Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Espana Wins The World Cup!

Espana (Spain) won the World Cup against the Netherlands 1-0 this Sunday in South Africa. I was busy going to and 'fro for church so I missed most of the game but heard some on the radio and watched fans crowding around large screen TVs set up at outside cafes or in pubs as they watched the game. I shopping for groceries later, Spain scored the winning goal and fans at a Mexican and Cuban restaurants on the corner cheered and Netherlands fans at a cafe across the street groaned and booed. I stepped into a Radio Shack store and was able to catch a glimpse of the Spanish players as they celebrated and held the trophy on the field. Everyone in the stadium looked really happy for Spain and cheered wildly.

ESPN's coverage of the World Cup Soccer scored the highest ratings ever thanks to the exceptional performance of the USA men's soccer team. They did an exceptional job and played with a lot of heart especially with the bad calls they received. I was rooting for them to make it further as their enthusiasm for the game was contagious. I also had a hope for the only African team remaining (Ghana) to advance especially as the games were in South Africa.

Breakdown of the Teams by Continent:

North America:The USA is a young team and I know they will be back stronger and quicker in 2014.

Africa: Nigeria fell early but Ghana kept the dream for an African team in the finals alive. I was impressed by the Ghanaian team. They are very quick and aggressive and that's how they beat the U.S. They later fell to the Netherlands. Despite Ghana's defeat, they represented Africa well.

Central and South America: Mexico, Chile, and Paraguay represented themselves well. Juggernaut Brazil advanced but were less than spectacular and fell in the quarter-finals. Argentina's run also was unsuccessful but Uruguay over performed and came in second place in the entire tournament.

I heard South Korea and Japan played fairly well but China and India were no shows.

Europe: World Cup 2006 champions, Italy and runner-up, France, made surprising exits in the first round. In fact, it was down right scandalous especially for the French team and coach who all had a moral melt downs. The repercussions of their poor showing and attitude will be felt for sometime in their country and the French fans have taken it very badly. So badly in fact that I was in a packed elevator with a young French woman and her three small children and she cursed and swore at them so badly I was shocked. It seems the French (even the women) love their soccer. Bad officiating for England cause their game to fall apart at the end. Germany looked like the team to beat until the semi-finals but the octopus fore-told their defeat(lol). Germany placed third at the tournament.

TV Rating/My Take:I must say that this is the most soccer that I've watched since the USA women's soccer team won gold at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 and the 2006 World Cup with Italy v.s. France. I hope the ratings boost will show that Americans do have an interest in soccer. There are some problems, though. Soccer is a slower moving game but it can be very exciting depending on the match ups. To attract more American audiences, I would suggest changes like instant replay to prevent bad calls like those against the U.S. Also, there was too much play acting (flopping, whining and fake injuries) by the players and the referees should be tougher about it to keep the flow of the game going. The players should really keep the "acting" to the professionals here in Hollywood or hire a good acting coach(lol).

The Venue:South Africa was the perfect place and the historic nature of a big sporting event being held there for the first time post-Apartheid made it very special. The locals and fans were great and all showed high energy and good international sportsmanship. Many fans looked like they were making life long friendships while they cheered or groaned for their teams from the stands. The TV ads were also very innovative, exciting and inviting and it was obvious that it was targeted at U.S. audiences. Shakira's rendition of "Waka Waka" (an African motiva-tional song once used by some to satire army life) was okay and the dance video was both afro-centric and infectious but I like Beat Machine's version of the song, called Samina Mina, way better.

All in all, I had a good time viewing the 2010 World Cup over these past 4 weeks.
I will give it an IMHO rating of Must-See-It or rather I'll say (like one long winded sports announcer says) the World Cup 2010 in South Africa scored a winning

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