Saturday got the Round of 16 going with a bang. Today is probably not going to be as exciting, but you never know in this World Cup. Let's get to the links.
FULL-TIME: Brazil 1-1 Chile (3-2 penalties) | ESPN FC
Brazil and Chile couldn't settle things in 120 minutes, so it went to a shootout. After several misses and saves, Gonzalo Jara stepped up for Chile, needing a goal to keep his country in it. He hit the inside of the right post, but the ricochet failed to go in. What a heartbreaker.
James Rodriguez' first for Colombia is a Goal of the Tournament candidate:
He added another as Colombia blanked Uruguay, 2-0. Is Rodriguez the frontrunner for the Golden Ball?
Fans at Colombia-Uruguay pay tribute to Luis Suarez bite | SBNation.com
My favorite is the dapper gentleman with the face paint.
Netherlands back on top of World Cup power rankings | Toronto Sun
I have some problems with these ranks. Instead of just griping, though, I'll make my own.
World Cup Power Rankings
5. Blue Plastic Fangs
6. Arena da Amazonia
7. 1000% ELEPHANTS! Scarves
8. Penalty Shootouts
9. The Colombian Shakira Dance, or whatever that is
10. "I believe that we will win"
11. Articles about the decline of the Three Lions
12. Canadian newspapers covering the World Cup
14. Water Breaks
15. Bob Ley's grasp of the game of soccer
16. Taylor Twellman's grasp of the English language
ESPN repeatedly broadcasts audio of gay slur during Mexico v. Croatia World Cup match | Outsports
So this "puto" thing is still going. The world is finding out just how classy fans of the Mexico National Team can be. I've lived in Texas, where it's impossible not to pick up a little Spanish, for the vast majority of my life. I also worked in a kitchen with several immigrants for a time, where I learned all of the food words and the swear words (and not a whole lot else).
What I'm saying is: I'm not fluent, but I understand and sort of speak Spanish. You don't have to be an expert to know, however, that there is most definitely a homosexual slur connotation to puto that doesn't come across in the literal translation (male prostitute). Of course, asking the same set of fans that have no qualms throwing debris at players, bags of urine and batteries at opposing fans, (don't forget the cups of vomit), and chanting "Osama" at the United States team to stop using a slur? An exercise in futility. Let's just all cheer for Le Oranje so these clowns will go away.
CHN Official Prediction: 3-0, Dutch.
O/U Tim Krul mentions on the broadcast: 0.5
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
If you're ever playing "Six Degrees" and you're stuck trying to get from "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" to "Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark," here's how you do it: In a 1995 episode entitled "El Ca-Steal-O," Vic The Slick stole El Castillo, the famous step pyramid that now serves as a symbol for the Mayans. El Castillo was also prominently featured in another children's show 13 years later, when the Backyardigans pretended to run a pre-Columbian pizza shop. I don't know, you figure it out. Tyrone, who played a Mayan king in this episode, demanded a "Chichen-Itza Pizza" despite the fact that his out-of-the-way temple appears to be outside the restaurant's delivery area. But hey, he's the king, so why not enter a creepy temple for a few bucks? And here's where we get to Indiana Jones. Apparently El Castillo is known for being a temple that releases a deadly boulder whenever a button is pushed, and so of course that button is pushed, because Chekhov's Button. The scene isn't quite as terrifying or gruesome as the original, and also lacks Nazis, but the homage is obvious. There you are: WITWICS to Backyardigans to Indiana Jones.
So, uh, that's Mexico.
Speaking of Nazis, Netherlands' tie-in to WITIWICS aired just two weeks prior to "El Ca-Steal-O," and featured the pilfering of the Anne Frank House by Contessa. One of the major problems the show displayed throughout its five season run was that it was never quite clear exactly what V.I.L.E. wanted with all of these landmarks. What exactly are you going to do with humpback whales from Hawaii, Carmen? Actually, don't answer that. The Anne Frank House isn't the weirdest artifact to go missing on the show - at one point, the entire Milky Way Galaxy is stolen. Why didn't one of the clever kids say, "Hey, here we are! Wherever we are, there Carmen must be"? In the episode aired directly before this one, RoboCrook steals The Internet. We didn't really understand what the Internet was back then - check out this hilarious 1994 conversation between Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric - but the idea that it could be stolen was weird, even at the time. Still, could there be a more awkward topic than the theft of Anne Frank's house? The Chief explains to the camera the atrocities committed by the Nazis, then throws it out to Greg and a screaming live studio audience. Okay, then. They didn't even try to explain what Contessa's end game was here. We're only left to read between the lines. Perhaps V.I.L.E. were interested in denying the Holocaust, in which case: Why are we leaving these cases to middle school aged kids?
Costa Rica vs. Greece, 2014 World Cup preview: Will anyone seize the initiative? | SBNation.com
Easily the least watchable of any of the Round of 16 matchups. One of these teams will be in the quarterfinal. What a world.
Greece offers to fly Armagh boy to Brazil for World Cup match | The Irish Times
There's a lot of hate for the Greek football team out there, mostly for the way they play, but this human interest story may change your mind a bit about openly rooting against them.
World Cup 2014: Jorge Luis Pinto is Costa Rica’s answer to José Mourinho | The Guardian
This is a pretty cool profile of the Costa Rican manager. The headline is obviously the comparison to Mourinho, and the sub-headline will probably be his philosophy regarding his players having sex at the tournament ("[I]t's natural and I love it. It reduces tension"). There are some fun anecdotes sprinkled throughout, so give it a read. How can you not root for a manager who calls in to sports talk shows to take on his critics?
Official CHN Prediction: 0-0 after 120 minutes. Greece wins in the shootout.
O/U Shots on Target after 90 minutes: 5.5
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
It's easier for some of us than others to imagine being a really nerdy kid in the 1990s, but imagine being the kind of nerd it took to be a contestant on WITWICS. Most of the kids were introduced with anecdotes like "She enjoys learning about penguins," "He's played in international chess tournaments in Arizona and North Carolina," or in the case of Avraham in this episode, "He owns stamps that date back to the 1890s." Poor Avraham. This was his moment, and it was wasted on what could reasonably be assumed to be an advertisement for The University of Costa Rica, "one of the most prestigious schools in the nation." Statue of Liberty? Yeti from the Himalayas? The Internet? Those are cool episodes. This one's title is the most terrible pun you've ever seen ("What Happeneda U?"), and there's nothing else to say about it. Poor Avraham.
Eartha Brute, who will never not remind me of Eartha Kitt (airplane bathroom, etc), stole the Acropolis in Season 4. Aside from the introduction of Rockapella ("They're back from their big world tour with Gumby! Give it up for ROCKAPELLA!") and the incredible title ("The Acropolis Topple Fuss"), this episode is noteworthy because it contained a win on the dreaded Africa Map. Never mind that all but two of the nations were in the northern half of the continent - an Africa Map win is an Africa Map win, and it deserves your attention, if only so you can hear Greg call Nigeria "Nigerio."
Greece is totally going to win this match.