2014 World Cup Preview: Judging Group G by Team Patches

World-Cup-2014-Brasil-logoFull disclosure: If you are here for legitimate, thoughtful World Cup analysis then you are going to leave here as dumb as I am about this year’s tournament.

I’ve done no research. I’ve watched no friendlies. If I told you my pick it would solely be based on the last World Cup and how old or not old those players had gotten. Like Holland; they’re just not going to be as good because Arjen Robben is four years older and he already looked like he was 40 last time. And just ’cause Wayne Rooney magically grew hair since the last Cup doesn’t fool me into thinking England is going to dominate this Cup. And sorry USA, but Landon Donovan is not the pl…oh, nevermind. Maybe you’ll be fine.

Anyway, I just don’t know what to tell you about this Cup. Let’s see, umm, it’s being played in Brazil. Ronaldo will be there ready to do something awesome and then erect a statue of himself on the field. An Asian or Eastern European team will dazzle us unexpectedly and knock out another team we really care about. The French will look fantastic during La Marseillaise and then go play the most boring football in the world. Italy will make themselves impossible to score on and impossible to cheer for. Spain will tiki-taka their way to 1-nil victories and reach the final again. Some idiot will blow a vuvuzela only to have someone commandeer and subsequently bludgeon him with it. Michael Ballack will give us some rip-roaring analysis like “Ze Germans have played well zees half.” And Ian Darke will commentate poetically and make an inconsequential throw-in sound awesome. Crap I love this game.

But you know what? I don’t need analysis. I don’t need FIFA world rankings. I don’t need a match preview. Because I know the team’s patch. And a team’s patch says a lot about the team and the country. And I can look at the team patches of Group G (US’s group) and make what I believe will be an accurate prediction of the final group standings and match results. Let’s take a look.


Ze Germans have perhaps the greatest patch in world football. It is classic, bold and intimidating. It typifies German football. Like German wingers pummeling forward in a blitzkrieg counter-attack, this patch is aggressive and takes no prisoners. It is dark and menacing like a smoking Luger and is fashioned without a hint of nonsense. In the middle is a regal yet frightful beast; is it an eagle or a dragon? Who knows? That’s for you to find out when it is carrying you away in its teeth to some distant cave where you will be unceremoniously and efficiently devoured. That is the German football way. That is why they will be kings of their group, no different than any other Cup.



Next best patch is the Portuguese. No, there’s not some fierce, ambiguous animal in its crest, but there is a sweet shield and some mini-shields which you know nothing about. It’s so esoteric and aristocratic. They’re like, “We’re not telling you about the shields within the shield. You figure it out.” Additionally, the patch is outlined by a most excellent cross. It could simply be a religious symbol. Or it could be a religious symbol masking its true nature, a ninja star. Don’t let this little country fool you- that cross is a weapon, my friends. This patch is sharp and deadly, just like the Portuguese footballers. They will challenge the Germans, but the dreagle will always prevail.

hfaW_E_23rd Place- US

If Lee Greenwood made us “proud to be an American,” this patch has done the opposite. We are the most formidable country in the world and this is how we are representing ourselves? First of all, we don’t need to tell people we’re the US. They know. Other nations try to get a piece of us before we’ve hardly had a chance to put on our jockey straps. Secondly, the three stars are meaningless. I say either put on all friggin’ 50 or none at all. Instead we show three, which I can only surmise is an attempt to appear like a legit soccer nation who has won three World Cups. What will we do if we actually win a Cup? Will we put one star above the other three or try to make a super-cool star square? I guess winning a Cup is not something we’re particularly worried about. And then there’s the soccer ball, going way up in the air but definitely not goal-bound. My big question is why don’t we have some surly, snarling eagle on our patch? By golly we’ve earned it. It is a national symbol and we have won all the major wars, including two against Germany, who by the way is donning the dreagle without our permission. Truth is, until we start to regularly compete with the best of the best, our patch deserves to be mediocre.

ghana-fa4th Place- Ghana

Sorry Ghana, but your patch gets a zero on the fear factor. You, representing an African nation, have every right to put some remarkable wild animal on your patch. This patch is so normal I honestly don’t have anything else to write about it. Thanks for nothing.



Here are my predictions for the Group G fixtures (a.k.a. patch match prognostications):

Day 1: US 2- Ghana 1
              Germany 1- Portugal 1

Day 2: Portugal 2- US 1
Germany 3- Ghana 0

Day 3: Germany 2- US 1
Portugal 1- Ghana 1


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