50 post-World Cup observations (cont.)
26. I can't wait for the reality show about Cristiano Ronaldo's family life with his new son, over whom he has 100 percent guardianship. Episode 1: Cristy II learns how to gel his hair. Episode 2: Cristy II learns how to do an ab workout. Episode 3: Cristy II learns how to loll attractively on the ground after he might or might not have been fouled.
27. Ronaldo's son has an American mother. Is it too early to start thinking about his role on the USMNT in the 2032 World Cup in Pyongyang?
28. Even though Cameroon lost all three of its matches, Rigobert Song always wins.
29. Hey, European or South American guy who has just been kicked in the shin, and is rolling around on the ground in what appears to be a state of unimaginable agony? Everyone knows you're wearing shinguards.
30. When a South African says something will occur "just now," he or she means that there is at least some possibility that it will occur at some point in the foreseeable future.
31. Here is my 23-man all-Tournament team:
GK: Iker Casillas, Spain
GK: Richard Kingson, Ghana
GK: Maarten Stekelenburg, Netherlands
D: Lucio, Brazil
D: Maicon, Brazil
D: Pique, Spain
D: Philipp Lahm, Germany
D: Sergio Ramos, Spain
D: Carles Puyol, Spain
D: Gio van Bronckhorst, Netherlands
M: Wesley Sneijder, Netherlands
M: Xavi, Spain
M: Bastian Schweinsteiger, Germany
M: Landon Donovan, U.S.
M: Thomas Müller, Germany
M: Keisuke Honda, Japan
M: Andres Iniesta, Spain
M: Gilberto Silva, Brazil
M: Cristian Riveros, Paraguay
F: Miroslav Klose, Germany
F: Diego Forlan, Uruguay
F: David Villa, Spain
F: Luis Suarez, Uruguay
32. That Leo Messi is not on the above list is weird.
33. That Messi took 30 shots in this tournament without scoring is even weirder.
34. Forlan was the most impressive and most valuable player in the tournament -- and FIFA actually did something right by awarding him the Golden Ball, even though he finished only 44th in their somewhat mystifying Castrol Rankings.
35. Messi remains the best player in the world.
36. Some readers will continue to disagree with me, but I maintain that Sneijder's inability, or lack of desire, to get Robin van Persie involved in the Dutch attack cost them in the end.
37. I wonder what William Hill's pre-tournament odds were that an octopus would not only outperform but also garner more buzz than Wayne Rooney.
38. The life span of the common octopus is one to two years. Pulpo Paul was hatched in January 2008, so his keepers might want to think about getting his picks for 2014 pretty much now.
39. When you are a soccer player, and your girlfriend is both a) a television journalist and b) committed to her own journalistic integrity, be careful when you agree to a live interview with her after a big loss. Ask Casillas.
40. Of the two main 2010 World Cup songs, K'naan's Wavin Flags remains by far the superior. The U.S. Army should consider playing Shakira's Waka Waka at full blast next time it is trying to roust some foreign dictator from his hiding place.
41. The metaphor of the tournament has to go to South Africa Sunday Times columnist Fred Khumalo, who on Sunday compared the month-long experience of the Cup to "a symphonic dream in which you are wallowing in a hot Turkish bath with nubile women feeding you grapes, John Coltrane's version of My Favorite Things oozing from concealed speakers in the room."
42. South African newspapers can also get rather creative with their headlines and graphics.
43. Luis Suarez's game-saving, goal-mouth handball against Ghana has to rank among the greatest fouls ever taken in the history of sports.
44. Dear Roger Goodell: If Sepp Blatter calls and suggests swapping in a football made of ostrich leather or something for Super Bowl XLV in order to capitalize on merchandising opportunities -- pretend you've just driven into a tunnel.
45. Why aren't fans allowed, and never try, to keep balls that are kicked into the stands. Is FIFA really that cash-strapped? And can't someone pull the "That's not a ball under my shirt, I'm actually pregnant" trick?
46. It might have been boring to some, but the most technically exquisite game played during the Cup was the 1-0 semifinal between Spain and Germany.
47. South Africa spent more than $5 billion on this tournament. One would have thought it could have set a little aside for stadium TV screens larger than those typically found in college dorm rooms (Shakira appeared to be roughly 2-foot-6 when she performed on Sunday night) or on, you know, in-stadium clocks.
48. That the 92-year-old Nelson Mandela was able to make a public appearance before Sunday night's final -- even though it was brief, a quick golf cart lap around the field, and even though he was wearing a hat that appeared as if it was fashioned out of the skins of a half-dozen raccoons -- might have been the moment of the tournament.
49. Is there any chance your local Halloween superstore stocks Joachim Loew costumes this year? And can we lobby for this?
50. Germany's winning this thing in 2014 in Brazil. Ask Pulpo Paul, if he's still with us.