The Stark Truth

Former Kitsap Sun sports editor Chuck Stark shares insight, laughter, news, views and analysis of Kitsap sports and beyond.
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World Cup predictions & some linkage

June 12th, 2014 by cstark

What do I know about soccer?

Not a lot, but the World Cup might be the greatest show on earth. I first paid attention to the World Cup in 2002 when South Korea and Japan hosted the event. The games were televised live and many of them were on in the wee hours of the morning.

A few of us got our World Cup on after work, which meant that the fun didn’t start until after midnight. We usually warmed up with a couple of sake bombers after heading to a colleague’s home to watch the action unfold.

No sake bombers this time, but I’ll be watching as much of the tournament as possible. Over the years I’ve become a fan of Cameroon. The Les Lions Indomptables ((The Indomitable Lions) have only make it out of the group stage once (1990), and they’re underdogs once again. The Les Lions Indomptables are in Group A, along with favorite and tournament host Brazil, Croatia and Mexico.

Because of my Yugoslavian heritage, I’m also a big fan of Croatia. I’m also pulling for Mexico, also known as the El Tri. Mexico might have more fans in the U.S. than the U.S. I’ve seen the passion of the Mexican people for their soccer team while vacationing in Cabo, sitting side-by-side with them while watching the El Tri advance to the second round in 2010. They were eliminated by Argentina that year.

So Group A is where my heart is, but Cameroon, Croatia and Mexico all can’t advance.  Who will join Brazil in the round of 16?   I think Mexico, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Croatia grabs the second spot. I’d prefer Cameroon, and it would be an improbable story if the Les Lions Indomptables survive.

The U.S.? I think the Americans will defy the odds. They will not only get out of a tough group (Germany, Portugal and Ghana are the opponents), but I’ve got the U.S. winning a Round of 16 match against Belgium before losing to Argentina in the quarterfinals.

My quarterfinal predictions: Brazil def. Colombia, Germany def. Bosni and Herzegovina,  Spain def. Italy and Argentina def. U.S.

Semis: Brazil def. Germany; Argentina def. Spain

Finals: Brazil def. Argentina

In the spirit of Lionel Messi and World Cup, I suggest you read this story and have some Dramamine available just in case.

Some links

Marshawn Lynch to skip Seahawks’ mini-camp because he wants a contract extension? That’s the word.

My weekly Thursday column was about Willie Bloomquist, the South Kitsap grad who played in his 1,000th career MLB game on Tuesday. Of those 1,000 games, he’s started 684 of them. The breakdown by position: 244 at shortstop, 224 in the outfield (94 in center, 67 in left, 63 in right), 100 at third base, 100 at second base and 16 at first base, including five this season.

Rick Reilly’s last column. If you’re going to read anything today, read this.

Larry Stone of the Seattle TImes wrote this tribute about Derek Jeter, whose farewell tour passed through Seattle this week.

Silverdale’s Katie Lee has qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links tournament, a championship that will be conducted at The Home Course in Dupont, Washington, in July. It’s the second straight year that Lee, the younger sister of UCLA and Curtis Cup golfer Erynne Lee, has qualified for the APL.

 

 

 

 

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