After almost a month of play, the World Cup final is set. The Netherlands in all of their orange clad glory will take on Spain for the right to hoist the World Cup. Neither team has ever played in the World Cup final, but that will all change on Sunday afternoon (2:30 pm EST) LIVE on ABC.
Spain and Netherlands took a slightly different path to get to the final. After losing 1-0 to Switzerland to open the tournament, the Spanish have reeled off five straight wins. They only allowed one more goal (2-1 over Chile) and took down rival Portugal (1-0), upstart Paraguay (1-0) and favored Germany (1-0) in the knockout stage.
The Dutch seemed to fly under the radar all tournament. They zoomed through the first round with wins over Denmark (2-0), Japan (1-0) and Cameroon (2-1). After that, they beat pesky Slovakia (2-1), tournament favorite Brazil (2-1), and surprising Uruguay (3-2) in the knockout stage.
I’ll be rooting for Espana just like I have been ever since the US and England were knocked out. My buddy Nacho is from Valencia and I joined the Spain bandwagon after Germany beat England. Most of my friends were rooting for Germany for most of the tournament as well as in their game against Spain. Germany looked unbeatable in putting up 4 goals in back to back games, but was shut down by Spain’s straight up sucio, dominant defense.
Viva Espana! David Villa es numero uno!
MLB: It’s almost the midpoint of the MLB season and there are some surprising division leaders. The New York Yankees (no surprise there), the Detroit Tigers (with Twins and White sox within a game and a half), the Texas Rangers (comfortably ahead of LA), Atlanta Braves (Mets three games back), the Cincinnati Reds (who knew they’d be good?) and the San Diego Padres (I’m dumbfounded as to how amazing their pitchers have been). The AL is a lot less surprising than the NL. Few would have predicted any of the NL division leaders correctly.
NBA: LeBron James. That’s all you have to say when it comes to NBA free agency. Teams have been setting up their salary cap for years in anticipation of his imminent free agency. Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade have signed with the Miami Heat and it is expected that James will join them in creating one of the nastiest trifecta’s in history. I wish he would go to New York and join newly signed Amar’e Stoudamire. Instead of just decided where to go, he and his people have turned his free agency into a joke.
Personally, I find this whole circus to be rather annoying. James hasn’t decided where he’s going yet, and he will announce his decision live on Sports Center tonight. And we
wonder why other countries think Americans are so arrogant. It’s extremely sad that ESPN is letting James make a mockery of sports in this manner.
NHL: The NBA isn’t the only league in the midst of a free agency frenzy. The NHL started it’s free agency the same day as the NBA. Obviously, the names available are nowhere near as famous as LeBron or D-wade. But, they still have Ilya Kovalchuck and his 85 points. Veterans Mike Modano, Paul Kariya and Marty Turco are also still available. Sharks Netminder All-Star Evgeni Nabakov jumped ship to the KHL.
MLL: The Major League Lacrosse All-Star game is tonight at 7 pm EST on ESPN2. Check out the best players in the world as they take on team USA LIVE from Boston. I’d rather watch this than LeBron James.
The ODD: In Germany, an octopus has correctly picked the winner of every German World Cup game. Yes, an octopus. They put food in two containers, one with the German flag and the other with their opponent, and wait for the octopus to pick one. It even correctly picked Serbia’s upset of Germany in the first round as well as their eventual loss to Spain in the final four. People throughout Germany are blaming the octopus for jinxing them and want to fry him up and eat him with a side of cocktail sauce.
30 year old freelance writer and The Father Life‘s resident beer columnist and sports editor. He also writes about fine beverages for drinkingmadeeasy.com and Chilled Magazine. On top of that, he writes about college and professional lacrosse for insidelacrosse.com. He’s also written for Genesee Valley Parenting Magazine, the Democrat and Chronicle Newspaper and ESPN.com. “Osburn on Tap” appears monthly in THE FATHER LIFE. For questions, comments, or if you have a story idea for Chris, throw him an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on twitter http://www.twitter.com/chrisosburn