Thursday, June 28, 2018

Argentina, Nigeria, Iceland, and the knife's edge

As I write I don't know what happens. It hasn't happened yet.

As you read you know what happened, I mean, if you care at all, because it has happened.

I could try to predict every scenario:

Argentina dysfunction and disaster, Nigeria goes through in a Cinderella story.

Argentina brokenly slips through as Iceland falls.

How about: Higuain the hero.

I strangely like this one: Argentina wins but Iceland stuns a disinterested Croatia and goes through on goal differential or fouls or some weird tie breaker. Did you know that eventually, at the end of tie breakers from play, they just do a coin toss? Imagine crashing out of the World Cup on a coin toss.

Or since we're going wild, how about a Messi hat trick but a three-three tie? Nigeria or Iceland through.

I'll admit my favorite scenario is far the least likely, six goals for Messi.

A boy can dream.

The point is I could spend hours writing scenarios, but it's the World Cup. And I have found even if you defy all the odds and predict it right, it's never quite right. There is always some twist to the story somewhere that time alone is willing to reveal.

I try to remember this when I am on the other end of it all, thinking, bitterly or suffused in joy, "I knew it would happen just like this."

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