But seriously, folks. The World Cup is great fun, especially if you like soccer and if you like it when nations get together for peaceful endeavors instead of to blow one another to bits with guns and bombs. I'm big on the whole Make Sports Not War idea. Now, the USA sadly failed to advance to the quarter-finals, despite the Tim-Howard-and-his-many-saves performance, and some of Brian's and my other chosen teams are also out: Mexico, where we lived and where the fútbol spirit is always fun, lost to the Netherlands and thus did not make the quarter-finals, while my good friends (Republic of) Korea and Honduras failed to make it out of their groups. The Honduras national team is always my first second choice (after my patriotic duty), ever since I happened to be in Honduras in 2008 for a Habitat for Humanity trip and we attended a World Cup qualifying match in San Pedro Sula. Vamos catrachos! Alas, they did not see fit to do any winning this year.And France, Brian's other-other team, lost to Germany the other day, while our CONCACAF solidarity pick Costa Rica, despite a noble effort, went down to the Netherlands. Since those Dutchies also beat Mexico, and even Chile (my other-other-other pick, although that was early and didn't eliminate Chile), I am basically against the Netherlands right now, my fondness for Curaçao and the former Netherlands Antilles notwithstanding. (And despite the fact that I like the color orange.)
Which means I need to cheer for Argentina against the Netherlands tomorrow. What about the other match, today's exciting encounter between Germany and Brazil? Well, folks, I have nothing against Brazil (in fact, I really want to go there, AND we've been drinking caipirinhas during several of the games...) but Brazil beat both Chile and Colombia, which was annoying, plus when it comes to choosing between a massively hyped superpower home team favorite and their opponent, I'm generally going to go for the opponent. Guten tag, Deutschland!
In honor of the World Cup, I've already added a film from each of the eight quarterfinals teams to my Netflix queue, and I've also decided to add a book from each of the final four countries' literature to my to-read list. Do you have any suggestions for a great book by any authors from Brazil, Germany, Argentina, or the Netherlands?