My sincere desire to be a good world citizen by enjoying the World Cup has been severely tested by a number of circumstances. I already wrote about the vuvuzelas, but at this point they are the least of my issues; I’ve kind of grown accustomed to them, in fact. Here is a brief list of the other things that are annoying me:

  • The remarkable lack of scoring should come as no surprise, but despite my resolution to be all serene and grown-up about it…well, this morning I was watching the Netherlands team play a very skillful version of the strategic game, much of which involves going backward to go forward, and found myself thinking of all the other things I might be doing at that moment. Which were few, honestly, because it was 5 o’clock in the AM. I spent a few minutes working on my as-yet-half-developed theory that part of the reason Americans don’t like soccer is that, in contrast to many of the games we play, it mirrors real life in that scoring is relatively rare and thus to be celebrated with great fanfare. That doesn’t take into account basketball, though, and I think that fully fleshing out this theory will require a substantial grant from the relevant authorities.

  • The announcers keep insisting on calling these the “World Cup Finals,” even though the tournament consists of something like 63 games. Now how can the Finals of anything be 63 games long? The maximum is 7, period, end of story.
  • I entered a pool to give myself a reason to care about every game, and after a surprisingly strong start, this last week I am getting my ass handed to me. Thanks a lot, France. Thanks a lot, Germany. Greece, England, Spain…you and the Little Mermaid can go f**k yourselves. And Koman Coulibaly, who cost me two desperately needed points by making the Worst Call Ever in the U.S./Slovenia game—well, I’ll see you in hell.
  • And speaking of the Worst Call Ever: What was doubly frustrating about that whole deal was that it was never made clear exactly what the call was. Landon Donovan and co. demanded an explanation from Coulibaly, but since he apparently did not have the Courtesy to Speak English, they didn’t get one; the goal was just disallowed on G.P. Now I ask you, what kind of jackass sport allows those kind of shenanigans? At least when an umpire or an NFL or NBA referee makes a mistake, we know what mistake they made.

OK, I’m glad I got that off my chest; I feel better now. And hey, at the moment New Zealand is threatening to pull off an upset that would really help me out. If that happens, all is forgiven.