Sports

Loud and Drunk: The United States and Australia (World Cup 2014)

Australia has been plunked into an extremely tough Group B at this year
Australia has been plunked into an extremely tough Group B at this year's World Cup, against Spain, the Netherlands, and Chile.
— image credit: Kolby Solinsky (made on Paper 53)

I often lump Australia and the United States together, and I lump Australians and Americans together.

A statement like that is sure to anger either. Why? Because they say they don't like each other, but their similarities – pretty much the two keywords in this story's headline, Loud and Drunk – are their common denominator, and they often slip further into those stereotypes whenever they try to distance themselves from the other.

I've been around Australians who were whining about how loud Americans were and, as they whined, they started to talk over each other. They were loud to the point of screaming, and the Portuguese people passing by (I was in Lisbon at the time) could only step slowly and stare. The irony didn't hit the Aussies.

It doesn't hit the Americans either, when they flip their hat brims up high or experiment with ecstasy, that they're partaking on quintessential wanderlusty Australian hobbies.

Okay, this is sounding negative... but I've lumped these countries together, here, because I really just don't have enough to say about either. Well, not about their futbol teams, at least.

Australia

World Ranking: 62

Thoughts:

Some people will tell you the Aussies are even worse than they were in 2010, when they followed up their surprising run in 2006 with something only definable as flaccid. But others will tell you the Socceroos (yes, that's what they actually call themselves) have enough jump to compete with Spain, Holland, and Chile. (And a country that created the Kangaroo should have enough jump, right? Ha ha. Ha.)

The answer, as always, must be somewhere in between.

The Aussies might not win a game, but they might just go all Croatia on whoever they play and scare them for 20 minutes or so. And that's all they need to do.

Has Anthony Bourdain Been Here?

Well, of course.

Mouth-Watering Recipe:

The Lot.

The Crystal Ball:

Don't invest any money. Australia getting out their group would be like a third Bush winning the White House... it's technically possible, but a whole lotta luck and fortunate will have to align to make it so.

A (Bitter) Question:

Why do you people lie to us and tell us you actually like Vegemite?

I had some once and the last time my face did that I was electrocuted.

Also, just slightly off topic, does Mel Gibson still have an Australian accent?

Schedule:

  • vs Chile: Friday, June 13 (3:00 p.m. PST)
  • vs Netherlands: Wednesday, June 18 (9:00 a.m. PST)
  • vs Spain: Monday, June 23 (9:00 a.m. PST)

USA - World Cup

The United States

World Ranking: 13

Thoughts:

Shoot me, fellow Canadians, but I really like this team and I wish them the best. Unfortunately, I also really like Portugal – they dance with the ball, whereas the Americans dance with the ball in the way Jason Biggs' characters pick up women. And I can't see Germany losing too early here. And I also think Ghana's gonna have something to say about their own fate.

Truth be told, in Group G, I think the Portuguese are the safest. Something tells me they'll re-channel Vasco de Gama and conquer Brazil's pitch like they conquered, well, Brazil.

I think the Germans will stutter out of the gate. I think the Americans could draw all three of their games. Unfortunately, that won't be enough to escape the basement of the tournament's true Group of Death.

Has Anthony Bourdain Been Here?

N/A. (Yes.)

Mouth-Watering Recipe:

I went with the Lot burger above. So I'll go with a real American burger here. And you know what? I'll add one of those Hawaiian burgers with the pineapple and teriyaki sauce between the buns... yeah, that's the stuff.

The Crystal Ball:

Third in Group G.

FIFA, will you ever give the United States a fair chance at the final rounds?

Schedule:

  • vs Ghana: Monday, June 16 (3:00 p.m. PST)
  • vs Portugal: Sunday, June 22 (3:00 p.m. PST)
  • vs Germany: Thursday, June 26 (9:00 p.m. PST)

A Video For Your Time:

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