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Westsider Rider

Friday, June 09, 2006


I had planned to have a big update yesterday with NBA Finals discussion as well as the upcoming World Cup which just kicked off but blogger wouldn't cooperate with me so this short post is all I'll have as I'm taking a half day to head to Vegas today. MGoBlog has a great post on soccer a very good read. Maize N Brew has his take on night games (or lack thereof) at Michigan.

After waiting 4 years its time for the World Cup again. Going into that World Cup the question was if Korea would become the first host team to not make it into the Round of 16 as they had yet to win a single game in World Cup competition. Those questions were answered and then some as Korea made a miracle run throughout the cup and made it into the Final 4, something no one could have imagined. "Be the Reds" fever swept throughout Los Angeles as everyone was getting up at the 4:30-5 am time to watch the games. ("Be the Reds" was the slogan that all the T-Shirts had as someone in Korea made it up). It's pretty funny looking at the advertisements and T-Shirts for this World Cup as I've seen "Reds Go Together" and also "Again 2002."

As much as I'd like to think that the greater international exposure, as quite a few players now play in Europe, it would be an even bigger shock if Korea was able to repeat the feat this time around. Last time the team was unknown but after the run in the last World Cup this team will not sneak up on anyone. I woke up early on Sunday to watch the last tuneup match against Ghana and I don't see how this team will be able to compete with the French and the Swiss, hopefully I'm wrong but I expect a 1-2 campaign this time around and an early trip home.

It will also be interesting to watch the US this time around as they are in the Group of Death with the Czech Republic, Italy and Ghana. Everyone knows about Italy and their tradition of great soccer but I had no idea that the Czech Republic was so good. Add in Ghana, who I saw against Korea, and I was impressed by them, it will be tough for the U.S. to make it through to the Round of 16. But I think the U.S. gets it done going through to the next round.

The NBA Finals had a good start as the Mavericks won Game 1 after trailing Miami early. As much as I love Dwyane Wade I cannot root for Miami since Shaq had to run his mouth talking trash on Los Angeles. If not for that I would definitely be with the Heat but instead I hope the Mavericks pull it off. Besides it's hard to root against Mark Cuban, he's living every guy's dream. Make it rich and buy a sports franchise and turn it into a winner, well that's one part of my dream anyways. Maybe Vegas this weekend can help turn my dream into reality.


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