The Bastard Lounge

Misinformed, angry, coffee-addled ranting.

The (World Cup) Final Countdown

Tonight, after weeks of triumph, turmoil and terrible alliteration, we shall finally experience the climax (no giggling at the back) of the month long football-themed reality show known as the FIFA World Cup. The show itself occurs once every four years making it arguably as significant an event as the US Presidential Election, and at least four times as significant as Christmas (take that, Jesus). Instead of featuring talentless nobodies wailing into microphones for the briefest glimmer of opportunity at 15 minutes of semi-notability followed by decades as the answer to a particularly difficult pub quiz question, this show takes 32 teams of millionaires and films them kicking and crying and falling over until eventually the best millionaires get given a gold trophy and some more money. Hooray for capitalism!

This show separates itself from other reality shows by ditching the conventional wisdom of being hosted by shiny presento-bots Antroid & Decatron and instead offers a macabre and twisted game based on the Saw movie franchise. In this game you may be rewarded with the charismatic, knowledgeable and professional Gary Lineker or punished with the distracted murmerings of pasty-voiced, charmless accountant-masquerading-as-tv-presenter Adrian Chiles. The decision on which you shall receive seems totally arbitrary, further solidifying FIFA’s position as evil overlords intent on manipulating the world’s population like sinister puppets.

The final will feature Germany and Argentina competing for the ultimate prize in world football in a match that is expected to reach 1 billion viewers worldwide. As expected, the choice of teams to support in the final has made some English viewers uncomfortable:

It’s therefore somewhat disappointing that football matches are never three-way affairs – throw France in there and you’ve got the ultimate game of English Nationalist Shag/Marry/Kill ever played. UKIP would lose 90% of its supporters through nervous breakdowns.

The tournament has featured numerous talking points from the Ghanaian president flying more than $3million in cash into Brazil to pay his national team to Luis Suarez biting a fellow player for the third time, allowing hack writers to recycle their Suarez-of-the-Lambs material. Perhaps the biggest talking point came in the semi finals, when hosts Brazil were humiliated by an outstanding German team in an event which broke records on Twitter and led to this fantastic video of the German goals with all the Brazilian players edited out.

As with all major events, business around the world tried to cash in on the World Cup with various football or Brazil-themed products and offers. Inevitably, local beauty salons offered cut-price Brazilian waxes because apparently people like to make puns with their vaginas now. In the world of advertising, Pot Noodle, Pepsi and McDonalds all tried to get in on the action but the real winners were Nike who came up with The Last Game, a 5 and a half minute mini-movie featuring the likenesses of several of the world’s top players all desperately trying to sell you boots and t-shirts by fighting evil and taking selfies. At the time of writing, the advert has been watched more than 64 million times, further proof that people will actively subject themselves to anything provided there’s famous people in it and it doesn’t require concentration for any longer than a bowel movement.

Despite England’s campaign having the quality and duration of a wet fart, public enthusiasm for the tournament has remained high with countless sources naming it the ‘Best World Cup Ever!’. This is despite the highlight of England’s tenure in the competition being when their physio Gary Lewin suffered a horrific injury celebrating Daniel Sturridge’s goal against Italy. Manager Roy Hodgson had opted to take a young, inexperienced squad in order to give the players the opportunity to prove themselves and hone their skills ahead of the forthcoming 2018 World Cup in Russia. This logical, understandable decision incurred the wrath of the media, who lamented England’s poor form and called for Hodgson’s head, because logical and understandable isn’t something the English media cope with very well.

Regardless, the tournament as a whole has been a great success and pleasure, unless of course you don’t like diving, biting, cheating, corruption, match-fixing, over-paid athletes, underpaid Brazilian citizens, forced evictions, giant grasshoppers, The Germans, silly haircuts, stupid tattoos, religion, national stereotyping or football. Then it’s probably been a bit dull.



2 comments on “The (World Cup) Final Countdown

  1. Anne Yates
    July 13, 2014

    Dan you do make me howl…. excellent write up!


  2. Pingback: Two Raging Semis. | The Bastard Lounge

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