Monday, June 12, 2006

World Cup Nickname Rundown

Well, this may or may not be a blatant ripoff of Golden Tornado's football analysis. But, considering what I know about soccer, maybe it's better that I stick to nicknames and stay away from real analysis.
Also, since this is blatantly copied and pasted from Mike's message board post, the numbers in parentheses represent the current FIFA world rankings.

Group A

Germany (19) "The Mannschaft"
I was playing around on YouTube yesterday, and I came across a video with the same name. Trust me, you do not want to see it.
Poland (28) "The White and Red"
Nothing fancy, just Poland's official colors. At least they got their official colors correct (unlike one country we'll see later).
Costa Rica (26) "The Ticos"
Another simple one, as "Ticos" is a nickname for someone of Costa Rican descent. May I suggest a cheer for them:
"Give me a T!" "T!"
"Give me a cos!" "Cos!"
"What's that spell?" "Ticos!"
Ecuador (39) "The Tricolor"
This is a pretty down-to-earth group. Ecuador's flag has - you guessed it - three colors: yellow, blue, and red.

Group B

England (10) "The Three Lions"
The three lions on England's coat of arms go back to the days of Richard the Lionhearted. (You may remember him - the good guy from Robin Hood.) That's a pretty cool guy to base a nickname on.
Sweden (16) "The Blue and Golds"
Again we're playing it safe and sticking with the country's official colors.
Trinidad and Tobago (47) "The Soca Warriors"
It's always cool to call yourself the warriors. It's even cooler when you describe yourself as warriors of island dance music. I only see two bad things coming from this.
1.) Once American announcers find this out, they're going to make as many "Who Let the Dogs Out?" references as possible.
2.) It'll be hard to convince some people that you have no relation to the ASU version of "Hot Hot Hot".
Paraguay (33) "The Guaranies"
Wait, the American Idol guy?

Yep, just a blatant excuse to post a Kelly Clarkson picture.

Group C

Ivory Coast (32) "The Elephants"
Ivory. Elephants. Duh.
The Netherlands (3) "The Oranje"
Oranje, while not in The Netherlands' flag, has become an official color of the country's athletic teams.
Serbia and Montenegro (46) "The Blues"
As we'll soon see, "The Blues" is a popular nickname for soccer clubs.
Argentina (8) "The Albicelestes"
Every time I look at this, I see Asbestocides. Asbestos is bad, and an Asbestocide would get rid of Asbestos, so I guess an Asbestocide is a good thing.

Group D

Angola (58) "Plancas Negra"
For those of you who don't habla espanol, Plancas Negra is Portugese for Black Impalas. For those of you who don't habla fancy words, Impala is fancy wordish for an African deer.
Iran (22) "Team Melli"
Iraq, of course, is Team Vanelli. Please don't bomb me.
Portugal (8) "Team of the Shields"
Well, the official symbol of Portugal is a shield, duh. What, you thought the team was huge fans of the FX Network? (Warning: Annoying flash movie with sound. Just don't bother clicking on the link.)
Mexico (6) "El Tri"
Well, the name could either refer to Mexico's triangular shape, or the Aztec Triple Alliance. I'll go with the latter, and leave any lame NCAA Native American jokes to the reader.

Group E

Ghana (50) "The Black Stars"
Because there's a black star on their flag. Duh.
Italy (14) "The Azurri"
Again with "The Blues"? (That does mean The Blues, right?)
Czech Republic (2) "The Locomotives"
Well, no wonder they're #2 in the world. They're obviously coached by some sort of Robot Genius from the Joe Yonto School of Locomotive Propulsion.
USA (4) "Stars and Stripes"
I'll give it an A+ for patriotism, but a C- for creativity. A version of the Stars and Stripes has been sailing in the America's Cup since 1987.

Group F

Japan (17) "The Boys in Blue"
There's that blue again. And blue isn't even one of Japan's colors.


Croatia (24) "The Vatreni"
Vatreni, of course, means "Is not foul in Croatia!"
Australia (44) "The Socceroos"
Australia's team nickname was decided by a write in contest. Other finalists included the "Battlin' Teachers" and the "Ball State Ball Busters."
Brazil (1) "The Selecao"
When you've won more World Cups than anyone else, you have the right to call yourselves The Select. (Assuming my Portugese is correct, of course.)

Group G

Togo (59) "The Sparrow Hawks"
While you're trying to figure out if you should be fearful of the hawk part, or laugh at the sparrow part, Togo will run circles around you. Then again, maybe not. There was a team named the Ligers in our softball league last year, and they only won one game all season.
South Korea (30) "The Asian Tigers"
I've never seen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and I'm still worried about what the Koreans can do.
France (7) "Les Bleus"
I can just picture the French version of Klondike sitting in the stands:
"Oui Bleus!"
"Oui Bleus!"
"Oui Bleus!"
"Oui Bleus!"
Switzerland (35) "The Oath Comrades"
This team does not sound like they back down easily.

Group H

Tunisia (21) "The Carthage Eagles"
The lack of originally with the name Eagles is instantly made up for by the reference to the ancent culture of Carthage.
Saudi Arabia (34) "The Falcons"
Solid, if not creative.
Ukraine (41) "Zbirna"
Zbirna is Ukranian for "The Zbikowskis." I wouldn't want to mess with them.
Spain (5) "La Furia"
Remember when you actually waited with anticipation for Dan Patrick to say "En Fuego"? Now, picture him saying "La Furia."