By Ray Downs
By Lindsay Toler
By Danny Wicentowski
By Lindsay Toler
By RFT Staff
By Lindsay Toler
By Allison Babka
By Lindsay Toler
Compounding matters is the fact that the Post has basically wall-to-wall television screens. Froeb described his plight thusly:
"With the two TVs right on top of each other, it was impossible not to glance up at the other game now and then and thus risk missing a goal, not to mention losing track of the flow of the game.
"In fact, I looked back from Netherlands-Cameroon at the exact moment when Keisuke Honda perfectly bent a free kick past the goalkeeper for Japan's first goal. This meant that the Danes would need two goals — no, wait! The Japanese just scored on another free kick!
"Oh, look. At some point the Dutch scored."
At halftime Froeb ate a basket of chicken wings and a plate of cheese fries and went into cardiac arrest.
Kidding. He lived but missed the goal Japan scored in the 80th minute to seal its 3-1 victory and advance to the round of sixteen.
The Marco Materazzi Cup for Insult That Might Cause a Player to Head Butt Someone
And the cup goes to... the word used to describe Cristiano Ronaldo at Coco Luoco Brasil and Guido's Pizzeria and Tapas
There's no denying that Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is a handsome man. It's the way he plays soccer that's so divisive.
Real Madrid's $131 million man scores goals, no doubt, but he also does more acting than Meryl Streep when he's on the pitch. While players like Lionel Messi and David Villa jump over or fight through slide tackles, the Portuguese pretty boy goes down at the first sign of danger. Sometimes there's no contact at all, and the slo-mo instant replays make it look as though he got taken out by a sniper.
It's the pansy playing style that turns off fans in the United States. Fans of Brazil and Spain recognize it, too, and they have a word for it.
Froeb described the scene at Coco Luoco Brasil in the Central West End during the 0-0 draw, writing, "Shouts in Portuguese sounded throughout the restaurant's bar area. I don't speak the language, but references to Portugal megastar Cristiano Ronaldo and the word 'puta' were clear enough."
The p-word was put to use again at Guido's during the Iberian showdown in the round of sixteen. But the most memorable line was, "At least his hair looks good!" when Ronaldo muffed an easy pass near the Spain goal.
The Goooooooooaaaaaaaaaallllllllllll!!! Cup for Best Scoring Celebration
And the cup goes to... the crowd at Meshuggah at the end of USA vs. Algeria
Here's the transcript of our running diary from what was (by far) the most exciting match of the tournament to date:
79:13: After a free kick and a corner, announcer says, "The U.S. deserves a goal...but they haven't got it." That about sums it up.
82:08: Altidore on the breakaway gets taken down hard. Yellow card on Algeria...free kick...Dempsey...crosses himself...and airmails it way over the goal. Ugh.
89:00: DaMarcus Beasley gets a yellow card after being knocked down in the box by an Algerian player. Someone at Meshuggah asks, "Is there any way the refs can be worse this game?"
91:00: GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!!! GOOOOOAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!!!!! GOOOAAALLLLL!!!!! Landon Donovan!
92:30: Holy crap. Nothing but screaming and high-fiving here.*
93:35: Chanting U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! after the Algerian player gets sent off for arguing with the ref.
94:00. Game over. The atmosphere is a blend of relief, shock and joy at Meshuggah. People hugging each other and high-fiving like crazy.
*Note: This probably describes the chaotically jubilant scene in just about every soccer bar in St. Louis at that point in time.
The Ferris Bueller Cup for Superior Dedication to Playing Hooky
And the cup goes to... the crowd at Barrister's during Netherlands vs. Brazil
A trio of young Netherlands natives named Thijs, Frances and Michel were decked out in Day-Glo orange as they sat at the bar at Barrister's in Clayton drinking bottles of Beck's and riding a roller coaster of emotions on the way to their team's quarterfinal upset of Brazil.
Michel, in particular, appeared to be on the verge of an ulcer, cardiac arrest or orgasm depending on the moment. When the ref blew the final whistle, setting his side's 2-1 victory in stone, Michel jumped up and down, pumped his fists and yelled "Revenge!" in reference to Brazil's knockout-round victories over the Dutch in 1994 and 1998.
In addition to the hardcore Holland trio, a crowd of Clayton's most soccer-crazed lawyers, bankers and businessmen somehow managed to sneak away from their desks to see the marquee matchup of the quarterfinals.
This included one gentleman wearing a tweed blazer and Coke-bottle glasses, who described how he walked out of a court case so that he could watch the match — even though he had no rooting or gambling interest.
"I just took the court docs and said, 'Here, you handle this,'" he explained. "I have to see this. I know I should be pulling for somebody to win, but with two great teams, as long as they're scoring, it'll be a great match."
The Winston Churchill Cup for Best Indignation at Germany