Below are the LZ Lark 11 World Cup Awards for 2014. I’m no expert, but my heart is in the right place.
Best Uniforms: Host Brazil’s yellow jersey and white shorts with white socks. You look marvelous.
Team to watch in 2018: Belgium. These young guns are going to be even more of a handful next time around.
Best Venue: Manaus. The pain, the pain.
You can’t make this up: Luis Suarez’s bite. Honorable Mention: Uruguay’s Luis Suarez holding his teeth after the bite. He appeared to be trying to sell the after-the-fact elbow to the mouth, but I really think he was just trying to rein in his wayward chompers. Bad teeth, bad teeth!
Oops play: Wayne Rooney’s corner kick for England in Manaus. See Best Venue award above. Please note I am a big Wayne Rooney fan.
Best Name: Bastian Schweinsteiger, of Germany.
Favorite Player: David Luiz, of Brazil. Everybody loves the pretty-boy strikers, but I like the under the radar midfielders and defenders such as David Beckham and Carles Puyol. I know these guys aren’t really under the radar, but I like their blue-collar style, the workman-like effort, the dogged determination, the playing through injury, the sportsmanship, and the lack of prima donna type behavior. These guys may not be the most athletic players on the field, but they get the most out of their potential and they have honed their best attributes to a fine point. I don’t care what happened against Germany, at least you know Luiz cares. You can go to war with guys like these.
Coolest Coach: Belgium’s Marc Wilmots. This guy is a sophisto.
Eat your heart out: The beach and Fanfest at Copacabana. I bet you wished you were there, too.
May have a point: Russia Coach Fabio Capello. Things should be better for Russia in 2018 at home in the Motherland.
Underrated or unknown player: Asamoah Gyan of Ghana. Whether they know it or not, USA fans should be well aware of Gyan by now. This guy is really good.