Backyard Blog

2018 World Cup Preview!

Hell yes! I will do that! Thanks for suggesting that, totally real, and not at all made up person I have exchanged actual text messages from.

Soccer! Soccer! Soccer! That’s right it’s your favorite globalist-cuck’s favorite sport. The game with a set time limit and 7 rules that somehow more “wussy” than the game where you can call timeouts if the crowd gets too loud. A game where there’s not enough scoring, but a 1-0 baseball game is a “pitcher’s duel.”

The World Cup is such a wonderful time. It’s nice that in such a divided time in our country, we can put our differences behind us, all come together as a nation and root for… Brazil? Fuck!

Since the USA is not in the World Cup, you may not have been paying attention, so here’s a little preview of what’s going down for the next month. And, remember, worst case scenario: there are professional sports on TV starting at 8am everyday for the next 3 weeks.

How about we go Q & A with this preview:

What is the World Cup?  Really?! This is where we’re starting? Ground zero huh? Okay the World Cup is a soccer tournament between 32 teams from around the world.

Is it like March Madness for soccer? Well almost. It’s not a knockout tournament right away. The 32 teams are divided into 8 groups of 4, with each team playing each other team in the group. The two best teams in each group move on. Then it’s a single elimination, knockout tournament.

But unlike March Madness, there are games on EVERYDAY starting this Thursday until mid-July.

Why is it called the World Cup? Because it involves the whole World, dummy.

In my defense, the World Series doesn’t involve the whole World. This is a fair point, and I won’t hold it against you.

So you get, like, a huge cup, right? Like the Stanley Cup? See this is why I’m not holding the “World Series” thing against you, because the World Cup trophy is not cup shaped. Which is dumb, because all trophies should be able to be drunk from. Especially if you use the word “Cup” in your tournament title.

I think the old version used to be a cup:

But then they stuck a globe in it to make it really on the nose. Get it? It’s the World… in a Cup!

Who’s singing the halftime show? Oh you thought you’d get me with this one right? There’s no halftime show, but there is an official anthem:

Banger! Sounds like the song of the summer to me. And you were not mistaken. That was one, Willard Carroll Smith Jr. bringing back Big Willie Style on the world’s stage for the 2018. The whole world is watchin’, so let’s get this poppin’! Are you fired up?!

No. Tell me more about these groups. Will do!

Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

Is this the Group of Death? No, unless you watch any matches from this Group, then you will feel like you are dead. This group is garbo.

Does this group have someone who bites people? What an oddly specific question. The answer is yes:

That’s Luis Suarez after he bit an Italian player on the shoulder during the last World Cup. Or as he puts it “I lost my balance … hit my face against the player, leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth.” Almost convincing!

Suarez was suspended because you could see the teeth marks in the guy’s shoulder. But the best part is, aside from the fact that Suarez has the biggest teeth on the planet, is that he has been suspended for biting other players TWO OTHER TIMES! He should be rolled onto the pitch with a face guard like Hannibal Lecter.

Who is the favorite in this Group? Uruguay. How excited are you to hear a bunch of Americans say “Oooroogwhy” for two weeks? You don’t roll your R’s every time you order a burrito from Chipotle, so please cool it on trying to sound authentic. Uruguay is lead by a two headed attack of Suarez and Edinson Cavani. Suarez scored 32 goals for Barcelona last year, and Cavani scored 38 for PSG. They’re also fun because Suarez is a nutball and Cavani is every ounce of a primadonna as he looks:

Let the meltdowns and infighting commence!

Wait, if Russia stinks, how are they seeded in this Group? Well, they’re the host country, so you get an automatic placement in one of the groups. That’s right, get ready for Fox to spend 4 weeks telling us Russia is a nice place to visit and trying to pretend they didn’t meddle in our election.

Okay, since America is not playing in the World Cup, is there a team I should root for in this group? Can I interest you in a fun-loving, happy-go-lucky, fast-as-fuck, goal-scoring Egyptian?

Rooting for Mo Salah and Egypt is the right thing to do.

Are any uniforms in this group fire? Have you been jonesing for some Color Rush since football ended? Well Saudi Arabia is here to give you your fix:

Fucking Clean! Both Home and Away Color Rush! I love it. Saudi Arabia’s team isn’t good, but like I always say: If you’re gonna be trash, may as well look good doing it. I also love that Nike was like, “What’s that NFL on FOX? You think you’re too good for Color Rush now that you have Thursday Night Football? Well, we’re going to put every single team we have in Color Rush for the World Cup. Enjoy Color Rush June!”

Who gets out of this group? Uruguay and Russia have the best odds. Uruguay will walk, but I like Egypt better than Russia. It’s totally possible that Mo Salah has 3 goals and an assist in the group stage and Egypt goes 2-0-1. If I were a betting man, Egypt’s odds to win the group at 7/1 would seem pretty tasty to me (as well as their 7/4 odds to simply get out of the group). That said, this is Russia we’re talking about, and they’re the host team. I wouldn’t put it past Putin to poison 45 members of the referees’ families and have a team of hackers fuck with the instant replay feed.

Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

Is this the Group of Death? Nah, Morocco and Iran are trash.

Who is the favorite in this Group? Spain. I feel like I’m not hearing enough about Spain. I hear about Brazil, Germany, France and Argentina, but there’s not too much about Spain. I think since they used to be the best team in the world for about 4 years but then crashed out of the last World Cup in such spectacular fashion (and lost in the quarterfinals of the last Euros), everybody’s writing them off. But they are still stacked with Barcelona and Real Madrid players, including their best defenders, and have the best goalkeeper in the world. (That’s not hyperbole. This isn’t Lebron vs. MJ. David De Gea is the GGOAT. Get it??) Spain can easily make it to the quarterfinals and if De Gea is standing on his head, they could win the whole thing.

Who is this Ronaldo guy? Is he even that good? Yes. Very much yes. He’s 33 and seems to be losing a step, which of course means he only scored 48 goals for club and country this year. Ronaldo used to dominate games, now his teams hang around and hang around, then he scores a goal in the 80th minute. Guaranteed this will happen twice in the World Cup and they win games they have no business winning.

And what’s with his obsession with his abs? I have no idea. I imagine if I had abs like that I’d show them off all the time too. Maybe I wouldn’t though. I am pretty #humble, afterall.

Did you say he has frosted tips but with curly hair? Yes. Apparently he’s cut it off for the World Cup. But this look was so bad, it needs to be mentioned.

Look, I don’t care how good looking you are, how much money you make, or how hot your wife is, this look should never happen. (Quickly moves on before anyone reminds me that Tom Brady once had this haircut)

Are any uniforms in this group fire? You could talk me into Spain but I’m not sold. Between Portugal, Morocco and Iran, there is a lot of red & green in this group.

Okay, since America is not playing in the World Cup, is there a team I should root for in this group? I don’t know, if you have Portuguese roots, then sure, go ahead and root for Portugal. But they play really shitty football (see “hang around” comment above). Otherwise, leave work early on Friday and enjoy the Spain-Portugal match because it’s gonna be a good one, and then forget about this group.

Who gets out of this group? Spain and Portugal. Not close. Thanks for coming Iran and Morocco.

Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark

Is this Group of Death? Nope. But this group is actually better than it looks though. France has enough firepower to possibly win the whole thing. Peru and Denmark are ranked 11 & 12 in the world, so it’s gonna be a fight between the two of them to see who comes out of this group. And Australia… is where kangaroos live.

Peru and Denmark? Yeah. Just proving we have so much further to go as a soccer country when we can’t qualify but a country  known for inventing a pastry and a country being famous for having llamas can. Denmark has a player, Christian Eriksson, who also plays for Tottenham, and has never seen a 35-yard shot he doesn’t like. Threat of a golazo from 40 yards out is always fun.

Who is the favorite in this Group? France. And they’re definitely good enough to win the whole thing. They’re absolutely stacked upfront with some of the best strikers in the world (Griezmann, Mbappe and Dembele) and a pretty solid midfield as well. This team’s gonna score a lot of goals.

Does anyone in this group have an interesting goal celebration? I’m so glad you asked. Antoine Griezmann’s answers the question of what would it look like if you combined Smashmouth with the dance from “It”.

I have no idea what this dance means or how he came up with it. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen and I love every minute of it. I need someone from the NBA to steal this and do it every time they dunk on someone.

Are any uniforms in this group fire? Yes, the French kits are clean!

I didn’t think heathered jerseys would work, but it does. Give me more heathered jerseys. I must have them.

Okay, since America is not playing in the World Cup, is there a team I should root for in this group? I think France has the potential to be a lot of fun to watch. Goals are fun right?

Who gets out of this group? France obviously. Then it’s a toss up between Denmark and Peru. I happened to go to a Gold Cup match at Gillette two summers ago (no big deal) and saw Peru beat Brazil. They looked feisty. Based off of the one game I saw Peru play two years ago and having seen Denmark play exactly zero times, I think Peru will be the other team to qualify.

Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

Please tell me this is the Group of Death? It is! Argentina qualified for the World Cup on the very last day of qualification, so they’re one of the lower ranked, top-tier teams. Iceland made it to the quarterfinals of at the 2016 Euros. Croatia is ranked 20th in the world and has two of the best midfielders in the world (Modric and Rakitic). And Nigeria… has the best uniforms in the tournament.

Who is the favorite in this Group? Argentina. Any team that has this guy is gonna be the favorite:

That’s that Messi guy. I heard he’s good or something? If by “something” you mean that best in the world and possibly ever? Then yes, he’s “good or something.” Saying Messi is good at soccer is like saying Tom Brady is “good at playing quarterback” it’s true, but also not true enough. My favorite thing about Messi is he walks around the field all nonchalantly for long periods of time, but then when the ball comes close to him, he goes from 0-60 instantly, has a perfect touch on the ball and finds the perfect place to go with it.

Okay, since America is not playing in the World Cup, is there a team I should root for in this group? Can I interest you in a Skol clap? You know, the clap that starts really slow and you shout “HUUUU!!!” everytime you clap, then you clap faster and faster? You know the thing they do at Vikings games and then other teams stole it because it’s cool.

Well you know where it comes from? Actual motherfucking Vikings! Here is what looks like the entire country of Iceland doing with the Iceland National Team:

Once again the midwest has ruined another thing that’s cool. And you think it’s a joke that they’re actual Vikings, its not. Here are some of the names of Iceland players: Hannes Halldorsson, Runar Runarsson, Holmar Eyjolfsson, Hordur Magnusson, Birkir Bjarnason, and Bjorn Sigurdarson. How can you not root for something that silly and ridiculous? I feel like the Iceland national team is going to come into my house and steal my tv, my refrigerator, and my fiancé, and I’ll kinda have to be okay with all of it.

Also, you should root for Messi to win a World Cup because he’s probably the best to ever do it and his country gives him shit because they haven’t won. He doesn’t deserve that.

Are any uniforms in this group fire? Yes, all the teams in this group have great unis. Let’s start with Argentina, who’s classic blue and white stripes have been some of the best kits of all time. And their away all black uniforms are pretty fresh too.

By the way, on the right is Angel Di Maria, who, as Boom Boom points out, is one of those rare great soccer players who also happens to be an extreme uggo. I hope I am neither of those things, as I already know I’m not a great soccer player, but Boom Boom has yet to confirm whether or not I’m an uggo.

Next, we have Iceland who has a strong look.

Then there’s Croatia, who if I told you that their jerseys looked like a picnic table, you’d tell me those shits looked terrible. But you’d be wrong. For some reason the check pattern works.

Any of these kits would be the best uniform in any other group, but no uniform can win compared to Nigeria’s.

This shit is Fiyaaaaaaaahhhh!

Squiggly lime-green stripes, with other squiggly blue lines on the sleeves shouldn’t work. But fuck me, they do!! And then they go Color Rush for the away kit. Let’s go Nigeria!

The Seattle Seahawks should adopt this as their new uniform.

Who gets out of this Group? Argentina and probably Croatia. But it’s boring to go chalk, so let’s say Nigeria. Everyone else is gonna be intimidated by those unis and Nigeria will get a couple wins.


This is fun, but can we take a break? Yeah, I’m getting tired too. Let’s pick this up tomorrow. Groups E, F, G, & H tomorrow.

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