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Destination: South Africa

Eight down, 24 to go for next year's World Cup.....
South Africa
South Korea
North Korea
Ivory Coast
Wednesday's Key Matches
Saudi Arabia-Bahrain playoff #2, 8 p.m. (FSC)
Hungary-Portugal, 2:40 (Setanta)
Northern Ireland-Slovakia, 2:30 (FSC)
Spain-Estonia, 9:30 (GolTV)
Bosnia-Turkey, 5 (Setanta)
Serbia-France, 6:45 (Setanta)
Italy-Bulgaria, 2:45 (GolTV)
T&T-USA, 7 (ESPN Classic, Galavision)
El Salvador-Costa Rica
Mexico-Honduras, 8:30 (Telemundo)

On a humorous note, the approach of the World Cup spawns strange World Cup-oriented products. To read the latest e-mail marketing pitch, jump to the continuation of this thread.....

Please allow me a moment of your precious time to talk about the expected HARMFUL NOISE POLLUTION that will be generated during every match played in the soccer world cup in South Africa. In South Africa, soccer fans have a culture of blowing on a trumpet-like instrument called the Vuvuzela. These instruments has an output of up to 115dB of sound. In recent studies, it came to our knowledge that 15 minutes of this, will be enough to cause permanent damage to a persons hearing! We expect THOUSANDS Vuvuzelas to be blown during every match!
I am writing this to you, because I assume your newspaper will be sending journalists to South Africa during this time, and I also assume you would be alarmed by this facts and would like to do anything possible to PROTECT them against possible PERMANENT hearing damage. The fact is that not only are their hearing at risk, but in this noisy situation, it will be almost, if not totally impossible to be effective because communicating to anyone during matches will be VERY difficult if not impossible at all.
The good news is that we have a solution and would like to present it to you. We have the ONLY INTELLIGENT hearing protection device in the world, that is able to SUPPRESS NOISE and ENHANCE SPEECH all at the same time! With this, your reporters, commentators and staff can be protected against all noise above 82dB AND be able to hear SPEECH CLEARLY -- they can do what they were sent for!

By Steve Goff  |  September 8, 2009; 8:26 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: DCU News & Notes
Next: Wednesday Kickaround


Alright, Goff, I'll pitch in for your earmuffs. But only if I get a share in the 50 million dollars you'll be receiving once you send the $1000 downpayment via Western Union.

Posted by: Modibo | September 8, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Why not ear plugs? Why would you buy something to allow Press Box conversation with the likes of Ives?

(I kid, I Kid Ives...)

Posted by: JkR- | September 8, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Vuvuezlas blow at 115dB? I doubt it, that's like rock concert loud.

Posted by: delantero | September 8, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Too lazy to look it up, but isn't Spain really close as well?

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | September 8, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

You certainly forgot the Bosnia vs. Turkey match in the key matches section, a simply massive match that will likely not only determine the runner up in the group but be a progress report on a nation that will one day be the most powerfull footballing nation in the balkans region if you consider the amount of talent they have in the bundesliga and other strong european leagues.

Posted by: rademaar | September 8, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Adding Spain, of course.

and the Bosnia match with TV listing


Posted by: Steve Goff | September 8, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Spain sold out training today -- 15k! Of course, it was in western Spain, in a town that barely has a team (something like 3rd division).

Posted by: Reignking | September 8, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

You forgot Russia v. Wales on Goal TV. Also, Ukraine v. Belarus is key in the England group. If both Ukraine and England win, Ukraine catches Croatia on points. And it might even have the edge over Croatia on goals, but I am too lazy to look that up.

Posted by: Gene_SF | September 8, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

a progress report on a nation that will one day be the most powerfull footballing nation in the balkans region if you consider the amount of talent they have in the bundesliga and other strong european leagues.

Turkey's in the Balkans??

How come all the good matches are on Setanta? Besides, I thought they were going out of business...

Posted by: fischy | September 8, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Enough with this laziness. This is not an excuse. You must take personal responsibility for your own education....

Let the indoctrinationizification begin...

Posted by: fischy | September 8, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

joke of the day Modibo! Shaping up to be an interesting world cup. Anyone planning on going? I went to germany...thinking about it....

I like the idea of turning the world cup into a big trip...but when you go you miss a lot of games. : (

Posted by: wordup1 | September 8, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Yes, fischy, Turkey is in the Balkans, at least historically. Who could forget those Ottomans, who dominated the region up into the late 1800's? And don't think those southern Slavs have forgotten about it. I am sure it will be a grudge match.

Posted by: bdwooton | September 8, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

@wordup -- If I win a major multistate lottery, I fully intend to go to South Africa.

If that happens, I must remember to email Goff about those ear-thingies.

Posted by: fischy | September 8, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

@bdwooton -- I'm pretty sure rademaar was referring to Bosnia...

In case anyone was wondering -- there are mountains in Turkey, but not the Balkans. The Sultan Mountains are in Turkey's western Anatolia region.

Tonight, I learned that Turkey started building high-speed rail lines 3 years ago. Seriously, what the frack is wrong with our country? Can we finally shed this childish fear and rejection of all things that seem vaguely European? And, I don't just mean English football....

It's the 21st Century after all, even if some pinheads on TV think we're still in the 20th...

Posted by: fischy | September 8, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Why does Asia get 5 teams, Concacaf is on par, maybe even better

Posted by: cr10 | September 8, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Why does Asia get 5 teams, Concacaf is on par, maybe even better
Posted by: cr10

I'm guessing it's the plus or minus 3 billion extra population they have to buy Man U and Barca jerseys.

Posted by: delantero | September 8, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse


What's the word on Davies' injury? It looked minor, but this game comes only 3 days later with travel.

The guy has been a revelation. On speed and strength he can match anyone. Skills are suprisingly good. He brings an element that we just haven't seen with the U.S. side in a long, long . . ok . ever. (Wolff? No. McBride? No. Wynalda? No.)

Posted by: delantero | September 8, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

vamos Chile! actually, if Chile loses on the road to Brazil tomorrow (as expected) their qualification will be fraught with pitfalls, yet I hope they can pull it out.

in response to:

Why does Asia get 5 teams, Concacaf is on par, maybe even better

Posted by: cr10 | September 8, 2009 11:18 PM

The number of nations that qualify from Asia is an absolute joke. They get the same number of WC spots as South America (4) with an easier playoff game for the fifth spot (Oceania v. CONCACAF). My guess is that this has something to do with Sepp Blatter coddling the "regions with many nations but historically less important parts" of world soccer. But on a straight-up basis - it doesn't make any sense - isn't Columbia / Uruguay / Argentina much more daunting than Bahrain / Saudi Arabia / New Zealand.

For 2014, Oceania needs to be done away with and Asia should get four teams maximum. No playoffs.

Posted by: diego_r | September 8, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

I would guess money has something to do with Asia's representation. Population is probably the other factor. With Australia now part of Asia, I think the critiques are overblown -- South America should have more slots, but maybe that's not the only yardstick? Asian football is historically better than CONCACAF, so they have deserved more slots. Other than our one run in '02, and Costa Rica managing to get out of group play once, the only CONCACAF side that has done anything in the finals is Mexico. The two Koreas have played decently. Japan has played well. Saudi Arabia had its glory days, as did Iran. And the Aussies have turned into a respectable side.

I would agree, though, that this needs to be reconsidered for the '14 Cup. With the USA now a competitive side, and other CONCACAF sides improving despite their small size and relative poverty, CONCACAF is suddenly better than Asia. Iranian and Saudi teams are in decline, and most Southern and East Asian teams are even worse than USA ever was. There are only 4 Asian teams that are competitive. Right now, even 4 slots may be too many for Asia.

Posted by: fischy | September 9, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update!

And yes I was referring to Bosnia as the nation to beat in coming years in the balkans. Turkey could be considered part of the balkans, but they are a part of a lot of geographic regions...

As for the match, I had to mention it because of personal bias, as last year I was at the tiny little stadium in Zenica where the match will be played today. It is amazing to think of how far at least one section of Bosnia has come if they were to qualify for the world cup considering the war/genocide etc that happened only a little more than 10 years ago. Maybe if they were to qualify, it would help to further unify some of the serious religous (well really class) divides that still plauge the country. Just sayin...

Posted by: rademaar | September 9, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

i read somewhere that fifa is trying to ban those things or at least only have them during south africa's matches. South Africa claims they are part of their soccer culture.

Posted by: g3impreza | September 9, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Hooliganism is a part of english culture, and they have certainly banned that. Not to say they are equal, but I do see both as detracting from the game.

The real problem is the sheer quantity; Mexico hasn't banned trumpets from games, but then half the crowd isn't playing one. The easiest solution is to allow the vuvu's only at RSA games OR provide a designated section to limit the exposure.

Posted by: The_Dude_Abides1 | September 9, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I think Peru at Venezuela can be considered a "key match", as well.

If Venezuela win, they're up to 21 pts.

Ecuador (20) is at Bolivia.

Uruguay (18) hosts Colombia (20).

So it's certainly conceivable that the vinotintos could be tied for the 5th and final spot by the end of the day.

Posted by: StanShmenge | September 9, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

re those plastic horns; can't vouch for the accuracy, but I can vouch that the things are infernally obnoxious

Posted by: OWNTF | September 9, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Just bought my ticket for the US - Costa Rica game at RFK!

Posted by: davemcl | September 9, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

South American deserves more World Cup slots than Asia. There have been 18 world cups - South American countries have won nine. A South American nation has won every World Cup played outside of Europe (perhaps another reason why UEFA wants the World Cup "rotated" back to Europe). 7 nations have won the World Cup - 4 are European and 3 are South American.

In terms of FIFA rankings (I know that sane people don't care about them, but I presume FIFA does) the 6th highest ranked South American team (Ecuador - 36) is has a position higher than the 2nd ranked AFC team (Japan).

This needs to be fixed by 2014. Hopefully, with Brazil hosting South America will receive the same number of play-in slots as 2010 but with the additional slot for hosting.

Honestly, the real reason for the disparity is that the AFC has 46 members and CONMEBOL 10. Volume counts for a lot in Sepp Blatter's FIFA. Now I am all for greater worldwide representation in the World Cup, as opposed to back when Africa was allotted one slot, but 5 teams from Asia and Oceania is far too many.

Posted by: diego_r | September 9, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Will the World Cup group with North Korea in it be the Group of Death or the Axis of Evil?

Posted by: IamAM | September 9, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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