1. GOOD TO BE THE KING Like him or not, Peter King is the Alpha Dog ofF Sports Illustrated’s writing stable. Consequently, he’s usually writing about The National Football League. Seeing him write about the World Cup in South Africa is a bigger deal than almost anything he’s writing about … almost (Sports Illustrated).
2. THE FRENCH REVOLUTION The French national soccer team is revolting. Well, the players are revolting. You know what I mean … (The Guardian).
3. BAD DAYS FOR AFRICA Ghana could only manage a tie with a weak Aussie side, and Cameroon is the first national team going home. (New York Times).
4. OVERRATED With both the English (The Guardian) and French national teams in freefall, and the teams from North and South America (Mexico, Uruguay, the US and the ‘Old Firm’ teams of Brazil and Argentina, it makes you wonder about something. The 32 teams that qualify do so on a regional basis, so the best 32 teams aren’t here. Could you argue that maybe there should have been more spaces open for North, Central and South American teams and fewer for western European teams? Doubtful that FIFA would like that since it would mean the likelihood of lower television ratings, and the likelihood that there would be no team from the British Isles. But the quality of play couldn’t help but improve, based on some of the dreadful play by England and France.
5. YOU KNEW THIS ONE WAS COMING A BBC crew prepares to tug at your heartstrings with a story about bringing a television set to an orphanage for HIV-positive children so they can watch the Australia-Ghana match.
6. BRAVE AND/OR CRAZY After New Zealand’s stunning draw with Italy (NZ Herald News), one guy got brave in Toronto’s Little Italy (Toronto Star) with predictable results.