Friday, June 09, 2006

It's Coming Home...

It's coming home
It's coming home
It's coming
Football's coming home...
Three Lions by Baddiel & Skinner & The Lightning Seeds
The World Cup backgroundThe World Cup kicks off today with Germany vs. Costa Rica. To mark the occasion, today has been declared a national holiday in Costa Rica. I thought that I'd mark the occasion with a special England background to the blog for the duration of the World Cup. I downloaded the background from the England Team's website, then added The Americanization of Emily's Union Flag.

Here's a brief rundown of the ups and downs of England's performance in recent World Cups:

2002 -- Quarter Final -- Lost to Brazil (1:2)
1998 -- Last 16 -- Lost to Argentina (Penalty Shoot Out)
1994 -- Everything went pear shaped (didn't even qualify)
1990 -- Semi Final -- Lost to Germany (PSO)
1986 -- Quarter Final -- Lost to Argentina (Maradona's "hand of God" -- the big cheat)

And this is how America have fared:

2002 -- Quarter Final -- Lost to Germany
1998 -- Out at Group Stage
1994 -- Last 16 -- Lost to Brazil
1990 -- Out at Group Stage

Today also marks the start of the World Cup Wallchart. This chart will be updated throughout the World Cup, so that you can keep abreast of match results. You can download your own blank wallchart from the BBC (pdf).

Another thing that you might be interested in is the BBC's World Cup 2006 Blog. In addition, the BBC's World Cup website has an excellent Virtual Replay page where you can send/read texts; read match statistics for each match as it happens; look at the picture gallery of the current match; rate the players' performances; read a text-based commentary and watch animations of all shots on goal. After the match is over, you can watch detailed highlights. Great fun.

The final thing that you might be interested in knowing is that, throughout this World Cup, Baddiel and Skinner are releasing regular podcasts to help us all get into the World Cup mood.

Here are a few more World Cup links:


Ren said...

Thanks for the heads up. I was hoping you would post something about this. Thanks for all the links. I haven't really been following the World Cup for the last 2 tournaments, but you have inspired me to get back into it. Especially since Brazil won last time and I didn't even see a single game. Granted, we don't have a TV, let alone cable, and I was finishing up my master's degree and pregnant at the same time and the games were really early in the morning, or the middle of the night or something....
Still, I missed Brazil going penta! I left Brazil in '94, when they went tetra and it was such a nice way to end my stay there.
Back in April, my brother in law in Brazil told me that the US has a pretty strong team this year. We'll see.
Now my husband needs to get that Brazilian flag on our van (I talked him into doing it for the cup LOL).

Ren said...

I just checked the match schedule and Brazil will be playing Australia. I lived there for 12 1/2 years, so I am slightly, just slightly, torn. But Brazil wins out.

Mark Goodacre said...

Thanks for that post; very much enjoyed it. A couple of other suggestions on how to get a flavour of the British coverage while out here in the US -- MiniMotty is a nice little animated John Motson who brings you the latest news on England's campaign when available. The Match of the Day website also has heaps of useful stuff. The video quality of interviews is poor if you watch straight from there, though, so I go in via this back door to get good quality football coverage (interviews etc.): BBC Sports Player. And in addition to the Baddiel and Skinner podcast already mentioned, 606 (the FiveLive football phone-in) will be podcasting throughout the tournament.