Anyway, another fun thing about the World Cup is when two nations meet that have a bit of a non-sporting history with each other. Examples that spring immediately to mind include England vs. Argentina in 1986 (just four years after the Falklands War), and, oh, USA vs. Iran in 1998 (a game, no doubt, which led to the whole "Axis of Evil" thing).
And so it is that this afternoon's Group E tilt between Denmark and Japan, which will see the winner advance and the loser go home, is shaping up as an interesting contest between two world powers in... tasteful modernist design. As L Mag soccer/design correspondent Ben Sutton said last night, "Think of it as the artful whimsy of Muji vs. the warm elegance of Arne Jacobsen." Put that way, I can only hope for a Japanese victory today. (But then, I think to myself, who would win if it was samurais vs. vikings? See, isn't this fun?)