spinachdip's guide to the 2006 World Cup: reports of my demise are somewhat correct
Kobe looks so happy when he doesn't have to pass to anyone.
If you're still reading this site, I apologize for the absence. Personal and professional obligations got in the way (hey, you guys are #3 on my list of priorities!) and I completely bypassed the Round of 16 and we find ourselves in the quarterfinal round and with just one full week left before we go back to not caring about soccer for another 4 years.
But for now, the World Cup is the only thing anyone anywhere should care about. We're now down to 8 teams and what do you know, 7 out of the 8 are past champions, accounting for 15 of the 17 past World Cup winners (Uruguay, winner of 2 Cups, didn't qualify for the party and Ukraine is the only non-winner remaining).
Not exactly a World Cup of upsets here - 6 European teams and 2 South American. Yay diversity! That doesn't mean there aren't compelling stories here, which is why I'll be re-profiling the 8 teams that have outwitted, outplayed and outlasted like so many Richard Hatches.
Now, a guide to the quarterfinal matches: