2014 FIFA World Cup Final Grades

World CUp

Well, it’s all over. A month of the beautiful game that swept the United States and the globe off its feet has come to a close, providing us with memories that will last a lifetime. This may have been the greatest World Cup in history, setting a record high in goals scored (171), stunning results like the 7-1 shellacking of Brazil by Germany, and Cinderella stories like Costa Rica advancing to the quarterfinals before being eliminated on penalty kicks. Teams like Germany, Argentina, Brazil, and the Netherlands had phenomenal runs while Spain, Portugal, and England were utterly disappointing. As closure of the world’s greatest event, we run grade each team’s performance based on expectations. We will go in descending order from the FIFA International rank* as of June 5th.

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Why the Hype Around NBA Free Agency?

NBA Free Agency. So hot right now and why not? We have the best player in the world deciding where he is taking his talents next year and a bunch of big name dominoes awaiting to fall immediately after. Which got me thinking to just how big a story this free agency period has been and how big NBA Free Agency normally is every summer. Why is it bigger than most regular season games? Why is it bigger than the FA periods in the NFL, MLB and NHL. I put my thinking cap on and tried to dig up some answers. Feel free to call me on anything you challenge in the comment section. (I am legitimately interested to hear what other people have to say)

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The Legend Of Kiko Alonso [Paused Indefinably]


Via ESPN-The Buffalo Bills confirmed Wednesday that linebacker Kiko Alonso suffered a torn ACL in his left knee while working out in Oregon and will likely miss the 2014 season.

Bills general manager Doug Whaley said in a statement that Alonso would be scheduled for surgery “in the near future and begin a rehabilitation program at the appropriate time.”

“We feel badly for Kiko because he has worked very hard this offseason in preparation for the upcoming season, but we look forward to his return with his style of play that made him one of the league’s outstanding rookies in 2013,” Whaley said in a statement.

I guess this would be the time to announce to the CrunchTown audience my NFL allegiance. It is to the Buffalo Bills. And as  a Bills fan I feel that this is exactly the story that I would be writing about. No it’s not a story about a blockbuster trade that will instantly revamp our squad. No it isn’t about a big name coach or a player’s development, instead it is about their best defensive player tearing his ACL working out and being done for the season.

Such a Buffalo thing to happen. Just when things are looking good (don’t they always look good in June/July?) this has to happen. We finally get a sense that the defense would be the solid positive for the Bills with the offense being the dependent variable for success.  Kiko was almost the Defensive ROY last year with over 150 tackles and the Bill’s decided to move him this offseason to the weakside LB position. A place where he played all of college and was much more comfortable. They sign Brandon Spikes from the Pats to be a run stopper at MLB and pick up a few pieces to fill the strong side. This is a severe blow to the defense and anyone that thinks otherwise is a fool. Best player on the field for the Bills last year and the most consistent.

It sucks to not be able to watch him play this year. He was going to have a great year and it looks like we are going to have to wait until 2014-2015 season for the Legend of Kiko Alonso to continue.

CONCACAF Over Everything


Before I get into this, I’ll give a quick backdrop on qualifying for the World Cup. It’s pretty detailed, so here it is in simpler terms. The soccer world is broken into 6 continental groups: UEFA (Europe), CONMEBOL (South America), CONCACAF (North, Central America and Caribbean), AFC (Asia), CAF (Africa), OFC (Oceania). A certain amount of teams from each of these groups qualify for the World Cup. So this year, Europe had 13 teams qualify for the World Cup, South America had 6, Africa had 5, North/Central America had 4, Asia had 4, and the Oceania teams had zero (Australia is in the Asia qualifying). Nicely done ocean countries. Enjoy your beaches and margaritas.CONCACAF-Map

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Bro of the Week

So I think this is going to be a recurring thing every Friday. Send everyone off to their weekend with thoughts of the biggest bro and maybe inspiring people to use their weekend to try and end up here by doing something incredibly bro-y.

Now the Bro of the Week isn’t always a distinguished award. It is awarded to someone who just is the epitome of a bro or did something to epitomize the bro lifestyle. Last week we had Bobby Ramos asking some incredible questions to Lebron and the Heat. This weeks recipient of the Bro of the Week is: DRUM ROLL PLEASE

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