Over the last week we’ve been posting special posts related to each team playing in the 2012 World Cup in South Africa. Hard to believe we actually covered all 32 nations; from Algeria to USA, all vying for the ultimate prize in soccer. A prize that not only represents an impossible to argue belief that hoisting the World Cup represents the most coveted championship moment in all of sports.
The wealth of coverage was a lot to take in. If you would prefer to pick and peck at your leisure, then think of this list of links for each of the team-specific preview posts as a perfect reference point.
On our end, the many contributors that were part of this undertaking deserve a shout out. As a mere fill in correspondent, I differ to organizer of this feat – the honorable Randall Monty to provide a full cast of all the project’s contributors and editors.
Imagine the players, engulfed with the knowledge that every ounce of their ability is being willed to excel by an entire nation back home, either a performance enhancing influence or a debilitating curse. The proud and statistically unrealistic expectations of a beaming nation desperate for glory on the biggest of all stages.
I think many Americans have a difficult time understanding soccer’s, and specifically the World Cup’s draw because we are so disconnected from having one common team that rallies everyone together. Despite otherwise cartoonish imagery from the media, we aren’t a very nationalistic people, absorbed with the retail patriotism of sloganeering and bumper stickers. Save for the brave men and women in uniform, natch. When it comes to our sports we are the worst kind of bandwagon jumpers. How many people reeeeally watched USA vs. Canada in the Olympics? Definitely less than regularly watch Dancing With Stars.
We are so far from understanding the intoxicating feeling of a unified block of people cheering on a common cause. Games routinely shut down entire countries to a halt while their team plays. Eleven men on the pitch and millions glued to broadcasts.
If you are interested in learning more about each team and their country’s music, here’s our version of a primer. Our website’s musical focus remains by hopefully teaching you something about the latter. I for instance learned all about a politically and warlordly connected, soccer owning widowed pop star from Serbia. Who will be your Ceca?
2012 FIFA World Cup Participating teams: