Monday, June 9, 2014

World Cup 2014 Part I

This post was originally a transcript of a Soundcloud podcast. That content is being moved to YouTube.

Welcome to the SteventheThorn Podcast—2014 World Cup Edition! Steven is an authority on the World Cup because he has glasses and a beard!
Steven starts a four-episode-series about the Top 20 Things to Know About the 2014 World Cup. In this episode, he answers the following questions:
1. What is the FIFA World Cup?
2. What does FIFA mean?
3. Where is the World Cup?
4. Has the United States ever won the World Cup?
5. Who (and where) is Landon Donovan?
Listen in and become a soccer expert for those World Cup Watch Parties!

Welcome to the SteventheThorn Podcast! You’re listening to this podcast because I’m an authority on many things. Why am I an authority on many things? Because I have glasses and a beard.

In our last podcast, I talked about unrealistic standards of male beauty. I apologized for being the most attractive man in the world, and I thanked all of the girls who keep me humble by keeping me in the friendzone.

Today we’re going to talk about the 2014 World Cup. La Copa Mundial de dos mil catorce. There’s a lot of things I could say about the World Cup, but these next four podcasts are dedicated to those American listeners who will be watching soccer for the first time this summer. I want to give you some World Cup history and answer some frequently asked questions about soccer.
Why? Because I’m looking out for you. If you or someone who love is planning to host a World Cup Watch Party on a weekend, or on a night without the NBA Finals, I want you to hold up in conversations with soccer experts…such as myself. And trust me, if you pay attention to what I’m telling you, you will be a most entertaining conversation partner at any World Cup Watch Party.

Following is the Top 20 Things to Know About the 2014 World Cup. Today we got over 1-5.

1. What is the FIFA World Cup?
The FIFA World Cup is an international soccer tournament for the 32 countries in the world. The Americans started the World Cup after the success of EA Sports’ FIFA 98 soccer game in 1998. The game was so successful that American soccer player David Beckham thought, “Hey, we should have a real tournament like this.” So the Americans asked South Korea to host the World Cup in 2002. After the success of the 2002 World Cup, EA Sports decided to have the tournament again every four years.
Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006, South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010, and Brazil is hosting the World Cup this year in 2014.

Some people will tell you that the 2014 World Cup is actually the 20th World Cup in history, and that David Beckham is a English soccer player. But then again, some people think that Africa is one country, and that there’s such a thing as a British accent.

2. What does FIFA mean?
FIFA is a word that EA Sports invented because calling a soccer game 98 sounded less interesting than FIFA 98. Since that time, some French people got together, borrowed the name, and ordained themselves the governing body of soccer.

Some people will tell you that FIFA stands for Federation Internationale de Football Association, or International Federation of Association Football, and that FIFA predated the EA Sports game.
But as Abraham Lincoln once said, “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet.”

3. Where is the World Cup?
Brazil is hosting the 2014 World Cup. Where is Brazil? Well, if you take the look at a Risk world map, you’ll see that Brazil is one of four countries on the continent of South America. Brazil is on the east coast, and it has a direct route to North Africa in Africa. The other countries in South America are Argentina, Peru, and Venezuela.

4. Has the United States ever won the World Cup?
Unfortunately not. Many people think that the United States could have won the last World Cup if Lebron James had played. If Lebron decides to take his talents to Brazil, the United States’ would certainly have a better chance of getting out of the group stage. Unfortunately for the United States, Lebron is busy playing for the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. Unfortunately for Lebron and the Miami Heat—but fortunately for the rest of America—the San Antonio Spurs are currently winning the NBA Finals.

5. Who (and where) is Landon Donovan?
Landon Donovan is one of the oldest active soccer players on the United States national team. He is the United States’ all-time leading scorer. He is currently the all-time leading scorer in Major League Soccer (which is the top professional soccer league in the United States, in case you didn’t know that we had a league).
You will probably hear the announcers talk about Landon Donovan during the USA games. But he won’t be playing because USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann (who is from Germany) left Donovan off the 23-man USA squad.
Why? Well, naturally, as a 32-year-old and the United States’ all-time leading scorer and the MLS all-time leading scorer, Donovan is too old to play for the United States. You gotta leave the World Cup to the young guys. Where would your team be if you lead old people play? Imagine where the Spurs would be if they let Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker play? In fact, how are the Spurs doing?
Oh, wait. They’re in the finals. And they beat the Heat last night.
Forget what I just said. Leaving Donovan off the roster was a stupid idea.

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