1,234 days ago (don't look up that math), the 2014 World Cup ended down in Brazil. Now, we're just 2 days away for the games to begin in Mother Russia. Time to throw on your ushankas and give your babushka a call cause we're breaking down the final four groups this week.
Today, we'll dive into Groups E and F and see if there's a team worth supporting. But first, some corrections from last time...
1. "There's nobody on the French team named Escargot Sacrebleau du Surrendere." I meant to type Alexandre Lacazette which isn't that far off.
2. "Denmark's FIFA 18 stats are horrible." That explains why I always get blown out every time I use them. Thanks for giving me an excuse to play next time I get demolished.
That's it? Only two? Maybe I'm finally getting a hang of this soccer thing. Let's see how I do in today's groups...
Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
7-1 and you start crying? That's only a score differential of a touchdown! Sure your whole life and career has been building to this one moment and you may never get a chance to be on top of the world and you were the favorites to win the World Cup and you were at home and you became national embarrassments, but quit crying! Even your fans were melting down like a kid who got an XBOX 360 for Christmas instead of a One because the numbers confused their parents
If I didn't know the context to this I would think Kim Jong Un died and we were watching live footage from North Korea. It's just soccer! Nobody in America cried when we lost so you shouldn't either. We reserve tears for things that matter like elections and the Super Bowl.
Also some animal set "The Best Day Ever" song from Spongebob over this game and it's become one of my favorite videos on the internet
Nothing like watching a nation's hopes and dreams fall apart right in front of their eyes.
The Brazilian team itself was beat up in this game and nobody really gave them a shot against Germany. If they stay healthy, the Brazilian squad has a good shot at redemption. Brazil's the overall favorite to win and they have the squad to back it up. They have soccer legends like Neymar, Marcello, Firmino, and some guy named Fred who are some of the best players in the world right now. Look to see Brazil contend for a World Championship once again.
In terms of likability, they're always fun to root for, but their fans ruin it for me. Can't be associated with a bunch of crybabies if they lose again.
Switzerland: Without the Swiss, shady corporations and billionaires wouldn't be able to stash away their money to avoid paying taxes and to live out the American Dream. For that, I say thanks Switzerland!
Oh, and you've got some great ski mountains and have rigged all your bridges to explode if you get invaded. That's the sort of forward thinking and radical isolationism I can get behind! And chocolate. You have chocolate.
If you haven't figured it out by this point I know nothing about their soccer team. Wait who are we talking about? Swaziland?
Serbia: Unlike Swaziland, Serbia loves starting beef with their neighbors. They started World War One by assassinating Franz Ferdinand and now look to set the soccer world on fire. They were an overrated band anyways.
Odds of them making it far are about the same as Peru, so don't count them totally out.
Costa Rica: HIM!!!
I've seen this guy play and he was good I think!
I'm a D3 club soccer goalie (shocking, I know) and this guy's play reminds me a lot of my own: he's aggressive and is the only goalie in soccer I recognize.
Loving this Costa Rican squad now. Anybody else on the team that's worth mentioning? No? Good.
Predictions: Brazil is going to win this group easy with Swaziland and Serbia fighting for the second seed. I think Serbia manages to sneak by them and move on. Don't see Costa Rica making any noise, however. They've got Navas but that's basically it, so don't expect them placing anywhere but last.
Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
The 2014 World Cup Champs are Bach and ready to blitzkrieg. Their roster is stacked once again and the German team is steamrolling into Russia like a second Operation Barbarossa.
Wouldn't be surprised if Deutschland pulled out another victory this year. When your team is so dominant you can pass the ball around so everyone can score like they did against Brazil, that's a pretty clear indication your team is a contender.
Germany is fun to root for because they always score a million goals which keeps me from falling asleep. Also, I found out that drinking after a workout is actually good for your body and there's no other country on Earth that drinks like Germany. As long as they've been downing their pints after practice, you can expect the Germans to pull another 2014 run.
If there's one thing I know about soccer in America it's that we're rivals with the Mexican team. True soccer fans like myself recognize that rooting for Mexico is like rooting for the aliens in Independence Day. The fake fans at ESPN clearly don't understand this and believe Mexico is a good alternative for USA fans.
How dare you, stabbing the Constitution in the back like that. I bet you want to see the Statue of Liberty and Golden Gate Bridge fall down too, don't you.
Don't get baited into rooting for the Mexican squad this year just because the USA isn't playing and they share a border with us. Sure they may have a serious shot to move on and are way better than any team we could put together, but you'd deserve time in Alcatraz for supporting them if you've been Team USA your whole life.
Sweden: Word is that Galaxy superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn't playing for his team in Russia this year, which is a yuuuuuuge blow to both Sweden's likability and chances. Zlatan is the greatest thing to happen to MLS since David Beckham, and while he doesn't bend it like him, he can rocket a shot to the moon if he wanted to.
He's a human cheat code. Sweden's gonna have a tough time filling his spot on the roster this year.
South Korea: Is the US enemies with South Korea now? After the meeting in Singapore this weekend I think we're buds with Kim now? If that's the case sorry Seoul, can't be supporting the enemy. It's not cause you guys are horrible at soccer and have essentially no shot to move on with Germany and Mexico in the group and I need to pick a team that at least has a chance. It's cause you guys are the new #1 enemy of America. You're lucky the USA is taking a much needed break this year or you'd be toast.
Stay in your lane and dominate the world in E-Sports, nerds.
Predictions: Germany and Mexico without a doubt. Sweden is holding on to dear life without Zlatan and South Korea will need a miracle to even win a game.
For teams to root for, Germany is the go to but you run the risk of being labelled a bandwagoner. It may be worth it in the end since they have a great shot at repeating history.
Six down, two to go. Groups G and H are out Thursday morning as Russia takes on Saudi Arabia at 11 a.m. sharp.