The Leadoff: Who wants free beer?


I ran a poll on Facebook asking our audience if they are watching the World Cup two weeks ago and the numbers came back in overwhelming fashion, you aren’t. So I should probably talk about something other than soccer, but if you think I am going to do that then you obviously don’t know me very well, Momma ain't raise no quitter.

If you haven’t been watching the games I hope you have at least seen highlights of some of these games and these goals. The tournament kicked off with, now I don't want to be hyperbolic, but perhaps the best soccer game I have ever seen. It featured the world’s greatest player against one of the worlds powerhouse nations. It was like when Aang ("The Last Airbender") found himself in that small village in the middle of frozen nowhere with the Northern Water Tribe, and the Fire Nation suddenly showed up and tried to wipe all the Waterbenders from the face of the Earth.

In this scenario, Cristiano Ronaldo is, of course, Aang the last Airbender and the Spanish National team is the Fire Nation. This analogy is actually a little too perfect because Aang could have joined the Fire Nation and together they could have ruled the planet and similarly, Ronaldo could have joined the Spanish team and they would have never lost a game.

Thankfully for us, Aang had a moral compass and Ronaldo, well I don’t know why he chooses to play for Portugal (I know he is from there, but I’ve never talked to him) is really, really, incredibly handsome. If you have never seen him, I would describe him by saying he looks like the physical representation of an Armani handbag come to life.

Anyways our beloved hero put on a show on the pitch (that’s a soccer field for the uninitiated), Ronaldo recorded a hat trick scoring his last goal in what can only be described as mythological style. Spain had recently taken the lead and were up 3-2 with all the momentum, it looked as though the Portuguese had run out of gas, but with two minutes left in the game our savior, cut from carmelized marble, earned a free kick from about 21 yards out.

He took his signature stoic stance staring at the goal with an unbroken gaze, everyone in attendance and millions around the globe watching on TV knowing that this was the final chance. He approached the ball, struck it, and I swear to God it circled the whole stadium like the wave at a baseball game before turning into the upper right-hand corner of the goal. But, to the chagrin of Americans everywhere, the game ended in a tie, but a magnificent tie with six goals.

Ok, so you still aren’t into soccer? I have no choice then but to pull out the big guns. Do you like... Beer? Not just any beer, how about the Cadillac of cheap beers, Bud Light? That’s right, if you can’t cheer for soccer you can surely cheer for beer, right?

I received an email about a week ago informing me that if Mexico makes it to a fifth game in the World Cup, Bud Light is buying everyone in California free beer! Let me say that again for dramatic emphasis, everyone in California gets FREE BEER! Originally I wasn’t particularly excited because this is something El Tri — what many Mexican fans call their team — has not done in the past six World Cups.

Then, in their first game of the tournament Mexico defeated the reigning champion Germans and when they scored their lone goal the celebration back home registered on the Richter Scale in Mexico City. They celebrated so hard they cause a literal earthquake, guys.

Coming into Wednesday all Mexico had to do was draw with Sweden as long as Germany defeated South Korea. However, Mexico got stomped, Sweden beat them 0-3 and now Mexico’s fate was in the hands of a German team that every analyst predicted would go all blitzkrieg on the South Koreans. Somehow, someway the South Koreans beat the Germans even though they were 6-1 underdogs by the count of 2-0.

Here is the most beautiful part, South Korea didn’t advance to the round of 16, but on Wednesday the internet was full of the videos of South Korean fans sobbing because they were so happy to eliminate Germany and even more videos of Mexican fans lifting South Korean fans onto their shoulders and buying them drinks as a way to say thank you.

But guess what is on Monday at 7 a.m.? Mexico’s fourth game of the tournament. If the Mexican National Team can beat Brazil we’re all in for a party. Whether you are watching for soccer or watching for free beer doesn’t matter, just turn on the TV and enjoy.

More In Columns