Tuesday, July 13, 2010

World Cup Best/Worst

The Best Names:
Siphiwe Tshabalala - South Africa - sounds like a Christmas carol
Surprise Moriri - South Africa - Surprise! You only got to play 33 minutes this tournament!
Boubacar Barry - Cameroon - Can't go wrong with alliteration
Blaise Nkufu - Switzerland - What makes this special is that it's pronounced as one word...say it with me now: blazin-kufu
Georgie Welcome - Honduras - Welcome to this list, Welcome.

The Best National Anthems:
It should be no shock to any of you that I love national anthems. I can probably hum along to many of the classics. The key to a good anthem is a catchy tune, extra emotional singing from the players, and of course a very strong finish. Here are the upper echelon...

La Marseillaise - Arguably the most famous of any national anthem on the planet. I gotta hand it to the French for producing such a masterpiece. Every time I hear it I feel the urge to give someone a big hug.

God Save the Queen - Short, sweet, and to the point. It also serves as a song for fans throughout the game since it's so concise. Dual purpose? Brilliant.

A Portuguesa - One of my all-time favs. It mixes passion, pride, and the most intense singing by whomever is playing goalie for the Portuguese that day. Above all, it's got one of the strongest finishes around, both lyrically and in song - "To arms, to arms! Over the land, over the sea, To arms, to arms! For our Fatherland, fight! Against the cannons, march, march!"

Fratelli d'Italia - The video does most of the talking for me. Italians are as prideful as they come. No other team can even come close to Ghattuso and Buffon's (4th and 5th from the left) vocals. Like the other greats, this anthem also ends with a thunderous climax.

The Worst National Anthems:
Star Spangled Banner - Bare with me for a minute. I am by no means attempting to disrespect Francis Scott Key or the bombs bursting over Fort McHenry and the city of Baltimore. The fact is though, this anthem is one of the hardest ones to sing on the planet. As a piece of music, the amount of octave changes from high to low and back tug at your vocal chords. This has also been conducive for making our national anthem a spectacle before every game, and in my mind the utmost sign of disrespect to our country. This woman would have been shot on site in any other country.

La Marcha Real - The only thing Spain does wrong. It's got no words. Nuff said.

Himno Nacional Argentino - It's so long that at major sporting events, they only play an abbreviated instrumental version...

Himno Nacional de Uruguay - When you consider the 1 minute intro and the continuous repetition of lyrics throughout the end, this is a tough one. With 105 bars of music, it is the longest national anthem at approximately 5 minutes!!!

The Best Dressed Managers:
Holland - Manager Bert Van Marwijk and his staff showed off the suits of the future. Metallic, toight, and elegant.

Germany - Don't EVER underestimate the German ability to dress. From cardigans to v-neck merino wool sweaters and the most tapered of suits, Joachim Loew and co. did another fabulous job.

The Best Fan:
Larissa Riquelme - No argument here.

The Best Snaggle Tooth
Pedro Rodriguez of Spain.

The Worst Goalie Blunders
Claudio Bravo of Chile.
Robert Green of England - give him credit for setting off chain reaction of horrifying goalie errors.

Here's a nice countdown of the top 9 screw ups:

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