Brininho’s Den World Cup Thoughts: Final Edition

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Can’t believe it’s already been a month since the World Cup kicked off. We’ve come a long way since Russia decimated Saudi Arabia on opening night, and I think we’re all better people for it. My beloved France (as I said in my All-Hair Team, I took French from 4th grade to my senior year of high school, so if anyone’s allowed to jump on the bandwagon, it’s me) lifted the famous old trophy as World Cup Champions Champions du Monde. Thrilling final for a thrilling World Cup, and it’s only gotten me more hyped up for the 2022 World Cup, which will inevitably boil down to a USA vs. Ireland final. But before we look too far ahead, let’s take one last look back at the World Cup that was.

  • I feel very vindicated as a longtime Paul Pogba stan. I realize I haven’t discussed a ton of footy on here (will try to get more up as the Premier League season approaches), but Pogba is one of my favorite players to watch. He’s so goddamn cool and smooth and talented, and managers simply cannot figure out how to use him right. Jose Mourinho tries to fit a singular talent into his no-frills, no-fun strategy, Didier Deschamps tells him he’ll be spending most of the game as a glorified David Luiz. Just put him out there and let him do whatever he wants. He’s someone who can completely dominate games if you let him, and I just hope someone does soon.
  • If I could be anywhere in the world at any point in history, I think I’d choose to be at whatever fast food joint Harry Maguire and Harry Kane went to after losing to Croatia. I’d partake as well, sure, but I’d just want to observe. I know for a fact they each spent at least $25, which is at least $60 in regular, non-fast food money.
  • People forget Harry Kane is a huge Pats fan, which means not only is he smarter than he looks, but I am proud to call him my Golden Boot winner. His one open play goal came on a bizarre deflection off his heel, a perfect representation of not only the Harry Kane experience as a whole, but this World Cup in general.
  • Congrats on the Golden Generation on achieving what no Golden Generation has done before- winning the World Cup third place game. I can’t imagine how good it feels to prove all the pundits right when they called Belgium the future of the sport.
  • Congrats on the other Golden Generation at this World Cup for achieving what no Golden Generation has done before- getting blown out in the final. People forget Croatia had a Golden Generation, too, and their’s actually has some mental toughness. Just ran out of gas against better competition.
  • Have to address it: the Putin umbrella picture-Listen, Putin’s a scumbag but if you don’t at least respect this then you’ve never been caught in a rainstorm. If you rule your country with an iron fist, you’d better have an umbrella guy if you want to be taken seriously on the world stage.
  • That being said, and not to get too political here, but I’m starting to doubt Putin’s toughness a little bit. You let Pussy Riot dunk on you in public again? Dude, just have them all killed, what are you doing? Unless you want to tell me Pussy Riot is actually run by the state to try and convince the world there’s some political resistance to Putin’s reign, I can’t think of a reason why they’re still alive. If you’re the president of Russia there are literally no laws. You can do whatever you want. Pussy Riot’s been making you look like an idiot for like six years now and they’re still alive? Couldn’t be my dictator, I’ll tell you that much.
  • Luka Modric wins Golden Ball as the best player, which I have no issue with, but Eden Hazard and Antoine Griezmann winning Silver and Bronze Ball, respectively, is incorrect. It should have been Modric Gold, N’Golo Kanté Silver, and either Paul Pogba or Kevin De Bruyne Bronze.
  • The haters will say Kanté had a bad final, and he did. But (putting on my snarky internet guy hat) if you actually watched France play you know he was their best player all tournament. They pretty much built their entire strategy around him and his unique skills. If Les Bleus was a sports car, he’s the engine and the driver.
  • Big tournament for dads everywhere, as defense claims their first major championship in many, many years.
  • Getting your silver medal in the pouring rain seems like the worst thing of all time.
  • R.I.P. to one of my favorite things to do- reminding all the n00bs that wonder how much Mbappé will be sold for that he’s already the second most expensive player of all time and PSG would be idiotic (i.e., forced by UEFA) to sell him now.
  • The Official Brininho’s Den Team of the Tournament- GK- Thibaut Courtois, Belgium, Defense- Thomas Meunier, Belgium, Raphael Varane, France, Domagoj Vida, Croatia, Benjamin Pavard, France, Midfield- Luka Modric, Croatia, N’Golo Kanté, France, Paul Pogba, France, Forwards- Kylian Mbappé, France, Harry Kane, England, Neymar, Jr., Brazil
  • Remember when Robbie Williams performed at the opening ceremony? So weird thinking back on that.
  • Best goal of the tournament:
  • I hope all the journalists who had been detained for suspicion of possibly complaining about the Russian conditions are released safely, but i wouldn’t count on it. Safer to just keep in the the gulag where they can’t squeal.
  • Once more, for old time’s sake
  • I didn’t think I would ever see a beatdown quite like the national anthem battle between France and Belgium, but I guess I underestimated the badness of Croatia’s national anthem. Listen to this:
  • Now listen to this:
  • Honestly amazed they even played the game after that bloodbath.
  • While it was nice being able to just enjoy what was easily the most entertaining World Cup since 2014 without having to worry about America’s shortcomings, I’m just itching to see the boys get back out there and start disappointing again. 2022’s gonna be amazing, particularly since they’re going to 48 teams. It’ll be impossible to miss it, now!

That’ll do it for the 2018 World Cup. It was a wild ride, and I won’t be forgetting it for a long, long time. For anyone who was neutral that got hooked on soccer, congratulations. For anyone who was a hater but is warming up to the beautiful game, we’ll be here waiting for you to see the light. And for those of you who might actually care about soccer for more than a month at a time now, welcome to the good side. Club seasons start in less than a month, with Champions League not far behind. Need a team? Fret not, fair reader, for I’ll have you covered in due time. For now, just enjoy the afterglow of a wonderful international tournament as you prepare for the club experience, where’s there’s more goals and better fútbol. It’s great, trust me. Go Crystal Palace.

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Brininho’s Den World Cup Thoughts, Business End Edition

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We’re officially in the nitty-gritty of the 2018 World Cup. The cheese is getting a little more binding with each passing moment, and the mere contenders are being separated from the potential champions. You’ll never believe this, but Brazil is looking like the team to beat. When are we going to get the takes that Brazil ruined fútbol by having too many good players? Or is that strictly an NBA complaint? Probably just NBA. Anyway, one team has already secured its place in the semis, and the other three spots will be filled by the end of the day tomorrow. Only a few more games of Cup action left, so make sure to cherish them. World Cup 2022 might never even happen.

  • I think it’s finally time I weigh in on the take that was sweeping the web during the group stage- if you legitimately think watching games on Telemundo is the superior viewing experience I hate you. It’s such a try-hard, “Look at me I just started watching soccer yesterday so I think it’s cool when people go crazy in other languages” move. It’d be like writing a series of blogs about the World Cup despite having inconsistent (at best) soccer coverage during the rest of the year. Saying Telemundo is better is the biggest soccer-noob move out there. Be better.
  • Such a bummer we didn’t get the GOAT-off. Especially after Uruguay pooped themselves against France. If David Stern is really bored in retirement, I’ve got an idea for his next project.
  • After much deliberation, I have decided that, if I ever pull the trigger, the one jersey I’ll buy from this World Cup will be the France white:It’s just so clean, plus the red and blue heather-effect? And the rooster logo? I put that on and I’ll be looking like Oliver Giroud in no time.
  • Japan with one of the worst losses of all time. Just brutal, but at the same time the most predictable outcome of all time. Tough to be the first team Belgium doesn’t fold against when they’re faced with the slightest hint of adversity. Japan is always a sentimental favorite of mine (I think I’ve spoken enough about the various Japanese things I love for that to be apparent), so that was a tough final 30 minutes to watch. I refuse to make the lazy seppuku joke, but you can if you want to.
  • Speaking of Japan, they went semi-viral for leaving the locker room spotless after their loss. Everyone raced to pat them on the back for being classy and respectful, and while I’m sure that’s true, I think they were cleaning out of shock. Sometimes something so crazy happens to you that your brain shuts off and you just start acting out of instinct. I think this loss was so bad every Japanese player decided to clean the locker room because it would give them an escape from the harsh reality that they choked big time.
  • When Xherdan Shaqiri can’t lead you to the quarterfinals against the surprise team of the tournament (R.I.P Xherdan Shaqiri hobbit jokes):
  • England vs. Colombia was amazing because it literally felt like every single player was trying to get ejected. It’s rare to see that type of mutual hatred these days. My favorite part was when it was clear American referee Mark Geiger had no control of the game so a Colombian player would kick the shit out of an England player and act like he was on the Kings during the 2002 Western Conference Finals when he got called for a foul. Love a good ref feud.
  • If Brazil vs. Belgium isn’t the greatest game of all time I might retire from the Internet (not really).
  • If France vs. Brazil/Belgium isn’t the greatest game of all time I might retire from the Internet (not really).
  • If Russia vs. Croatia isn’t the greatest- actually, yeah, never mind on that one.
  • No one’s that surprised that Russia’s benefiting from some favorable whistles, right? Like what ref has the balls to call a penalty against Russia in Russia with five minutes left in extra time? I know I wouldn’t. Russia is also clearly doping/bribing/cheating in some way but I think I love it. Soccer needs a villain and Russia winning the World Cup would be high comedy.
  • Over/under on Neymar rolls for the rest of the tournament has been set at 42.5.
  • Talk about a rollercoaster ride for goalkeepers. For every Kasper Schmeichel miracle save there’s a David de Gea or Fernando Muslera brain fart. Don’t know why anyone would choose to be a goalie.
  • Massive moment- the All Hair Team has officially named its captain:Stunning. Majestic. Pure beauty. Kasper.
  • The Milkshake Duck effect has ruined World Cup superfans. No longer do we get to find a random person the cameras picked up in the group stage, learn all their quirks and charming devotion, and slowly fall in and out of love with them as we discover their terrible Soundcloud and old pictures of them at Nazi rallies. I want my broadcast producers to be less woke.
  • Gabriel Jesus is allergic to scoring goals. He flat out refuses to do it. An interesting strategy for striker, to be sure.
  • Where does Kevin De Bruyne rank among all-time ginger athletes? He has to be above Andy Dalton.
  • Don’t get why anyone would choose to have a short goalkeeper. I get the quickness aspect, but I feel like height and length is such an inherent advantage at that position.
  • Romelu Lukaku not being the best player in the Premier League makes absolutely no sense to be. Guy’s literally got everything.
  • If you still dislike soccer after this World Cup (not saying a die hard fan, just able to say soccer can be fun), you’re just a blind h8r, and hate looks ugly on everyone.

Brininho’s Den World Cup Thoughts, Round of 16 Edition

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After a truly thrilling couple weeks, we’re done with the group stage of the 2018 World Cup. There were tears, death-defying injury recoveries, ecstasy (perhaps emotional and pharmaceutical, if you catch my drift), and plenty of drama. So much drama, in fact, that I am suffering severe withdrawals from a lack of Cup matches today. Who needs days off? Just power through this thing. Survival of the fittest, and what have you. Surely the Russian government will be more than willing to give up some of its ultra-steroids to keep everyone fit. Anyway, the knockout stages will either continue the excitement or be a dull return to reality. Hard hitting analysis, I know, but it’s true. As we say goodbye to the haters and losers that failed to advance, let’s remember all the good times we had in the group stage and look forward to the teams who are actually good trying to beat each other.

  • I would like to formally petition the English FA and the whatever Belgium’s sports governing body is to refund me for the two hours of my life wasted on watch their “game.” That is why most (stupid) Americans can’t get into soccer.
  • Somehow, either Sweden or Switzerland is guaranteed a quarterfinal spot, and, should England defeat Colombia, could easily make the semifinal. This is an unexpected development and I’m shocked the ghost of Sepp Blatter allowed it to happen.
  • Wait, so it turns out Russia only looks good against the worst teams in the tournament? And that they fold against legitimate competition? Huh???????
  • While I’m not weeping at Germany’s cowardly elimination, I must say it would have been very funny if Mexico had won its first two games and then didn’t advance because they got TROUNCED by a mediocre Sweden team. Whatever, give me more Landon Donovan takes.
  • I honestly don’t know what to make of France. At no point have they looked anything other than total shit, yet I’d be terrified to pick against them. Talent typically finds a way to win in international competitions, so count them out at your own peril.
  • It’s officially #GOATszn, and there’s a universe where both Portugal and Argentina pull off upsets to set up the ultimate GOAT-off in the quarterfinals. I neeeeeeeeed this. I need this more than air to breathe. I just want to say I was alive during what would undoubtedly be the most absurd day in Twitter history. Give me CR7 vs. Messi or give me death.
  • Before we go any further, I’d like to take the time to remember everything we lost during the group stage. Scroll slowly for full effect.

 

 

RIP Hair

  • Quick Golden Boot check- Harry Kane 5, Romelu Lukaku and Cristiano Ronaldo 4, Diego Costa and Denis Cheryshev with 3, many others with 2, Messi with 1. I think Lukaku has the best shot of playing the longest, so logic would favor him. My pre-tournament picks of Timo Werner, Olivier Giroud, Thomas Muller, Robert Lewandowski, and Neymar have combined for 1. Nice.
  • Surprisingly little in the way of negative press about the host country, unlike the last major international sporting event that took place in Russia. I’m guessing it’s because no one complains about trivial things quite like American journalists and America, you know, didn’t make it. Also Putin has probably strong-armed the world media into only saying good things.
  • When Xherdan Shaqiri drags you into the knockout round and you get to face the weakest non-Russia opponentgiphy1
  • OFFICIAL PREDICTIONS FOR EACH GAME:
  • Uruguay-Portugal= Portugal
  • France-Argentina= Argentina (or France if Uruguay wins and takes all the fun out of it)
  • Brazil-Mexico= Brazil
  • Belgium-Japan= Belgium
  • Spain-Russia= Spain
  • Croatia-Denmark= Croatia
  • Sweden-Switzerland= Switzerland
  • Colombia-England= England
  • I retract my former statement about the lack of bad Russia stories, because apparently Marcelo’s injury was caused by his hotel mattress. For shame.
  • Stinks that there’s some big injuries to key players. Marcelo’s back, James Rodriguez’s calf, Neymar’s death, resurrection, death, resurrection, death, and resurrection have really put an asterisk on this tournament.
  • There must be more than one Neymar, because he’s died on the field at least ten times. I mean, some of the hits this guy takes. How can anyone be expected to get back up? But then, before you know it, another Neymar is out there wearing number 10 to take the deceased one’s place. Some crazy science/magic going on here.

Think that does it for this round. I’m practically twitching with anticipation for these knockout games, where Lionel Messi will, without a doubt, score at least four goals every game. It’s his destiny. Just like it’s my destiny to be correct in all matters of football, whether foreign or domestic.

Brininho’s Den World Cup Thoughts pt. 2

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The World Cup is trudging on, and the Round of 16 picture is becoming clearer. Many of the favorites have already clinched, some teams that faced scares are fighting back while others (Argentina) are wilting. The race for the Golden Boot is heating up and could (I repeat, could) theoretically be contested all the way to the Final. Anyway, here’s another round of Cup Thoughts.

  • Can we just take a second to appreciate the fact that we’re currently living at the same time as the two undisputed (to anyone who isn’t Pele) G.O.A.T.s? Think about how preposterous that is. It’s one thing for it to happen in American-centric sports like football or basketball. But for the two best players in futbol history to enter their primes at the exact same time is amazing. And I know in the age of Twitter and takes you can’t like both, but I’m going to take a stand and say that I love both Ronaldo and Messi with all my heart. Yes, I am #TeamMessi, and yes, it’s a rough patch right now, but how people limit their enjoyment of these two wonderfully skilled and unique players just because they’ve decided to make their Twitter background a picture of one of them is baffling to me. It’s not a perfect comparison, but imagine not allowing yourself to like Steph Curry just because you love LeBron. Why would you do that to yourself? Ronaldo is the ultimate physical marvel- speed, power, athleticism combined with an obsessive drive to improve his already flawless technique. Messi is a wizard who controls the ball through telekinesis and never looks like he’s breaking a sweat. Ronaldo fanboys are certainly the more vocal of the two factions, but why would you rob yourself of the pleasure of enjoying both of them? Makes no sense.
  • That being said, it’s not fair that Cristiano can just start experimenting with typically terrible looks and pull them off perfectly
  • Speaking of new facial hair, I’m kind of feeling Luis Suarez’s bearded swole/thicc look he’s got going on.
  • I’m so happy Nigeria beat Iceland and kept Argentina alive, if only because the takes that would have come out of an inevitable Messi hat-trick after being eliminated would have increased the Greenhouse Effect by at least 75%.
  • The font Adidas is using on their player names STINKS. Like, who approved this?That says Brandt, if you can’t tell. The letters all look the same, the 1s are the same as 7s, it’s just a mess. And most of the actual jerseys are good, too. Just ruined by a stupid font.
  • I’m writing this in the midst of Spain vs. Morocco which may render this moot, but I need some more red cards in my life. Everything has been too nice. Back in my day, the players weren’t all buddy-buddy and actually competed with each other and fouls were allowed and players didn’t take all these 3 pointers and- whoops, sorry. Slipped into my “old basketball guy” schtick again. I confess that my otherwise extensive footy knowledge doesn’t include what old, bitter players and fans say about today’s generation of players (has to be some variation of soft and pampered), but I would like to see more players lose their heads. Handballs don’t count.
  • Piggybacking off that, I have officially put all my life savings on “Neymar to get himself ejected the first time someone touches him because he feels like throwing a temper tantrum” at -200
  • R.I.P. Mo Salah
  • Harry Kane should not be a high level professional athlete. He’s got 99% dock worker DNA but somehow wound up with the gene that produces world-class strikers. Why couldn’t that have been me?
  • Now that Russia played a good team and lost, France has to be the worst-looking team that’s won both games. Do they know the World Cup started already?
  • Meanwhile, Peru goes balls-to-the-wall for 180 minutes, has the worst luck ever, and is already out. Sports are cruel.
  • It’s not exclusive to soccer, but I love when players crowd the ref and start yelling at him after he makes a call they don’t like as if that will change anything. One day he’ll change the call, guys, keep trying!
  • Ronaldo just missed a penalty so, buy law, Messi is the G.O.A.T. again.
  • Exciting win for Germany and they’ll obviously wind up advancing, but this team has Quarterfinal exit written all over it.
  • It’s funny how, considering the likely bracket, Belgium and England would choke by winning their matchup, as opposed to their preferred methods of choking, losing to inferior opponents/losing in penalties. Sometimes you just can’t have it your way.
  • Folks, I can’t understand it, but some players are still flopping. I’m just as surprised as all of you.
  • When Xherdan Shaqiri scores a last second goal that likely clinches your spot in the Round of 16.
  • I’m surprised Ronaldo was able to score a goal when this man was patrolling the opposite sideline.Guess he just needed to establish his dominance. Although I’m not sure the perfectly maintained Cristiano Ronaldo can compete with Hervé Renard’s rugged handsomeness. He looks like he could give a dissertation on regional wine varieties while simultaneously captaining a sailboat while somehow also tilling the land on his olive farm. I’d ask what cologne he uses but I know his own natural musk is aphrodisiac enough.
  • I know this is Ronaldo heavy but I can’t help it. He’s lucky (i.e., FIFA just pulled a Stern to make sure he didn’t get suspended) he didn’t get a red for his high elbow.
  • I said I liked VAR but I think I might be out. It’s good that it happens so short, but if you never use it or just ignore blatant errors without going back to fix them what’s the point?
  • I’m out on Spain. They seem so mentally fragile. When Diego Costa is holding your team together with a cool head that’s a bad sign.
  • I would never paint my face to go to a game if I wasn’t 10000000000% I was going to like the outcome. Can’t be caught being sad face paint guy.

Think that’s all I have for now. This World Cup has been pretty darn good so far, and should only get better. Here’s hoping for another three weeks of greatness.

2018 World Cup Preview

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Rejoice, people of Earth, for it is finally time to kick off the World Cup, AKA the couple weeks every four years you pretend to care about soccer. Well, unlike you posers, I care about soccer 24/7/365, so if you were waiting for me to give you all the information you need to know to sound smart while watching, you’re in luck. I’ve ran the numbers, done my simulations, and have determined with 100% certainty that this year’s champion will be named somewhere in this post. It’s up to you to find it. You may be wondering why I didn’t release this yesterday before the tournament actually kicked off, but, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m very lazy, and, I assure you, Russia vs. Saudi Arabia will have no lasting impact on this World Cup whatsoever. Anyway, on to the good stuff.

Oh, right. USA. We’re not in it. But, we improbably got awarded the 2026 World Cup (it tells you everything you need to know about FIFA and international sports governing bodies as a whole that a combined USA-Canada-Mexico bid-a bid that in centered around the fact that there are ALREADY SOCCER STADIUMS BUILT- is less likely to happen than Morocco, where they’d have to use slave labor very expendable day laborers to build multiple stadiums in a short period of time, only for those stadiums to be completely abandoned once the tournament is over. Got to love bribery), so who’s really winning? I’ll let you decide for yourself. Also, European giants Italy and the Netherlands also missed out, so even though our qualifying region is infinitely easier, at least we can point and laugh at countries where fútbol is all they have. Italy being out is a big win for anyone who hates the “well USA stinks so I’ll just root for my ancestors’ team” crowd (no, Ireland didn’t make it, either, why do you ask?), and it may even reduce the amount of roid-fueled violence at bars and watch parties without the possibility of an Azzurri loss.

Who’s Good

  • Germany- Everyone on their team was genetically engineered to be dominant at one specific aspect of the sport
  • Brazil- Haven’t been the same since leaving Hulk out of the team, but they’re still stacked as hell
  • France- Some serious 2004 Lakers potential here
  • I bet if you’re reading this I could tell you just about anyone and you’d believe me. I could say Tunisia is the team no one wants to play and you’d pocket that nugget and throw it out to your friends right before they lose 4-0 to Belgium
  • Tunisia- The team no one wants to play

Players to Watch

  • Lionel Messi, Argentina- The fact that Argentines hate him while our national soccer savior is Freddy Adu is sickening
  • Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal- A young upstart looking to make his mark on the world
  • Mo Salah, Egypt- Is Egyptian Messi healthy? It’s what the people are asking
  • Robert Lewandowski, Poland- Poland could make some proverbial noise if he shows up. Only problem is he usually doesn’t for big tournaments
  • Paul Pogba, France- If he’s good every game France wins it all. Book it

Random Players You Can Sound Smart if You Know

  • Hakim Ziyech, Morroco
  • Sergej Milinković-Savić, Serbia

  • Timo Werner, Germany
  • Hirving Lozano, Mexico
  • Christian Cueva, Peru

Trendy Darkhorses

  • Peru
  • Nigeria
  • Morocco
  • Croatia
  • Colombia

Players Most Likely to be Sent to Siberia

  • Everyone on Russia
  • Everyone on Russia’s families
  • Everyone on Russia’s friends
  • Local officials from everyone on Russia’s hometowns
  • 1980 Soviet hockey team for good measure

Best Things About This World Cup

  • Early games- primetime games are so overrated
  • VAR- Replay hate has picked up steam lately (mostly because the NFL is inept), but count me among the radical thinkers who think human error shouldn’t decide major international tournaments
  • You can rest easy knowing the Russian government will use the revenue from this event for the good of their people
  • Impossible to get mad at USA for not beating superior teams if they don’t make it in the first place
  • Flaming hot anthem

Worst Things About This World Cup

  • Say what you will about ESPN, but their international soccer coverage is far superior to Fox’s. They always bring the heat with graphics and video packages. So, despite being helmed by living legend Rob Stone, I’m out on Fox soccer coverage
  • Impossible to get excited about a USA World Cup run if they aren’t there
  • It’s in Russia
  • International soccer is becoming more and more defensive and conservative as club teams assert greater control over players and training time
  • The same group of three commercials that plays on an endless loop

Best Jerseys

  • Nigeria

  • Croatia

  • Brazil

  • Belgium

  • Japan

  • Colombia

Best Snacks to Eat During World Cup 2018

  • I’m on a big Pringles kick lately, don’t know if it’ll last the entire World Cup
  • Borscht
  • Your daily ration of Siberian gruel
  • Caviar
  • Cheez-Its

Who Will Advance From Each Group

  • Group A- Uruguay, Russia
  • Group B- Spain, Morocco
  • Group C- France, Peru
  • Group D- Croatia, Argentina
  • Group E- Brazil, Serbia
  • Group F- Germany, Mexico
  • Group G- Belgium, England
  • Group H- Colombia, Poland

Most Likely to Win Golden Boot

  • Thomas Mueller, Germany
  • Timo Werner, Germany
  • Neymar, Jr., Brazil
  • Robert Lewandowski, Poland
  • (Wild Card) Olivier Giroud, France

Who’s Winning

  • The moment you’ve all been waiting for. The winner of the 2018 World Cup will be………

Brazil

Viva joga bonito

Who’s Ready for the Olympics?

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Welcome to Olympics SZN, folks. I, for one, am itching to watch the first huge sporting event of 2018. I still can’t believe they cancelled this year’s Super Bowl. Crazy. Truth be told, my hype level is pretty meh for these Olympics. I’m pumped to spend all day watching cross-country skiing and learning cool facts about Good Korea, but I just find myself caring less than I usually do. Maybe it has something to do with the NHL not letting their players participate (if you ever need a great business model, all you have to do is look up every single major decision the NHL has ever made and do the exact opposite). Maybe it’s because there’s no Russia. The Olympics need a villain to really work. What, I’m supposed to get pumped up when an American beats someone from North Korea who probably hasn’t eaten in four days? Doesn’t get the blood flowing as much. And I realize that we’re the villain for the rest of the world, but the American perspective is really the only thing that matters. I wouldn’t be opposed to Russia being let back in just this one time.

A lot of people hate on the Winter Olympics, but that just shows how uncultured they are. As previously established, snow is my natural habitat, so any time winter activities get their shine I’m in. Plus, the Winter Olympics is the ultimate collection of events that are really cool for about ten minutes until you’ve had enough and big time, world-stopping events like figure skating and mogul skiing. Asian countries are also great at hosting world-wide events, so there’s always the chance we won’t have to hear about how many slave laborers died trying to build the venues on time. It should be a great time. Now, with so many events and so many storylines, things can get a little overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Luckily enough, I’ve scoped out all the details you need to stay up-to-date with all the tape-delayed action. So, without further ado, the Official Brian’s Den Winter Olympics Preview 2018:

Wait, press play first

Best Events

  • Cross-country skiing– Many people will say watching cross-country skiing on TV sucks. Fake news. CCS is arguably the greatest and most perfect Olympic sport to watch on television. It’s the ultimate background noise if you’re attempting to be productive while also watching TV (who would ever do that? Yikes) and is so boring that it’s impossible to look away. Try not to get emotionally invested in a CCS race after watching more than five minutes, it’s impossible. And there’s always some Norwegian guy in the middle of a huge dynasty, too.
  • Biathlon– Take everything I just said then add guns.
  • Short-track speed skating– Always felt like this would be the coolest to do if you didn’t want to be a skier/snowboarder bro.
  • Ice dancing– It’s just figure skating, but without the fun or personality!
  • Curling– Curling has somehow become the cliché event to ironically say you like (if you ever have the chance to never use the Internet again, take it and never look back), but I actually do enjoy watching people throw some stones.

Olympians to Watch

  • Chloe Kim– When I first heard about this snowboarding prodigy like, last week, I tried really hard not to Google her because I was afraid of what I would see, but I wasn’t strong enough and my fears were confirmed. She was born in 2000 and I feel like such a lazy piece of shit.
  • Iceman– He can control ice which would seem like pretty unfair advantage in the Winter Olympics but when has the IOC not been on the straight and narrow?
  • Nathan Chen– His hair may be his greatest weapon in the male figure skating competition.
  • Johannes Høsflot Klæbo– He’s a Norwegian cross-country skier who also has a vlogging channel on YouTube, so you know he’s someone who you’d really want to hang out with all the time.
  • Iceman– The shock addition of stunt plane piloting to this year’s Games opens up the door for him to win gold.

Fun South Korea Facts

  • The hugely popular music genre known as Korean pop, or “K-Pop” as the kids say, actually originated in South Korea.
  • Haesindang Park in Sinnam is known as Penis Park because it has a bunch of penis statues.
  • Korean babies are considered one year old at birth.
  • They have the fastest Internet in the world but everyone is really stingy with their WiFi password so I can’t use it.
  • Koreans treat their e-Sports “athletes” like rock stars and shower them with fortune and fame, but I’m a nerd loser because I like to play PS4. Very unfair!

Best Korean Food

  • Kimchi– Legend has it Koreans serve kimchi with every meal, which means the salty, fermented veggies must go great with ice cream!
  • Bulgogi– Korean BBQ is *insert chef kissing fingers gif*
  • Bibimbap– Can’t say I’ve ever had it but it’s a funny name.
  • McDonald’s– Korean McDonald’s have delivered for years and we’re just starting to do it. Tells you all you need to know about the sad state of affairs in the USA.
  • Jjajangmyeon– Could have sworn jjajangmyeon was Italian.

Best Korean Companies

  • Samsung– Pretty sure if you’re caught using a non-Samsung electronic device you get sent to North Korea.
  • Hyundai– Hyundai is actually an official sponsor of the NFL, so it’s their fault the Super Bowl was cancelled this year.
  • LG– I bought an LG TV my sophomore year of college and it still works now so, yeah.
  • SK Group– This sounds like a fake company made up to spoof real corporations.
  • Kia– R.I.P. Blake Griffin Kia commercials.

Best Winter Activities

  • Staying inside all day– Really the only one you need.
  • Skiing– I wonder if skiing is the whitest activity ever invented. Still fun, though.
  • Eating a ton of comfort food since you have to wear a heavy jacket whenever you go outside, so who can really tell?– Is this just me?
  • Getting someone else to shovel snow– This might be my primary motivation for wanting a son at some point.
  • Complaining about how poorly everyone else drives in the snow– God, it’s like these people forget they live in New England or something! How are they not used to this?

Worst Events

  • Luge– Luge is cool until you find out skeleton exists and then all of the danger and intrigue goes away.
  • Hockey– Again, why did the NHL pull NHL players? Do they dislike exposure and money?
  • Figure Skating– I think we all have a moral obligation to boycott figure skating with the Tonya Harding incident so fresh in our minds.
  • Freestyle Skiing– Just pick up a board, brah.
  • Anything USA doesn’t win– It’s not even a real sport, anyway. If he wanted to LeBron could be the best in the world in like, three weeks.

Best thing about huge International events that take place on the other side of the world so they’re put on tape-delay even though it’s 2018 and everyone knows the results the second they happen anyway so what’s the point of even watching?

  • Nothing

I think that’s all you need to know about this year’s Olympics. Make sure you don’t get Pyeongchang mixed up with Pyongyang- I’ve heard they don’t appreciate it when you do. Gonna be some great Mike Tirico behind-the-desk action in primetime, and I can’t wait for the awkward “Cris Collinsworth sent to the streets of South Korea for some reason” pieces that will surely captivate the audience. But, it’s impossible to deny the sheer spectacle of the Olympics and the drama they manufacture create through organic competition. Now someone get me a cross-country skiing feed!

England’s Smallest Castle is up for Sale

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source– HERE’s a great chance to make your home an actual castle – for a mere £550,000.

This Grade II listed building appears to be the UK’s smallest castle, with just a single bedroom.

Molly’s Lodge once served as a gatehouse to the Weston Park Estate in Warwickshire.

It now sits surrounded by trees in on a 0.61 acre site near the village of Long Compton.

The pyramidal roof, mullion windows and limestone turrets certainly give it a strong, if squashed, appearance.

But though you might imagine a long history of defending the landscape, in fact the mini fort was constructed in the 1830s by Edward Blore.

The famous British architect also restored Lambeth Palace and completed the enlargement of Buckingham Palace for Queen Victoria.

At first glance, this place seems like the ideal place for the first International Brian’s Den. The quaint small-scale architecture. The charming, expansive garden. The tranquil lake, perfect to have my afternoon tea and crumpets next to. It looks like a nurturing environment for the type of strong takes the Brian’s Den is known for. But I’m a little hesitant to commit to this, though. Before I fork over 550,000 of my hard earned quid, I’ll need a full, comprehensive tour, because, as everyone knows, a castle is only as good as its secrets.

The first question I would have is is it haunted? Do the restless spirits of all those who were held in its hellish dungeon and executed in the courtyard roam the halls, harassing and attacking anyone unfortunate enough to step inside? Do specters of the fallen soldiers who lost their lives in the numerous battles for control over this all-important piece of land guard the gates, stinking down any unwanted visitor? Do the suits of armor that line the corridors have minds of their own? Is there a dangerous creature, created either by curse or experiment gone wrong, who now has free reign of the grounds, ever searching for its next meal? If yes, I’m out. And not for the reason you think. I could handle some ghosts. Once you live there for a while and establish you want the best for the castle, the phantoms will leave you alone. They may even come to respect you. They’ll fight you a little on the upkeep, since no self-respecting ghost will allow their castle grounds to look clean and healthy, but they might relent eventually. It’s mostly for the lack of privacy. Nothing draws curiosity like a haunted castle. Every night you’d have to deal with stupid kids looking for thrills. Every night you’d have to deal with lost travelers, since the only places they’ll ever stop are haunted castles, not the town a mile down the road. You’d have to deal with news crews looking for a story, authors looking to write a book, actors researching for a role, it’d be never ending. It’d be impossible to have a moment’s peace. How could I be expected to accurately predict the entirety of the NFL season and give in-depth movie reviews if I have to clean up a new pile of dead bodies every day? No thanks. If it’s haunted, someone else can have it.

The second most important thing is the basement. The gallery doesn’t show one, but I know it’s there. And I’m not talking about the basement that holds all the extra stuff or the wine cellar. I’m talking about the secret basement. The one that has a laboratory and magical knick knacks. Does this castle come with a live-in wizard? Will he take requests or just do whatever he wants? Or, even better, does it have the tools for me to become a wizard? Does the library have the forbidden tomes I need to master the dark arts? Does the lab have the right equipment for the various alchemical experiments I’m going to do? Will I have have access to all the various stones, bones, relics, and other sacred/accursed artifacts I need to make contact with other planes of existence? There’s no tower, so will I have a way to use lighting to power some of my bigger experiments? And are there any rival wizards close by? It’s a highly competitive community and I don’t want to get blindsided when some old warlock down the street comes in and trashed my lab out of jealousy.

Thirdly, what kind of defenses does this place have? There’s not really a moat or any kind of wall. Are there some trebuchets and ballistas in the shed? What about cauldrons so I can pour molten hot liquid on attackers? Are the doors strong enough to withstand a battering ram? Will I have some kind of militia? Does it even have an armory? Judging by the pictures, the odds of that don’t look so great. In fact, it doesn’t even look like it would come with a sharp set of knives or gardening tools. So if, for some reason, this castle doesn’t have some type of magical lair and, since in this scenario I’m the owner so we know it isn’t haunted, no supernatural forces are on my side, how am I supposed to ward off invaders? Is this castle built to survive a siege attempt? How much punishment can these walls take before they come crashing down? Not to sound ignorant about an area of land I may soon own, but what kind of landscape am I dealing with? Do I have any natural advantages or is it at the bottom of a valley with no access to anything? Is there even a throne room where I can make my final stand? If not, this castle might be next to useless. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to pass on this. The search goes on for the first expansion opportunity.