This is it, Frank Thoughts’ intro to what will become daily posts on the 2014 World Cup, scheduled to run from June 12 to July 13 in 12 cities in Brazil.
Or as many cities as will have stadiums up-and-running by next summer, or as many cities which will let in the English team and its fans and media masses. And since the mayor of Manaus in the Amazon rain forest has already told them he doesn’t want them (even though England has a first-round game with Italy there), the English are already on the wish list of several tribes of headhunters. (Wonder what a little Wayne Rooney head would go for?)
The draw for the opening round of 48 games (split into eight groups of four countries ) was held in the resort city of Costa do Sauipe on Friday. No riots or protests because only rich people were there, and they were all kept safe from the poor people by Brazil’s famed military, which has an 0-0 record in wars fought. It gave the English press plenty of early ammunition to fire at the host country, and, of course, FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, after being placed in a group with Uruguay, Costa Rica and Italy. And the first, and only, so far, schedule change was also announced when FIFA reset the kickoff time for England-Italy to 6 PM in Manaus, from the original 9 PM. The English press saw this as an attempt to kill all the English players, since that three-hour time difference in the Amazon would mean players would roast on the field. And, of course, give the headhunters some daylight to pick off the English players.
(I should point out that prior to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the British press advised all English supporters to stay home because South Africa had the world’s highest murder rate, and the South Africans would hunt down and kill all English fans. Just like those Amazon headhunters will be waiting for you Brits with their blowguns and poison arrows.)
In January and February, Frank Thoughts will give rundowns of the eight groups and 32 national teams, the way they should be analyzed. If you want basic World Cup info, check in at www.fifa.com; if you want Frank Thoughts World Cup info, you know where to look.
That’s it for now, except to remember what Frank earlier Thought about B-H, good, old Bosnia-Herzegovina (see “B-H, B-H, B-H”, from the Oct.. 20, 2013 posting), celebrating both the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I and a possible World Cup victory parade in Sarajevo. I’m not going to predict that the B-Hers will win the Cup, but it’s a neat idea.
OK, here’s an early prediction, six months before the World Cup kicks off … a South American country will win.
And England won’t. Damn headhunters.