Are You Ready for Some Futbol?

Today is the day soccer fans have been waiting four years for. Today is the 2006 World Cup draw held in Germany. Not too excited? Well I am. Countries will find out which of the eight groups they will be placed. More importantly find out who else is in that group. For all soccer fans around the world, the World Cup starts today.

Honestly trying to understand how they determine who plays in what group made my head spin. Here's what I gathered. Each team is written on a sheet of paper and placed in a plastic ball. They sort the teams into four different pots. The top eight seeded teams are in one pot. No two teams from the same continent can be in the same group. No more than two European teams can be in the same group. Still with me? There's more. If you have the time and are good at quantum physics then you can read more about it. Even the expert draw watchers call it a "complex thing".

Basically they're expecting 350 million people to watch today. 350 million to watch someone pick plastic balls out of a bowl. Passionate fans in soccer crazed countries will watch with great anticipation. Here? It'll be talked about as much as kissing your cousin at the last Christmas party. It's so huge it's like the NBA draft lottery on all the steroids Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, and Mark McGuire ever used combined. The reason? Soccer is the world's most popular sport. It's not here in America where it competes with baseball, football, and basketball. But in other countries it's all they think, live, and breathe.

Here are some numbers to show how big the World Cup is. The 2004 Super Bowl, our biggest sporting event, was watched by 95 million people around the world. The 2002 World Cup final was viewed by 1.3 billion people! The whole world became couch potatoes at the same time. If some crazy folks wanted to do some crazy things to the world, that would be a great time. In Brazil they cancelled church service so everyone could see their team play in the 2002 finals. Are churches here closed on Super Bowl Sunday? We only wish sometimes.

So Heidi Klum will be at the draw to help host it. If that doesn't get Americans to watch I don't know what will. They could have David Hasselhoff hosting it'd still draw huge viewers everywhere else. Wait…he's huge in Germany. Why isn't he hosting?? That's just not right. Anyone have a David Hasselhoff sighting these days?

Later tonight I will have recap and my thoughts on the draw.

If you don't like soccer you should at least watch Steve Nash juggling a basketball soccer style. [Hat tip to]

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