With the Sox rained out and the only other alternative being golf, I watched the Portugal / Netherlands game with my dad this afternoon. Although there were some highlights--like my dad saying, of Portugal's Nuno Ricardo Oliveira Ribeiro, aka Maniche, "watch out for this guy"--and talking to my boss, a native Brit and an England fan, about the earlier Ecuador / England match--it was a pretty ridiculous game to say the least.
My dad and I both exclaimed over the amount of injury-faking and dive-taking and dirty playing going on. There were 14 yellow cards and four red cards in that game, and I don't know shit from Shinola about this game (as my dad pointed out to me while we were rather unsuccessfully trying to bicker the way we do about baseball but were sadly not very well equipped), but any way you slice it, that was a drag.
"A terrible game which served to remind me why I don't watch football any more," Iain said when we were it later. "Lots of petulant stars rolling all over the floor pretending to be mortally wounded and no real game to watch."
FIFA may come to regret that game was on when it was--prime Sunday afternoon time in the US, especially in the east where rain was cancelling baseball games. Given our American attention spans, that game could have turned millions of potential US fans of the World Cup either on or off the game, and in retrospect it will be off. We've already gone and invented four completely new and different sports rather than really get into this one...and it's not going to sweeten the deal when what we see of it is a bunch of guys rolling around on the ground crying.