World Cup 2014: a Malaprop’s Guide

Group A
Brazil
In theory these guys can draft from a pool of a million prospects for every position on the field, and for the most part it has reaped them much success in practice. On defense they have Thiago Silva, who also chips in on offense. But his main gig is the MMA. So look for them to beat teams into submission at some point.

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On offense for the first time in a long time they won’t be relying on a guy whose name begins with R. That’s Neymar. And Hulk. Yeah, I don’t think so.
Croatia
Is that where croutons come from? I honestly can’t take a nation seriously if the denonym in question is a salad topping. Nah, son. Sorry. 0-3.
Mexico
Their nickname is El Tri.  Which I assume is a Spanish neologism for the trans bisexual. Which is also weird since they’re a Catholic country. Look I’m not trying to rile up any side and pit fundies against atheists or none of that because just like the gray areas of gender identity, when it comes to the World Cup, Mexico is the proverbial tranny. They’ve always been around but are still something of an unknown quantity.
Cameroon
Here we go again with the dehumanization and raping of Africa. I mean haven’t we done enough? Is this some kind of joke? Exactly how many generations removed from a black ancestor will classify you as a Cameroon? You racists. Let’s just use their other name, Indomitable Lions. What’s been problematic for them is the one quality they managed to incorporate from the adoptive namesake is sloth. Not courage. Not gluttony for the next prey. Once they get there they hit the snooze button and expect the spoils to miraculously materialize by the time they awake. They’re the real 0-3 team.

Group B
Spain
The Spanish call their team the Furia Roja which I believe is Mexican for Red Bull. It makes sense because they have bull fighting and the totamoe festival. Plus they’re fast, and attack low as they like to keep the ball on the ground. These Energizer bunny types are poised to tease and torment their opponent into submission by passing the ball for ions in each possession before delivering the final blow after a matador-like patience.

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Netherlands
The hangover from yet another loss in the final set them back years. At one point heavy bouts of drinking led many of the players and coaches to misread their team name on scorecards as Neanderthal. Lucky for them, they have a shot at revenge for the 2010 loss to Spain in the final. I will root for them to put the Spaniards in a hole early. But as three-time losers, I think they’re too far down the rabbit hole to win much else beyond the early running.
Chile
Ah, the birth place of Chili’s. I know for a fact because merely consulting the world Atlas will show their country looks like a chili pepper. But looking at their most widely used formation, they like to utilize the width of the field by playing wingers almost always, as if they’re in defiance of their geography. Classic case of inferiority complex.

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Australia
The Aussies are the most adjusted to the timezone here, because they live in the southern hemisphere. I think they have some sort of homefield advantage except it’s on a twilight zone continuum. I don’t know how that works because I flunked Physics but that’s as far as I’ll go divulging inside information. My sleeper pick.

Group C
Colombia
Colombia not Columbia.. pendejo. For some it’s known for Medellin, cartels, and general upheaval. Now it’s just coffee, cocaine, and the occasional miss universe. No, wait. That was Venezuela. Venezuela hasn’t been to a World Cup yet and Colombia hasn’t fared much better, so there goes. Actually no, that’s Vuvuzela. They made their debut in the previous tournament. Sorry!
Greece
In Greece, how do you separate the men from the boys? The correct answer is, “you don’t.” But rather, why. The Greeks will be bringing a good mix of veterans and youth. Theirs is a balanced squad with cohesive chemistry, although not much pedigree. A monumental task awaits their technical staff in separating their men from the boys on the other teams, though.
Ivory Coast
You know what, I don’t agree with the colonial connotations in their name. I think the country historically was known for farming elephant tusks but to reduce a landmass to its coast is narrow sighted to say the least. The practice has long been illegal but true to life, Ivorian hope also lies in poacher forward Didier Drogba.
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Japan
From the East we fittingly enough have our early risers of the 32 team potpourri. Disciplined, well behaved, and overall a timid bunch. But don’t let that fool you. Their almost dogmatic clock management skills will ensure they produce efficiently in the little time they’ll get the ball. Be wary. Be very, very wary. I have a feeling they will show up early and stay long. My take? THE dark horse of Brazil 2014.

Group D
Costa Rica
It means rich coast but pillaged riches is more apt. I honestly don’t know much about them except that travel blogs always bring up diarrhea and poor plumbing. Maybe that’s the coast they had envisioned. But what do I know, I’m full of shit.

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England
I’m not so sure about the Three Lions’ chances this time around either. I mean, don’t you need more players for a tournament this big? Anyway, nothing says holding on to outdated romantic ideals like England. Pinky held tea cups, the outmoded 4-4-2, knighting rituals and the fact that there are no indigenous genus Panthera on the British Isles hasn’t stopped them from appropriating exotic felines in some way. Three Lions. Frauds! More like third place.
Italy
This renaissance-birthing mafioso sitdown-having nation is known for defense, flopping and an assortment of other dark arts. On paper, and traditionally speaking, their rear is well guarded. As for the front, you can’t spell genitalia without Italia. Which means the rest of the teams are screwed, one way or another.
Uruguay
Hmm. Edinson Cavani maraudes up and down the field in search of holes to plug or slide in. His partner Luis Suarez has not only refined his ball control but will also incorporate his teeth at some point. Top to bottom (more like top or bottom) they’re in it for the long haul.
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Group E
Ecuador
Confounding as it may be, cigar making in the only World Cup country that rhymes with humidor is nonexistent. Hence the international trade. I mean it ought to be their forte. It’s humid as fuck over there. A wonderful homefield advantage when the average elevation is considered. Unfortunately for them there are trade barriers in international sports competition. Their one dimensionality is glaringly exposed. My prediction: three-and-out.
France
I guess we can say that the French are officially castrated. Franck Ribery’s back injury was just too much to recover from in time. Samir Nasri got omitted from the because his girlfriend dissed their coach. They keep hiring coaches that have peculiar outlooks on dating (Domenech was a model-dating douche). They have an easy group but this looks like a fling that won’t last that long.
Honduras
What the fuck is Honduras? And why are there more than one? I did some research (all of just one betting site) and their odds of winning the whole thing are astronomical therefore their anonymity. So, nothing to see here. Move it along.

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Switzerland
It’s as if having been blessed with a German, French, and Italian identity wasn’t enough, they had to go out and get more. Of late their squad has been infused with more ethnicities, and mighty unorthodox ones might I add. What is this, the United fucking States? Just like any time a government dabbles with diversity, when national sports teams do it, the results are experiment is always mixed. They’ll get out of the group, but will want to be home in a fucking hurry to enjoy the two weeks that pass for summer there. 2-2 then out.

Group F
Argentina
Public enemy number one. They’re hated unequivocally in the land of samba so in honor of the host nation’s wishes, I’ll leave a gap.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Yet another example of a European country with overly long slash multiple names. I am willing to bet they also have an endearing nickname to go along with the official one. Pfft.
Iran
I wanted to root against the Iranians for their well documented non-inclusion of women in their men’s national soccer team until I realized all the teams are actually guilty of the same. We got a small window here so hear me out. These nukes over nookie turban heads should be occupied by this tournament while the rest of the world agrees on a settlement for the uranium enrichment nonsense they got over there. By that I mean look for someone to throw a game or two to distract the mad scientists and the Hezbollahs. Now here’s my Nobel Piece Prize?
Nigeria
The Super Eagles as they’re called also wear the Philadelphia Eagles colors which is odd considering they’re their farm team. These moonlighting weasels have been double dipping from both sides giving us men a bad name in the dating game by perpetuating the meandering myth. Ladies, don’t be so sold over a handful of exceptions. They don’t represent all of us.

Group G
Ghana
I’m Ghana be honest here. Sometimes nothing motivates an athlete, and a collective, like being spurned by luck. Guess what? It’ll be more of the same except it’s going to be a fair and square exit.
Germany
What else can be said of this team that hasn’t already been heard? Well, a number of things and hence why you’re here. Self-conscious. For one. No team has been more eager to get a fourth title in the last 24 years by the earliest estimation. It is as though the three titles they’ve won are too symbolic of a rather sinister theme of three — the Third Reich. Sad. Grow up. The longer you think of it, the truer it’ll get! Which is a wonderful motivator. I think Freud said that.
Portugal
The country that gave us renowned explorer Mulligan could always use one in the competitive sports realm it seems. Anyway, so the team profile. The LeBron James of soccer is Portuguese. That’s good. When Cristiano Ronaldo suits up for Portugal, it’s the Cavaliers vintage. That’s not only downright bad — it is what schadenfreude dreams are made of. The truth is, people love to see him lose just as much as others do LeBron.. Yeah, the country. This country is cursed to forever reproduce their most accomplished citizen ever — Columbus previously — play the contractor to more established institutions — Real Madrid today — than their ancestral home. History doth repeateth itself. Shiiiiiid.
United States
Ah, the one time back-to-back World champions. World War champs that is. In America, sports are a behemoth of contrary proclivities to the established order. Franchises are an oligopoly in a capitalist market. And head coaches, if they so wished, can be dictatorial in a freely elected political sphere. Irregardless. Now far be it from me to reduce a nation of three-hundred-plus mil to just two men, but in one specific instance, I just got to reduce one certain nation of three-hundred-plus mil to just two men; Klinsmann and Donovan. America has made decent strides sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong (soccer and other countries). One man everpresent during the ascendency to respectability in the sport is on his way out. Pushed out.. actually. Another, who wasn’t, has just got in. Barged in.. actually. I’ll leave you’s to piece it together.

Group H
Algeria
Ever wondered where those brown dudes on the French team come from? Well thanks to PC liberlaisms, I can’t mention the race. So I’m not about to set a precedence, but *wink, wink* its not inappropriate if it’s a team name. Let’s go by another. So the les fennecs have also inspired from local fauna an apt nickname. Like an actual one that lives within sovereign borders, not one from  elsewhere in far flung empire.
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Belgium
Hipster football must have a face and what better than trendy pick and home of the waffle served sans syrup. Gross. Belgium has some excellent players across the board. None more important than their gate keeper and on defense. I suppose they’re another example of Europeans still drawing heavily from the WWII episode, which goes to show some wounds don’t heal all the way. It’s so poetic I think they just might finally avenge the Germans on the field and make believe some cathartic value was found.  Whatever.
Russia
Our other global bully in the World Cup is also a meek participant. I for one would salivate profusely to the point of critical dehydration at the prospect of Americans and Russians hypnotically nodding to their respective anthems seconds before their vicarious desires to butt heads is under way. I can dream. But I’ll settle for a matchup against against a former Soviet state.  Like Croatia. What? They’re all polaks.
South Korea
Quick question. Want to know who’s behind the goalline technology FIFA at long last agreed to integrate into officiating? It’s FIFA, so transparency is ever the tall order. An educated guess would lay that info at the Koreans’ feet. These guys are not strangers to help from the refs. It is as if to atone for the guilt that they will now provide help to the refs. I also believe it a masterstroke as each time a goal is under review or a troubleshooting is needed, they’ll tip the scales their way evermore. There is no knowledge that is not power, indeed.