Order and Progress

I forgot to mention this during Holland-Japan. When Derek Rae said "Nigel de Jong, son of a...", I would have ended the sentence differently than "former Netherlands international."

Speaking of shameful sons - I'd like to apologize to everyone for celebrating Giuseppe Rossi being dropped from the World Cup squad. If he had made the roster, he would have been on the receiving end of the New Zealand 1-1 defeat. Now, he will be one of the people called in to revive the program.

He might even have missed some of those crucial late-game shots to seal the draw. Giuseppe Rossi might at this hour be a cursed name in Italy as well as the United States. Now, he will be seen as hope for the future.

This is a sad day, Rossi haters. Truly, we won the battle, but lost the war.

While we mourn New Zealand spoiling our Rossi-hating fun, at least we can marvel at the number of upsets and amazing results we've seen. No one is safe in this tournament, that's for-

"Oh, no! Upsets! In this World Cup! Brazil shall have to be extremely careful!"

...fine, but, Brazil will miss Kaka for the next game.

"Oh, no! Not the next game! The next game is going to be so terribly important!"

...hey, theoretically, it could mean the difference between first and second. Brazil might have to face Spain in the second round.

"Oh, no! If Brazil wins the group, they'll have to face Spain!"

...well, okay, it sort of looks like Spain might finish second, but you still don't want to face them.

"So, the theory is that Switzerland can beat Spain, but Brazil can't. Do go on."

Shut up.

Anyway, the sad truth is that none of the historic powers have been eliminated yet. Three aren't in any trouble at all - Brazil, Argentina and Holland. (I still think Argentina doesn't want any part of either Mexico or Uruguay, but reasonable minds can differ.)

Spain can get well tomorrow morning against Honduras, who don't seem to be benefiting yet from their MLS experience. England is fine if they beat Slovenia. Germany is fine if they beat Ghana. Italy is fine if they beat Slovakia. Even France can somehow sneak into the next round. (Anyone else hoping France and Argentina meet in the next round after all, so we can have one of the all-time match between coaching geniuses?) We're dancing on graves that haven't been dug yet.

"Hey! What about us? We're in control of our destiny! We haven't lost to anyone yet! And we've never lost to North Korea in the World Cup! EVER!"

I'm sorry. Yes. You're very, very powerful and mighty. Everyone's scared of facing Portugal. Cristiano Ronaldo is going to win something important, of course he is. I wouldn't mock the idea that Portugal is a force to be reckoned with. Not for one second. In fact, I even buy the premise that Homer Simpson would recognize Cristiano Ronaldo if he showed up at his door. That's how big and tough Portugal is, you bet.

Anyway, it's a lot more likely than "Wayne" being a more popular name in England this year than, say, "Adolf."