First Place... Spain
Second Place... Netherlands
Third Place... Germany
I Can Live With These
Living in West Michigan, which has a heavy Dutch history and influence, there was a lot of pull for the Netherlands team to win the World Cup. And frankly, at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Mrs. Dr. Phil and I managed to catch a quarterfinal match between the Netherlands and Japan in women's volleyball -- and the orange bedecked fans were something of a hoot to watch. So I would've been happy with the Netherlands winning -- and thrilled if that enormous orange crowd in Amsterdam could've had the win. (An NPR story on Friday reminded me of an earlier Netherlands run for the World Cup touting something called Total Football. Wow, hadn't heard that term in years.) Alas for the Dutch, it was the crowd ESPN was showing in Cadiz which got to go wild. But in Extra Time, so that's a plus for Dr. Phil, who loves overtime and extra inning games, especially for a championship.
Still, in Spain we have a new country amongst the winners, so the 2010 World Cup will go down as anything but The Usual Suspects.
It's Not That I Don't Care
Actually I saw more matches and was more invested in this World Cup than in any other time in my life, and for that I can thank ESPN's valiant attempt to get more Americans watching World Cup by showing every game and putting some big games on ABC. But even ESPN I'm sure has to admit that an American team which made it into the second round helped a helluva lot, to say nothing of the drama of playing England "again" in the first round.
So we'll see if this makes a dent in America's interest in futbol, or whether it's like the Olympics and we only get interested in this stuff once every four years.