I have no idea if this post was finished or not, but I only found it in my TSP 'drafts' in October 2013, so now I'd may as well post it.
I've watched every World Cup since 1990 semi-religiously. Italy, USA, France, Japan/South Korea, Germany and now South Africa. And what have we learnt in the first week and a bit? That this has been a rubbish tournament so far. Good thing that my original plan to take the month off and watch every single match fell apart.
1. The crowds
It seems rude to me that there are half empty - or worse - stadiums for World Cup finals matches. I'm not surprised that the people of Africa haven't flocked South to check out the action, and I'm equally not surprised that the people of the world haven't chosen to visit a country where carjacking is a national sport but bloody hell FIFA just give the tickets away and let's get some atmosphere.
Then there's the vuvuzela, one of the greatest crimes ever to be perpetrated on sports. The organising committee claim that it's got something to do with African history and heritage. Yep, there's nothing more African than a piece of plastic made in China. Offered the chance to cut the sound from the stadium out and give us clean 1970's style commentary feeds television stations have chickened out. Why? You can't hear anything else from the ground anyway so why not just turn the effects mics off and flip them on if there's a goal scored? They know we're going to watch no matter what happens so why bother trying to make it a pleasant experience to watch right?
2. The ball
Here's a concept, get the 32 (allegedly) best teams in the world together in one place.. and make them play with a novelty ball. It's like The Wizard with Fred Savage where they got the best video game players in the world together and made them play Super Mario Brothers 3 for the first time. At least that movie was a glorified advertisement for Nintendo and not the greatest sporting contest known to man.
And what has the ball done so far? How many spanking free kicks have you seen go in so far? Not many. Stupid idea created solely to make money for already rich arseholes.
3. The refs
Ponce about, send Australian players off, just be generally shit.
4. The TV coverage
First let me say that Les Murray is nearly my favourite Australian TV personality ever (though Ian Turpie just shades him) but right now he looks like he's lost the will to live. Anything to do with being stuck in a studio alongside Craig Foster for a month? is a whinging crunt who makes me want to stab myself in the eardrum whenever he talks.
5. Australia is in it
And haven't we come far enough as a football playing nation that we can drop the name "Socceroos"? It was an embarassing nickname in the 90's and now it's just criminal. Strange how the FFA did a deep cleanse of everything else related to 'old football' when they killed the NSL and the old clubs but somehow managed to miss dropping this humiliatingly cartoonish name from the end of our team name. Do you need a nickname for a national team? Either people are going to watch you or they're not - and as you can tell from what's going on at the moment as long as you make the World Cup then everybody will watch whether they like the sport or not.