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World Cup Round of 16 Open Thread #1

Brazil. Chile. Uruguay. Colombia. It's CONMEBOL SATURDAY.

Joe Raedle

World Cup action resumes Saturday with the first two matches of the Round of 16. If this were college basketball, ESPN would have labeled today CONMEBOL SATURDAY. In any case, both matches should have incredible atmospheres surrounding them. Let's dig into each one.

Brazil - Chile, 5 pm BST/11 am CDT
Belo Horizonte

Brazil vs. Chile, 2014 World Cup preview: The favorites meet the dark horses as knockouts begin |
The mother ship's preview. I'm obviously biased, but I read a bunch of previews and couldn't find one better than this.

Kaka says Fred and Jo can do the job | US News
"Fred and Jo are not bad." - Kaka

Official CHN Prediction: Chile keep it close, but Brazil find a winner early in the second half and hold on. 2-1.

O/U Number of times a North East journalist tweets the phrase "football hipster": 4.5

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Historical items from Brazil were stolen numerous times on the PBS game show that ran in the early to mid 1990s, including the Amazon River in the very last episode. (That last episode featured Wonder Rat, the worst criminal. What a terrible send-off.) Notably, a season 4 episode saw Contessa, who was a middling character on the show, steal Teatro Amazonas, a theater based in Manaus. The Manaus Effect lives on.

Top Grunge stole the Easter Island Moai in a Season 1 episode. Top Grunge never really did it for me, but the Rockapella stinger whenever he was introduced was top notch.

Colombia - Uruguay, 9 pm BST/3 pm CDT

Rio de Janeiro

Colombia vs. Uruguay, 2014 World Cup preview: Los Cafeteros expected to progress |
I'm not so sure about this prediction. Give me Cavani to score a brace.

World Cup 2014: Luis Suarez bite victim calls 4-month ban "excessive" | CBS News
Interesting take from bite victim Giorgio Chiellini. Liverpool fans will no doubt take this and run with it to its logical extreme.

Suarez Ban Sets Dangerous Precedent for FIFA | The Liverpool Offside
I'll be honest: My appetite (yes, that's on purpose) for Luis Suarez stories is quickly dwindling to nothing. I'll sum this up for those of you who are in the same boat: FIFA shouldn't ban players for a long time for doing bad things because then clubs won't want to send their players on international duty.

No, really.

Official CHN Prediction: Uruguay jump out to a shock lead, but a James Rodriguez goal in Extra Time sends Colombia through. 3-2.

O/U Luis Suarez mentions on the broadcast: 1 and a half million

O/U ill-advised biting jokes from the color commentator: 1.5

O/U number of goals missed by the commentary team because they're discussing Luis Suarez: 2.5

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Top Grunge, who apparently loves South America, stole coffee beans from Colombia in a Season 2 episode. Given that it was a kid's show, he obviously couldn't steal their other main export (see below), but let's be real: Top Grunge is not going to Colombia for the coffee.

Uruguay never had a major monument stolen during the PBS game show's run, so let's turn our attention to a November 1992 episode where the hilariously dated Double Trouble lifted the World Cup trophy from Zurich. In this episode, The Chief gives some commentary on the lack of the sport's popularity in the U.S., then follows that up by juggling (?) with a globe while wearing a baby blue and white striped shirt. Maradona is featured (complete with a typical 1990s anti-drug homily), and Barbara Bush shows up to give a clue - just 10 days after her husband lost to Bill Clinton. Also, Kyrgystan was a thing. If there's ever a time for you to waste 26 minutes of your life watching a 22-year-old kids game show, this is it:

Elsewhere in Brazil

World Cup OT: Who has the best anthem at the tournament? | Coming Home Newcastle
In case you missed it, Alan had some off-day fun yesterday. It's a very thorough analysis, though I remain convinced that Brazil is getting the short shrift here, especially in terms of the lyrics. Seriously, look them up.

Why England Should Stop Competing in the World Cup | Businessweek
The headline makes it sound like a major burn, which I suppose worked, because I clicked on it and now you're reading this. Instead, it's a suggestion that England become Team GB, a la the London Olympics. I promise I'll do this just once: The England national team need to get less English.

The fake politics of World Cup haters |
You may have heard that Professional Troll Ann Coulter wrote a column about soccer being the source of America's Moral Decay. If you haven't read it, find a mirror site or some other way to read it that doesn't involve clicking on Coulter's column. Here's a great takedown of the whole thing. Money quote:

Coulter's gambit, which is not hers alone, is to create a violent binary out of a fairly happy continuum.