Tuesday, June 08, 2010

World Cup Fever

Three more days to go. We drew the office sweepstake at the end of last week, though the Ukrainians just looked baffled when we tried to explain the rules ("Isn't it gambling?" "Yes, but without any skill.") and not even the revelation that England were still up for grabs could persuade any of them to part with their cash. In the end everyone got a third pick for free, with a 'Tournament Abandoned' thrown in to make up the numbers. As someone put it, "There's more chance of that happening than North Korea even getting through the group stage."

Before that half the staffroom spent three hours in front of a computer waiting for Capello to announce his squad and a similar amount of time trying to work out the best place to watch the games. There's an office Fantasy League and even a real-life five-a-side game between England (or a bunch of people who teach English, anyway) and a group of Algerian ex-pats to coincide with the second group match, played according to Futsal rules with a referee and a trophy presentation at the end.

It's probably England's best chance of winning anything.

UPDATE: Keep in touch with all the games here.


TeeTotallyNot said...

gambling without the skill - LMAO.
I have to wait till friday to find out what team I picked out of the hat... with my luck it's Honduras .. or Slovenia.. no disrespect :D
I'm really getting in the mood now though my prediction for our fate are even bleaker than yours :D
see you in the semis ;)

Myeral said...

Remember Charlton...

Michael said...

All depends how good Ghana are. You should be able to beat Serbia and Australia. That's a big should, though.

I'm in goal against the Algerians. Hope none of them have Charlton's shot.

TeeTotallyNot said...

good luck against Algeria :D
I wish FAB was still playing for the sheilaroos..

Andy said...

Speaking of North Korea, this was in yesterday's 'Fiver' and makes good reading:

We know that some folks aren't so cavalier about having their utterances twisted and deformed like a stuck gymnast. We also know that some hacks and editors get their kicks making other people look like ignorant or arrogant clowns, particularly if those other people come from a mysterious state run by a potty dictator who looks like a scrawny Ken Dodd. Yet another thing we know is that when crack Guardian contributor John Duerden interviewed North Korea striker Jong Tae-se recently, the man known affectionately as 'the People's Wayne Rooney' came across as a smart, humble and likeable chap who, when asked whether he and his team-mates could replicate the sensation their forefathers caused in 1966 when taking a 3-0 lead against Portugal, did not reply with a volley of f-bombs, but instead explained: "It will be tough to repeat it but we will give everything. Our technique is not better than the likes of South Korea and Japan but in terms of mentality and physicality, we are better than any other in Asia. Nobody really expects us to do much at the World Cup and there will be little criticism even if we lose all the games. If we win, that will be beyond our wildest dreams."

So it was with much suspicion that we saw the following declaration, purportedly from Jong, emblazoned across the news wires. "I will keep my promise of scoring one goal per game. In our group, it will be Brazil and North Korea who will advance." Either someone is taking liberties with Jong's words, or the People's Wayne Rooney has let the altitude and World Cup fever get to his head. He'll be stomping on someone's knacker's next.

By the way, my team in the office sweep....North Korea.