Sauvez la dernière danse


Vote for Pedro. Damn you Mexico, that would have been perfect. 


Yesterday’s penalty kick diatribes were independently crafted, which illustrate the passionate feelings about this rule. Now Detergente Líquido’s Alberto Rodway enters the fray like La Furia Roja charging the official after a missed hand-ball in the box. Not only does he neglect to offer an effective alternative, he seems to take pride in its invention: “. . .  I have to say that this way of deciding winners was created in our home town, about 1960.”


I’d be running so far away from this I’d probably change my name. Come to think of it, Alberto has a suspiciously English-midfield-sounding surname. Could this be an elaborate ruse by a big-bellied Englishman masquerading as an Andalusian Indie to exorcise some sort of PK obsession? We don’t welcome unsubstantiated conspiracies in this blog, but people are saying.


In any event, now that a third reader of this blog has been identified, and he supposedly hails from Cádiz Spain, I should probably give La Roja some slack. I also need to appreciate the power of celebrity fans. This is just the sort of international cred that stirs the judges during Blog Award Season.


Let’s put the PK discussion off until England’s loss tomorrow and focus on the games decided in regulation today. Mexico took a run at Brazil and controlled stretches of the game but alas, better talent won out and will set up an epic showdown with perhaps the top two favorites left in the competition.


Belgium handled Japan with aplomb and waltzed into the final eight as expected with a 3- . . .wha, wait, wha. . . ..?


Belgium not as much waltzed as arrived to the dance with the prettiest girl, found her and that Asian exchange student missing for long stretches of the evening before she reappeared for the last dance and let that hand linger a little longer than usual in the bo….Oh Behave!


On to the Beer
No one in my circle is crying over the failure of Germany to overtake South Korea for third place in Group F. I am bemoaning the loss of German beer (and also that I don't really have a circle--really just a few guys who don't want to leave at closing). Let’s compromise and sample a collaboration between brewers of the two most embarrassed soccer nations, Germany and the U.S. Sierra Nevada joins a different German brewer every year to mash up a beer style. I really enjoyed the Oktoberfest they made with Mahrs of Bamberg a few years ago.


An odd choice this year is Braupakt, a classic Weinstephan hefeweizen dosed with Sierra Nevada hoppiness. Bubble gum, banana and American hop bittering makes for a unique, but not totally pleasing mix. I think they are two styles that work against each other and that’s probably the challenge that brought this together. Thanks for the effort; I'm willing to try the other five in the six pack. 

England 2-Colombia 2; England 4-3 on penalties. Against my better judgment. 
Switzerland 2-Sweden 1 after extra time. Wonder goal from Xherdan Shaqiri. 


 La Aventurera

Artist:Mónica Giraldo

Nation: Colombia

Album: Bajo el Mismo Cielo (2017)


Every time the World Cup rolls around, I’m reminded of how grueling and relentless it is. The eyes of the world upon you, the pressure to perform, the looking over your shoulder at the upstart newcomers, the cold judgment of history awaiting you.


And that’s just for Peter and me, writing this every day. Imagine how it must be for the players. (cymbal crash)

Oh, I kid. But as I mentioned at least once here, the self-imposed daily deadline here comes around quickly. And it doesn’t particularly care what kind of non-World Cup day I’m having. It stands there all the same, tapping its Internet foot and looking at its Internet watch.


So I’m glad for at least two things this Monday night, alongside being very sorry to see Mexican and Japanese dreams dashed today. Especially for the cruel final stage of that Belgium-Japan match. You have to give both sides credit –- Japan for that aggressive, no-holds barred performance (no playing for PKs there, no sir) and to Belgium for eventually not squandering the vast amount of world-class talent they have on that side.

But I digress. The first thing I’m happy for is that this blog now has enough content to enable a little bit of self-referentialism. Beyond my references, that is, to my Ronaldo prediction, which really must stop referencing, Really.


Today’s self-reference takes me back to yesterday, and then all the way back to my first contribution, which I think happened in posting two. You may recall that yesterday Peter and I landed mercilessly and correctly on the ill-advised use of penalties to break extra-time ties. And, much earlier, you may also recall me introducing to you to a band from Spain called Detergente Liquido.


And I bring this up why? As it happens, over the past few days I have corresponded a bit with that band on matters related to their music. In doing so, as an aside I offered my condolences on Spain’s exit and reinforced my disdain for use of PKs to decide a match. They informed me that that method was actually devised and first used in the early 1960s in none other than their hometown of Cádiz, España, pop. 120,000. I Googled it, and it totally checks out. September 2, 1962. Luckily I like their music more than I do their contribution to tiebreaking methodology. But how about that, then?


The other thing I’m happy about is that my assignment of exploring the World Cup through music avails me of the opportunity to suit my selections to my mood on occasion, if I so choose. And on this occasion I so choose. I could use something on the quieter side – a temporary escape from the rigors of trying to speed Japan’s clock up by telepathic will and from wishing I had a couple more hours in the day of my own for writing.


So, and with Colombia hoping to ruin my England prediction on Tuesday, I’ll bring you this track by Colombian artist Mónica Giraldo. I don’t know a great deal about her, but what I can tell you from her website is that she’s both a musician and an architect, practicing both. Her songs and singing are rooted in traditional Colombian styles but also explore and infuse others from around the world. It's all excellent listening.


Tuck this song away in particular for about six months from now – it’s a terrific foil for a bitter Midwestern winter’s day. But as a fine tonic for occasional, acute World Cup fatigue? It'll handle that nicely, too.



 Nat's Kitchen

"Crack an egg on it," the culinary slogan of "Pitch Invasion".  



Rösti is a  national dish of Switzerland and is as neutral as the country itself. Originally considered a complete breakfast it is now consumed accompanying such other dishes as spinat und spigelei (spinach and fried eggs, sunny side up).

Rösti is prepared with either cooked or raw grated potato, a fat (butter, oil, or rendered animal fat) salt, pepper, and shaped into round patties.

Regional additions include onion, cheese, bacon, apple, or fresh herbs and it is eaten predominantly in German-speaking regions of Switzerland but is found nation-wide. So crack an egg, fry some up, crack a beer, and enjoy!


Sweden, Russia, Croatia and Colombia face off for a place in the FIFA World Cup Final™.  

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