This World Cup 2010 prose covers the last few days of the round-robin stage, and is even geekier than usual because I watched most of it on a monster screen driven by a Google TV prototype amongst a gaggle of Googlers.
OK, I admit it, the Google TV wasn’t doing anything aside from sending the video from wherever to the projector. But the sofas were comfy, the geeks were friendly and enthusiastic, the café with breakfast was right next door, and when you get to the ’plex in time for the 7AM game you can park wherever you damn please.
As for the ultra-deluxe projector that filled a fair-sized wall with the games, I dunno. The big picture made the experience more enveloping, but moving as I do between my 260dpi Nexus One and my home TV which packs the same resolution into a 40" diagonal... well, them were some fat pixels. We really need the projector to be at 4050x7200 or some such to do the job properly.
Somehow I missed June 21st and 22nd, the big news story of which was France’s inglorious and well-earned exit. I intermittently like the French game and hope they do better next time.
USA 1 Algeria 0 · Wow, wasn’t that good entertainment? Unless you were in a room packed with US partisans, you didn’t enjoy it as much as I did. I was happy to see the Americans go through, they play attacking ball and (unlike some higher-seeded teams I could name) they play for 90 minutes a game. One of these years US soccer will tempt a couple of world-class talents away from MLB or the NFL and they’ll break a bunch of Euro and Latino hearts.
But I was sad to see Slovenia go; they played their hearts out.
Slovakia 3 Italy 2 · The Azzuri may not be what they were four years ago, but they didn’t lose. Slovakia won, defending fiercely and striking hard; I was impressed. On paper, the Dutch should dispose of ’em, but they’d better bring their A game.
The question I’m left with is, what’s gone wrong with the coaching in south central Europe? The French have got to have more to offer than they brought in 2010, and you really have to wonder about the Italian player selection. I couldn’t help but notice that although Pirlo was apparently too hurt to play for 2¾ games, he made that last quarter close. Time for some pretty severe housecleaning, I’d say.
Portugal 0 Brazil 0 · Frankly, I was hoping that Brazil would thump the perfidious Portuguese while Côte d'Ivoire ran up the score against Dear Leader’s boyz so that my fave African team could advance. But that would have been inconvenient or unnecessary or above someone’s pay grade or something. Feaugh. My predictions have been pretty consistently wrong so far, so I’m not going to admit what it is I think the Spanish will do to their neighbors on Tuesday.
Chile 1 Spain 2 · Speaking of Spain; wow, they look good. So far, to my eyes, they and Argentina and Germany stand out from the crowd (and yes, I know perfectly well that Brazil remains the favorite). But really, there’s no excuse for the jointly-lie-down-and-snooze of the game’s closing. The CBC’s rented British announcers were appropriately scathing about that dismal display of cynicism.