1. I picked the Czechs to win the whole thing. Zap.
2. I thought Italy would be upset in the group round. I underestimated their genius at falling down at the right time. The Spitting Man himself, Totti, made the penalty kick today after Italian diving brilliance. The English announcers thought the Totti kick had some mystical significance. I think it means there is no God.
3. I thought Cote d'Ivoire would advance - another upset. I was wrong. But they played damn well, and I'll be pulling for them next Cup.
4. I thought the US was stronger than they were. It's tough to tell now. They played crappy football except for the Italy match and the Italians are the best at falling down. How does one assess this?
1. That Ghana would advance to the second round (and the US would come in last in their group). Go Ghana tomorrow!
2. That the French wouldn't go out in the group round. They are far too talented for a second World Cup of ignominy. But they're in an odd purgatory between having exceptional individual talent, very rough team talent, needing to play as a team, and needing their individuals to step up and take over a game.
3. That neither Spain nor Portugal are underachieving teams this year. I hope I'm proven wrong about Spain tomorrow in the match with France. And I now doubt that Portugal can move on after the red card-a-thon with Holland yesterday. So, this is a borderline "right." At least Portugal made the second round for the first time in 40 years. I would not overlook France pulling off an upset of sorts against Spain tomorrow.