Friday, June 9, 2006


Achtung, baby! World Cup 2006 is here!

No, it's actually in Germany, and unfortunately most of the cups will be filled with Budweiser. Well, except that's not what they're calling it. During the soccer/football/futbol tournament this month in Germany, Anheuser Busch can't sell its swill under the name Budweiser, due to over 100 years of trademark battles with Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar (who claim their "Budweiser Budvar" predates the A-B concoction). They also can't use the name "Bud", because it sounds too much like "Bit", the common shorthand for the Bitburger brewery's beer. Okay, I said "Bit" and "Bud" over and over again, and they don't sound anything alike to me, but according to a 2002 German ruling they do. So what are they selling it as? "Anheuser-Busch Bud". Of course, an A-B beer by any other name is still crap.

Germans are a beer-centric society, and since they allegedly invented modern beermaking they have a right to be outraged about Budweiser being the official World Cup beer. Of course, according to the Reinheitsgebot (German Purity Law) of 1516, beer can only contain "water, hops, malted barley or wheat"; this has since been amended to include yeast (not known to be a beer ingredient until Pasteur came around in the 1800s) and cane sugar. Since Budweiser uses rice in their brewing process, it's technically not beer at all (duh, I could have told you that). Bavarian politician Franz Maget described Budweiser as "the worst beer in the world." He added, "We have a duty to public welfare and must not poison visitors to the World Cup." Not to be outdone, the Times of London chimed in, saying "it's brown-gold and alcoholic--but, then, in the scathing verdict of German beer fans, so is paint thinner." Don't mince words here, guys, tell us how you really feel.

As previously mentioned, Bitburger beer will also be available at the World Cup, but due to their exclusivity A-B will only let them serve it in unlabeled cups in limited quantities. I'm predicting that there will be rioting when patrons (drunked lunatics) drink up all the Bit and find out that only "ABB" is available. I certainly wouldn't want to work at the stand where Bit is being sold, it could get ugly.

(Okay, I admit it, I enjoy dumping on, and dumping out, A-B, because they are truly an awful brewery/corporation/entity. I'm done now.)

In other World Cup news, I also heard that they're playing some soccer or something over there. I know next to zero about soccer, but being a citizen of the world I'm going to try to follow it, time difference be damned. I think I can handle it, it's only once every 4 years. What the hell is that logo? Okay, regardless, allow me to make one prediction: Ghana is not going to win it all this year, I'm afraid.

Let's turn it over to someone who knows infinitely more about the wide world of ball-kicking than I do, who says these are the Top 10 First Round Matches to Watch (ugh, another list):

Argentina vs. Ivory Coast (Sat June 10, 2:55 PM EDT) - You have to love Group C's nickname: THE GROUP OF DEATH. I have their latest death metal album, it's DANK.
Serbia & Montenegro vs. Netherlands (Sun June 11, 8:55 AM EDT) - Jennifer "Serbia" Aniston & Vince "Montenegro" Vaughn have broken up, but they continue to share the same condo! Wackiness ensues!
France vs. Switzerland (Tue June 13, 11:55 AM EDT) - Being a 100% real American, I reckon will pronounce Thierry Henry's name EXACTLY AS IT IS SPELLED: HEN-ree. I ain't skipping over no letters, goddammit!
Brazil vs. Croatia (Tue June 13, 2:55 PM EDT) - Group F, the Group of FUN!
Spain vs. Ukraine (Wed June 14, 8:55 AM) - Does the rain in the Ukraine fall mainly on the plain? For Ukraine versus Spain, I predict pain.
Germany vs. Poland (Wed June 14, 2:55 PM EDT) - Last time they met, it was 1939. Look out, Deutschland, paybacks are a BITCH.
England vs. Sweden (Tue June 20, 2:55 PM EDT) - At least at the end of the day, they both can agree on one thing: they both love ABBA!
Argentina vs. Netherlands (Wed June 21, 2:55 PM EDT) - All your favorites players are here! Ruud van Nistelrooy! Crespo! Arriaga! Arriaga II! Barriaga!
Mexico vs. Portugal (Wed June 21, 9:55 AM EDT) - My prediction: a quiet morning for the Texas border patrol.
Italy vs. Czech Republic (Thu June 22, 9:55 AM) - Whew. I'm all out of witty comments. I also hated my last one.

I would also add the June 17 @ 2:55 PM match featuring USA vs. Italy, just because. And I'm not even going to mention HD availability; since CV won't add ESPN2-HD, I'll only watch about half of these.

World Cup 2006: it's KICKTACULAR!

Oh, and GO U.S.A.!
(I guess.)

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