President Bush may give the event a miss - one can only wonder what he would make of a game in which the U.S. has a negligible chance of being world champion; for Americans with qualms about their country's imperial role, by contrast, supporting the plucky and rather well-liked outsiders of Team USA is an opportunity for guilt-free patriotic fervor. But you can be sure that Bush allies like Tony Blair, Angela Merkel, Jacques Chirac, Junichiro Koizumi, and Silvio Berlusconi (who actually owns AC Milan, one of Italy's top teams) will watch their countries' every game.
Indeed Tony Karon's How to Watch the World Cup: Politics and War by Other Means is a most handy guide to the world (as it is right now) during this exciting World Cup month. The other day one of the chaps on The Daily Show said that the reason why Americans don't get crazy about soccer is because if soccer is metaphorical socio-political warfare Americans already have the real thing and thus don't need the metaphors (or something to that effect), and he is indeed correct. I however like metaphors, larger meaning, and shit like that. That's why when the roommate and I triumphantly advanced the US to the quarterfinals on the PS2 FIFA World Cup (after enjoying the end of the Netherlands vs. Serbia Montenegro match) game I listened with such pride to the "Star Spangled Banner" at the conclusion of the game. In it's entirety. I was that proud.
And who do we have to play in the videogame quarterfinals? The Czech Republic.
We definitely ain't playing that until after the actual game tomorrow. That would be bad juju no matter how you cut it.