kottke.org posts about World Cup 2010

North Korean team punished for World Cup lossesJul 30 2010

For losing all of their World Cup games, including a 7-0 defeat at the hands of Portugal, the North Korean soccer team was subjected to six hours of public shaming.

The broadcast of live games had been banned to avoid national embarrassment, but after the spirited 2-1 defeat to Brazil, state television made the Portugal game its first live sports broadcast ever. Following ideological criticism, the players were then allegedly forced to blame the coach for their defeats.

What's annoying, beyond the obvious totalitarian issues, is that they played really well against Brazil, the top-ranked team in the world at the time.

There is BergkampJul 08 2010

Congratulations to the Dutch for reaching the World Cup final. To celebrate, here's a great Dutch moment from a past World Cup...Dennis Bergkamp's epic goal vs. Argentina in the 1998 WC. Turn the speakers up...the sound is everything.

Congrats also to Spain, but I couldn't find a Spanish WC highlight as entertaining to match.

The genius of MessiJun 29 2010

An ode to Lionel Messi, the best footballer in the world.

Messi simply does things -- little things and big things -- that other players here cannot do. He gets a ball in traffic, is surrounded by two or three defenders, and he somehow keeps the ball close even as they jostle him and kick at the ball. He takes long and hard passes up around his eyes and somehow makes the ball drop softly to his feet, like Keanu Reeves making the bullets fall in "The Matrix." He cuts in and out of traffic -- Barry Sanders only with a soccer ball moving with him -- sprints through openings that seem only theoretical, races around and between defenders who really are running even if it only looks like they are standing still. He really does seem to make the ball disappear and reappear, like it's a Vegas act.

I've watched just enough soccer to realize that despite having scored no goals and having, by FIFA's reckoning, only a single assist, Messi is having a great World Cup. He attracts so much attention on the pitch -- two or three defenders swarmed him on every touch in the Mexico game -- that he should get an assist on nearly every play for opening up the rest of the field for his team. It's one of those things that the new soccer fan (as many Americans are) doesn't catch onto right away. (thx, djacobs)

Write the futureMay 21 2010

If this doesn't make you feel a little tingly, you're probably going to want to go on vacation from June 11 - July 11.

Tags related to World Cup 2010:
sports soccer

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