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The Psychic Octopus Says:

We're all rather fed up of the World Cup at this point. It was exciting when it started, but the Round of 16 was plagued by one too many boring games and utter disappointments. The quarter finals nailed the coffins down rather too well. All the teams I supported pretty much tanked when it counted. I would've definitely liked to see the US and Ghana somehow make it past the opening stage, though fate had it that they would fight each other instead. New Zealand put up a great fight. I'd like to see them make it to the next World Cup, just total pluck on their part. Brazil started out swell in the fight with North Korea -- it was an honestly good match for both sides -- but played shamefully there on out. Not even bad playing. In fact, Brazil had stronger teamwork than I've seen going for them in the last two World Cups, including the one they won, even going so far as putting up a respectable defense. But the diving and diva-ing on the pitch was just utterly bad form, disgraceful and unecessary for a team that we know can play well.

Argentina was managed by Maradonna, the most ardent cheerleader I've ever seen any football team have, and a good football team at that. We watched as he paced around the very edge of the dotted line, often screaming as hard as any of the fans up above, at one point even receiving a ball that rolled towards him, as if momentarily confused -- uncertain if he wasn't meant to be on the field playing with the rest of them. Maradona was managing the Argentinians. That sounds like even higher entertainment than any game the Argentinians could play, and it actually was.

Uruguay does not deserve to be in third place. They hardly deserved being let out of the opening round. Their playing just fills me with distaste. The handball that ended it for Ghana should not have happened, should not have been allowed to be replaced with a penalty kick. The Uruguayians have been far from any modicum of good sportsmanship, in a World Cup that has seriously lacked in good sportsmanship. Somehow, knowing that the last African team in the first African World Cup was outright robbed of a goal just killed my enthusiasm.

The referees have not helped by being surprisingly off the mark more often than not.

I'm not sure I really want to stick around for the final matches this weekend. It'd probably be hellish to even try at spots around the Mission, anyway. Might be better off leaving it to the psychic octopus to let me know the results.

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