If you took my advice and watched the World Cup final yesterday, surely you came away impressed with the action between Spain and the Netherlands.
It took 116 minutes of playing time for the ball to reach the back of the net for the first time, and it was Spain putting in the only goal of the match. The 1-0 victory gave the nation of Spain its first ever World Cup title in its first appearance.
Both teams had plenty of opportunities to win over the course of the game, including a few on-goal opportunities both ways. Both teams missed a lot of shots or failed to take a few seemingly-obvious shots. Both goal keepers made great save after great save. And for as many yellow cards as were handed out (14), both teams played the match with a lot of respect for the game.
It was good television, or at least better than watching baseball.
The next World Cup will take place in Brazil four years from now. With all the advancement soccer has made in the United States, perhaps our expectations will be a little higher next time around. Hopefully there will be more of this for the USA in the next World Cup:
Of course, it will be difficult for anyone to challenge Brazil in their home country.
Here are today’s great reads:
- Weighing a potentially season-changing decision fantasy owners could make in drafts this summer: Steven Jackson or Rashard Mendenhall? Given the choice, I have a lot of history as a Jackson supporter. But the supporting cast in St. Louis continues to be an issue and how long can his body continue to carry the offense? Meanwhile, Mendenhall appears to be an up-and-coming fantasy star as we predicted would happen after he was drafted a few years ago. [Roto Arcade, The Hazean]
- Michael Crabtree may have had a lengthy hold-out last summer, but he started to turn some heads once he got on the field. He finished 2009 strong despite only getting into the endzone twice. The 49ers passing game showed signs of life last year that should continue during the 2010 season. Crabtree is one of many players to keep a close eye on during fantasy drafts. [Hatty Waiver Wire Guru]
- Another rising sleeper among fantasy circles these days is wide receiver James Jones of the Packers. Veteran badass Donald Driver is recovering from injuries suffered during the 2009 season and let’s be honest: He is no spring chicken at this point. Jones should get plenty of first-team reps during training camp and could be poised for a big season. Remember, there was a lot of hype on this guy as a rookie a few years ago. [Fantasy Knuckleheads]
- Rookie running back Ryan Mathews of San Diego continues to trend upward in average draft position (ADP) this summer. Expect to pay a decent price for him when the time comes during your fantasy draft. [Fantasy Guru]
- And speaking of Mathews, how do you guys feel about starting him every single week this season? For a rookie, that is a tall order — especially since he is filling the shoes of one LaDainian Tomlinson. All that pressure, though, does not depress the fact that Mathews has a ton of upside this year. But you are going to have to pay to get him, at this point, and that price will determine his spot as an every-day starter in your fantasy lineup this season. Boom or bust. [FanHouse]
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