Frequently Given Answers, Dec. 4, 2009

Before we get to today’s mailbag, I’d like to offer congratulations… to me, for my excellence in nouveau journalism and “off the record” declaration manipulation. The controversy I ignited yesterday has set off a worldwide media shitstorm and quadrupled our readership, just as I expected it would. Yes, I am often humbled by my own aptitude. Thank you for asking.

Now, the more astute of you (that is, the 1/8 of you that stuck around after being insulted) surely noticed yesterday when I claimed that thriving in today’s webworld came down to two things: being controversial, and being first. The former I tackled with great aplomb yesterday, deftly drawing attention to this site, and by proxy, myself. And while you might think drawing attention to myself comes quite naturally, it’s actually something I have to work at, as attention typically finds me. I rarely need to entice it.

As for the latter… the “being first” part, well, today I tackle that one. I apologize ahead of time for the concussion it’s about to receive. So I’d like to present for you, dear readers, a worldwide exclusive. I’ve managed to obtain a very rough, initial copy of the statement to be made by Mad Adam combating the allegations heaped upon him by a highly reputable news outlet. It reads as follows:

Mad Adam would like to issue the following statement/retort/apology in response to Ed Honcho’s unwarranted, insensitive, but largely true statement about Mad Adam being a fan of Owl City.

I have let my musical tastes down, and I regret those lyrical transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values of musical awesomeness and the musical tips my fans deserve. I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my earnest appreciation of Owl City’s blend of electronica and emo-pop behind closed doors with my collection of death metal which I am listening to non-stop in order to purge myself of this sudden urge of effeminate music. Those feelings should be shared by me, Slayer, Sepultura, Motorhead and Pantera alone.

I will strive to be a better person and the music connoisseur that my fans deserve. For all those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology.

That’s some grade A, top notch, news-breaking right there. Prepare youselves for the onslaught of coverage.

Now, to the mailbox… and just look at that queue! World Cup fever is rampant. I realized we were short on the vaccine, and what little could be found was quickly bogarted by the elderly, but I had no idea it would spread so quickly. Some suggested home remedies: shots of Scotch, preferrably of the single malt variety, self-breema, and plenty of Ed Honcho. That should do the trick (or, you know, make it much worse… whatever).

Q: So how about that Group C? England vs. the U.S. right off the bat. What do you make of it?

Ollie Lattler, Bahanna, Ohio

A: I can scarcely contain myself. As a fan of either side, this is a dream pairing. The two countries are inextricably linked… The American Revolution. Beckham/Donovan. Love Actually. The Industrial Revolution. The Beatles and Rolling Stones. Jimi Hendrix and the Kings of Leon. New York. New London. New England. World War II. The London Monarchs. DC United. Malcolm Glazer. Randy Lerner. Border Collies. Laurence Olivier. Julie Andrews. The Sandwich. Hamburgers. BP. Thomas Paine. Benedict Arnold. In the Loop. There’s just so much shared history, it makes great copy for people like me.

Now, as for the people that run the two squads, I get the feeling they would have rather avoided each other, especially in the first round. The first game can set the tone for the whole tournament (see U.S., 2006). Lose, and you’re fighting for your life. Though these fears were certainly assuaged somewhat by the rest of the draw, which went decidedly in England and America’s favor.

Prediction? Of course you want to know. I have a knack for this sort of thing. But it’s too early… we don’t even know who will make the final squads yet. Injuries could come into play (especially on the American side of things), and a bad run of form could affect confidence. That being said, I’m no ninny (yeah, that’s right… I said ninny), so I’ll make an early call, but I reserve the right to reverse course should circumstances change. England wins, 2-1. An early goal from Rooney opens the game up, and England tacks on a second through a long-range effort by Capello favorite James Milner. The Yanks come out strong in the second half and draw one back through international specialist Jozy Altidore, but can’t find a second as the Three Lions hold on. But both countries make it through the group stage, with England finishing first and the U.S. second.

Q: A couple of strong groups this time around. Which one do you think is the group of death?

Kirby Chadwick, Neston, Cheshire West and Chester, England

A: While there are a couple of strong groups, Group G clearly qualifies as the group of death. And if I’m not mistaken (and I rarely am), there’s pretty much universal agreement on that one. South America’s best team (Brazil), Africa’s best team (Ivory Coast), one of Europe’s best, with one of the world’s best players (Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo), and an unknown Asian squad (North Korea) that by all accounts is better than anyone is giving them credit for (and, of course, there’s that fear that if you beat them, you have to deal with the wrath of ‘ol inappropriate sunglasses himself). That’s not a group I’d want to try and advance out of.

Q: How lucky is France? First they make it in when they shouldn’t have, then they get drawn into a group with South Africa. Does Raymond Domenech have dirty photos of Blatter?

Nigel Meehan, St. Austell, Cornwall, England

A: And don’t forget, Nigel, that FIFA decided to seed the remaining teams during World Cup qualifying playoffs, giving France a reportedly easier path to the tournament (as it turned out, of course, they struggled mightily against Ireland… but they couldn’t draw Portugal, or Russia). It certainly does seem like France is being given every advantage… which is why they’ll blow it. Sports Karma works in funny ways. It seems like they’ve got an easy path through the group stage, but they’ve got some serious sports Karma working against them. If they were drawn into a tougher group, they could fall back on “well, we got screwed during the draw”. Now when they fail it will be catastrophic… true punishment for their transgressions. And they will fail, book it. Mexico and South Africa will advance out of Group A.

Q: So you seem to know what you’re talking about… who are some underdogs we should be on the lookout for?

Conrad Messner, Conway, Arkansas

A: I seem to know what I’m talking about? I’m gonna have to object to your use of the word seem here, Conrad. I know what I’m talking about. I’ll put my prognistications up against the most successful of pundits and I’ll overwhelm them. Of this much I can assure you.

Now, as for your question… Ivory Coast are a squad that could do some real damage, though they were unfortunate to be drawn into the group of death. They’ve got a proven goal-scorer in Didier Drogba, and are easily Africa’s finest. South Africa have played poorly in qualifying (though thankfully for them, they didn’t have to qualify as host), but the host nation always does well in World Cups. And though the Bafana Bafana look like one of the weakest hosts in recent memory, they looked very much the same in the lead up to the Confederation’s Cup, yet advanced to the semifinal and almost knocked off Spain. Home field advantage is very much in play. Paraguay were one of the best teams in South America during qualifying and have been blessed with a favorable group, so they should make it past the group stage, and from there, anything is possible. Chile have plenty of talent, and if they can put it together, can make plenty of noise. They have great success at the youth level.

Q: Let’s have it then. Give us your predictions. Keep in mind, I’ll be placing copious amounts of money on these games based on your forecast, and will come looking for you should things go awry.

“Ray Benson”, Purfleet, Essex, England

A: Manly though I am, normally this sort of “encouragement” gives me pause (and by pause I mean induces vomiting and the shakes, and maybe I piss my pants a little). Such is my confidence here, though, that I’m blocking out all those instincts and plowing ahead. Here’s what I got:

  • Group A… Winner: Mexico. Runner-up: South Africa
  • Group B… Winner: Argentina. Runner-up: Greece
  • Group C… Winner: England. Runner-up: U.S.A.
  • Group D… Winner: Germany. Runner-up: Serbia
  • Group E… Winner: Denmark. Runner-up: The Netherlands
  • Group F… Winner: Italy. Runner-up: Paraguay
  • Group G… Winner: Brazil. Runner-up: Ivory Coast
  • Group H… Winner: Spain. Runner-up: Chile

Second Round:

  • Greece over Mexico
  • England over Serbia
  • South Africa over Argentina
  • Germany over U.S.A.
  • Paraguay over Denmark
  • Brazil over Chile
  • Italy over The Netherlands
  • Spain over Ivory Coast

Quarterfinals

  • England over Greece
  • Germany over South Africa
  • Paraguay over Brazil
  • Italy over Spain

Semifinals

  • England over Paraguay
  • Germany over Italy

Finals

  • Germany over England

So there you have it. The Germans are your 2010 World Cup Champions. Now, normally they say these things aren’t played on paper… but in this case, it is (well, on liquid crystals, as it were). There’s no reason to hold the thing now, as I’ve told you how it’s going to go. Feel free to make money on it if you wish, just know that you must donate 75% to the Ed Honcho Fund, which goes to a great cause. Me.

Q: Clearly, your affinity for soccer makes you an effeminate man.

– Levi Henderson, Pecos, Texas

A: See, this is the type of attitude… this is why you’re looked at like a bunch of backwards… you don’t know what you’re talking about!… Smithers, bring me a tissue. This mailbag is over, yo.

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One Comment

  1. DeefChief
    Posted December 7, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    First! Woo-hoo!

    P.S. Where the girls at? I can’t find any pictures anywhere!

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