i am whaleman: totally pumped for the world cup

That’s right, people!  It’s World Cup time!  Time for all you football and hockey fans to appreciate an unboring sport for once!  Now, by the time you read this, the games most likely will have already begun.  Now, if you live in the same time zone as yer old buddy iamwhaleman, that means games start soooooper early in the morning…like, 4:30 in the morning on days when there are early games in South Africa.  On the plus side, however, that means that if yer old pal iamwhaleman decides to get up and go watch the game somewhere, it’ll only be like 80 degrees here in the PHX.  So that’s cool.

I’ve been adding to this post all week as I find cooler and cooler World Cup stuff to share witchall…so let’s dance, people!  It’s World Cup time!

Check out this super-cool World Cup calendar tingy.  It’s pretty damn sweet, design-wise, although I think the matches for the first day (June 11) should appear in the 2nd and 3rd columns, as they take place in the 2nd and 3rd time slots for the day.  Otherwise, no quibbles.  Here it is:

ESPN has a pretty sweet set of poster-type deals they had designed for each country that can be seen here.  To pique your interest, here is the All-Nations one:

The individual country ones are pretty cool too (although some of them are kinda weird…Australia, for example).

Alright, so we all know that some of the highlights of the World Cup come from advertisements…like this stuff that Umbro did in England.  Apparently they have some sort of “Tailored in England” campaign going on around the WC, so they went to each England player’s hometown and painted a wall somewhere in that town with a white (or green) background and a red (or white) jersey number with a “Tailored in [Town Name]” script on the bottom.  They’re super-cool…here’s the collection of them from The Guardian:

Really nifty concept, I think, and really well executed.  I love that they didn’t just throw up a billboard in each of those towns; they found a unique place to paint that makes for a diverse and unique campaign.  This one is my favorite:

Bitchin’.  I also like that The Guardian made the filename for that picture a-big-red-number-on-a-wall.  Good stuff, the British.

But enough with the still pictures already…let’s get to some film action!

I dig this ad from ESPN…sums up the whole “one-world” aspect of the World Cup.  Call me sentimental…or a big wuss, but I like it:

And there’s more ESPN where that came from.  Seriously, ESPN has done such a good job with the pre-World Cup business, I may stop hating them…at least for a couple weeks.  No wait–I just watched a couple of hours (no really, I did) of their WC preview show, which featured some good analysis from Alexi Lalas and a coupla furreners, but had way too much Mike Tirico and Bob Ley doing a wholesale ripoff of NBC’s Olympic coverage.  I mean, they weren’t sitting in front of a fireplace…but this might’ve been worse.  Their set was absolutely awful.  It looked like maybe they imported their set designer from the ’50s and told him to imagine what South Africa might look like.  I’ve never seen quite so obvious a connection between ESPN and Disney.  Anyway, that’s neither here nor there, because they make ads like this:

Pretty cool.  It’s like “Invictus” in a minute.  Alright, so here’s kind of a weird one from adidas.  It feels a little bit odd, doesn’t it?  The whole “poor black kids playing soccer barefoot on the beach” angle?  And apparently, it was filmed on Long Island.  Nice work, adidas:

But if you thought, that was weird, then I am proud to present to you an adidas commercial that appears to have absolutely nothing to do with soccer whatsoever.  Maybe adidas forgot the World Cup was this year and decided to just make a really cool commercial.  Yeah, that’s the ticket:

Yeah, that’s really weird.  Ok, so I also wanted to share a Pepsi commercial.  Now, there are a whole series of these with guys like Henry and Messi and Kaka and Whozits and Et cetera wearing these horrid Africanish shirts with big Pepsi logos in the center.  They’re universally bad.  Here’s one:

I warned you.

Ok, I saved the best for last: the Nike ad.  You may have seen this already, but if you have, you know it’s worth watching again.  And if you haven’t seen it, it’s absolutely worth watching.  It’s so much better than the Tim Lincecum-decapitated unicorn video that I really thought people would appreciate but apparently the desert heat has been frying my brain.  Anyway, this ad is awesome.  I could watch it over and over and over…and have, in fact.  It was directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and features all sorts of cameos from soccer players…Roger Federer…Kove Bryant…Homer Simpson…it’s so good.  Watch it.  And then watch some soccer.  It’s so good.

So good.

(Oh, and I’ll be back later Friday with a rant about an article I read that was really, REALLY stupid.  Stay tuned.)

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5 responses to “i am whaleman: totally pumped for the world cup

  1. Some unsolicited advice from an iamwhaleman reader:
    If you’re now motivated to follow the World Cup (and how could you not be after that post?), even if it’s just by not ignoring the match scores, and are trying to decide which team to root for, here are one man’s suggestions of best and worst:

    Best:
    England
    Ivory Coast (come on, the team’s called “Les Elephants”)
    Mexico
    France
    Spain

    Honorable Mention: Australia

    Worst:
    Portugal (Not too bad, pretty talented squad, just kind of annoying)
    Netherlands (Too many fanboys who know nothing about the sport randomly chose them already, don’t join them)
    Argentina (Just a gross, gross people (only in terms of sports, and who doesn’t love a little sport-hate?))
    USA (There is no rule that you need to root for a country in sporting events due to accident of birth location. America does not care about soccer while the rest of the world stops during the World Cup, with citizens of other countries living and dying by their team – it seems to me it would be horrible if our apathetic country devastated millions of people who actually care (but somehow fitting that America is responsible for more devastation of the world’s citizens))
    Germany (Need I explain?)

    Honorable Mention: Brazil (or Brasil, if you prefer) (actually a pretty sweet team, but if you know only one thing about international soccer I’ll bet it’s probably that Brazil is damn good – they don’t need more fans, so take a chance on a team with a greater chance of letting you down – it makes the good times that much better!)

  2. Vive La France!

  3. Mexico? One of the best to follow? Yikes! I’ll definitely agree with Spain, Ivory Coast, and England. But how about:

    *Uruguay (winner of the first two cups, and a hilarious country of Euro-trash South Americans)
    * Cameroon (The Indomitable Lions!!!!)
    * Nigeria (The Super Eagles!)
    * Greece–not a world power, but surprise winners of Euro 2004. Also, gyros!

    Teams to definitely loath:
    * North Korea (duh)
    * Slovenia (sweet country, boring soccer)
    * France (so fun to root against, even if yours truly was all about them in ’06. Also, they got in on absolute bullshit, so karma ain’t with ’em.)

    My $.02!

    • Two words in favor of France: Zidane & Headbutt. (Two more, just in case that wasn’t enough: Freedom & Fries). Also, everyone always hates on France so it feels like you’re rooting for the underdog, and everyone loves rooting for the underdog!

      As for Mexico, there’s all kinds of great reasons: they always have some of the sharpest jerseys (or kits) going, they’re a close neighbor so if you randomly decide to follow soccer for the Cup you can feel good rooting for them (as you’ll know/care nothing about them being the US’s biggest rivals) and if you want to get political, what a great Cup to cheer for Mexico to outshine America (maybe if we let Mexicans immigrate and become citizens the US team would get some of those talented players). Finally, there’s tons of stories out there about the US players being shocked about how much the Mexican fans care about the team, I can get behind a team with fans that.

      Also, you left off the best thing about Uruguay: that episode of The Simpsons when Homer sees it on the globe, laughs and reads it as “you are gay”

    • Forgot the best part of rooting for Mexico: margarita celebrations!

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