackers have broken in and corrupted your comments database.


Earnest O'Nest 06.12.10 at 5:23 pm

des, ‘man’ is saying a bit too much, isn’t it?


NomadUK 06.12.10 at 9:37 pm

Well, that was rather less than satisfying.


bert 06.12.10 at 11:06 pm

The only bright spot: as Gerrard scored, ITV HD was showing an advert.
For Hyundai.


bert 06.12.10 at 11:13 pm

Only two days in and I’m starting to feel sorry for that Brummie from the One Show.
As he looked from Keegan to Southgate and back again, you could see the horrible truth begin to dawn on him about how ITV turned Des Lynam from national treasure into failed Richard Whiteley.


Jacob Christensen 06.12.10 at 11:20 pm

Given the rate of draws after two days, I predict that 7 out of 8 1/8 finals, 3 out of 4 quarter-finals, both semifinals and the final will be decided on penalties.

I have the option of watching Denmark-Netherlands on German (instead of Danish) TV on Monday. I’m predicting that Günther Netzer will go mediaeval on both teams before, during and after the match.


NomadUK 06.13.10 at 10:07 am

The only bright spot: as Gerrard scored, ITV HD was showing an advert.

I’m sure it served as a welcome reminder to the ITV HD viewers that it wasn’t the soci*lised, licence-fee supported BBC that was carrying the World Cup this time around.


Martin Wisse 06.13.10 at 10:42 am

37: I know. Often happens with Five Live during the regular season as well; happily following along some championship match only for it to be interrupted two minutes in with rolling house ads. Most annoying in those mixed commentary/studio debate/phone in thingies five live has a monopoly on. You hear the boring studio bits, but then whan the action starts…

Holland-Denmark will be interesting, as we hates Denmark ever since ’92, when they didn’t even qualify for euro 92, but because Yugoslavia got kicked out were invited in anyway, only to win the semi-final against us, the bastards. On penalties even, which has been our weak spot since forever and cost us almost as many tournaments as it did the English…


Earnest O'Nest 06.13.10 at 11:17 am

Way to go Oguchi Onyewu!


stostosto 06.13.10 at 1:13 pm

Holland-Denmark will be interesting, as we hates Denmark ever since ‘92, when they didn’t even qualify for euro 92, but because Yugoslavia got kicked out were invited in anyway, only to win the semi-final against us, the bastards.

Ah, memories…! You were lucky to even get to the penalties in that match, though. And don’t forget we went on to win the final against the damn Germans! (Yes, I am Danish). However, I fear we are going to get crushed tomorrow. In fact, anything less than 3-0 to Holland will be a positive surprise to me. Robben or no Robben, Bendtner or no Bendtner. We simply don’t have the quality this time around.


bert 06.13.10 at 2:39 pm

The only bright spot: as Gerrard scored, ITV HD was showing an advert.
Pure comedy.
ITV keep finding ways to sink to new levels of shitness.
Even their core audience of morons must be starting to notice.


bert 06.13.10 at 2:45 pm

btw, ejh, you could try using a proxy. Domestic Radio 5 is doing full commentary on every mathc. And there’s a bunch of free peer-to-peer services that’ll stream you live games, although the picture quality likely won’t be great.


ejh 06.13.10 at 2:49 pm

Not sure what using a proxy would entail (or more accurately, I haven’t a clue). Any advice would be welcome, as would the identity of any of this services.


bert 06.13.10 at 5:41 pm

There are public proxies, many of which have a web interface. They tend to be used if, for instance, a college blocks access to particular sites. Students will view the offending site through the proxy. You’d want a UK-based one, and Google’s your friend here, but I think the BBC is quite good at sniffing them out.

This fella – – has a video of how to set up Firefox to route your traffic through a proxy. (Remember to turn it off again before checking your bank account.)

As for P2P, this page is a good place to start:
Clicking the link to their software page will show you a choice of clients. I got decent results from Sopcast and TVAnts, but that was two years ago and inevitably things will have moved on since then. You should find you can get watchable video, and the nice thing about P2P is that the more popular the match, the better the service (there’s no central server getting swamped, in other words). Bear in mind that you are installing something on your system, and giving it quite a lot of control over your network connection. A lot of this stuff comes from China (when I lived in Berlin I used to get Sky coverage of the Premiership streamed off Murdoch’s Asian satellite service via Hong Kong) and should be approached at your own risk. A Google search on setting up your firewall for whatever client you settle on should help put your mind partially at rest.


ejh 06.13.10 at 5:55 pm

Ah, thanks, but I’m still not sure why I need a proxy or why it would need to be UK-based.


Dan 06.13.10 at 6:17 pm

This site work for you?


ejh 06.13.10 at 6:42 pm

Not quite: it starts and stops.


bert 06.13.10 at 7:16 pm

The BBC blocks non-UK based IPs.
If you come to it through a UK-based proxy it’ll treat you accordingly.
I should add the obvious point that there are ethical issues here. Stealing from Murdoch is the Lord’s work, but let’s assume you’ve kept up your license fee.


Philip 06.13.10 at 9:02 pm

Ejh, if you’re in the UK you can watch the matches live through the ITV and BBC websites. You would only need a proxy to watch them from outside the UK.


bert 06.14.10 at 12:18 am

Yes. I assumed you’re abroad. In Spain?
I may have you confused with someone else … apologies if so.


John Quiggin 06.14.10 at 1:17 am

As Kiwis said in a similar context, Bugger!


ejh 06.14.10 at 6:29 am

Bert – yes, I’m in Spain, it’s just that you may have overestimated my level of technical comprehension. (For instance, I only just worked out what I think you mean by P2P.)


bert 06.14.10 at 11:26 am

Sorry. People either use jargon because they assume you’ll understand or because they assume you won’t. In either case there’s a responsibility to be intelligible, which is either being lived up to or isn’t. The youtube link seems like a good bet. Words and pictures, of someone doing pretty much exactly what you want to do, and he seems a cheery sort.

John, I’d take the odd battering by the hun if we got the last twenty years of Aussie cricket as part of the deal.


ejh 06.14.10 at 4:31 pm

Thanks for that. I’ll take a look.


stostosto 06.14.10 at 7:55 pm

Own goal, gah! But we did better than I expected. As I said, anything less than 3-0.


ejh 06.16.10 at 3:19 pm

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