Raging Lesser Semi #1 Open Thread (Belgium v. France)

King Hippo

King Hippo

Reclusive, vulgar Broncos fan.Also a proud fookin’ Evertonian.Likely dropped on my head repeatedly as a small child.[Insert George Carlin quote followed by thoughtful nod.]
King Hippo

Or, as Our Lord put it, the French v. the Pretend French.  Anyway, these are some sexy as fuck footballing sides, I shall say that much.  I expect the winner here to hoist the trophy at the end, so bet heavily on the Murder Checkerboards/Cuck Liouns winner.

Belgium (+200) v. France (+145; draw +220) (14:00 EST, Fox)

Oh, let teh hypes begin.  Yes, I scheduled this early morning because it deserves all day discussion – it portends to be just that good.  You could legitimately name your all-torneo first XI just using these two sides alone.  Yes, it would be shitty to leave out Luka Modric….but you could do it.  Have you seen these two midfields, for fuck’s sake?  And their back lines were supposed to be the chinks (no ofence) in their armour – but no dice so far.  In fact, I would say Les Frogs’ back four has been the most underrated single unit (PHRASING!) of the World Cup.  They’ve been amazeballs, not just limited to that worldy of a goal to rip out Argentina’s heart.  But the deadly trio of Hazard, Lukaku, and De Bruyne will test them like never before, and they have all the confidence in the world running Roberto Martinez’ “footballing arrogance” system.  Promises to be a track meet at times, with Mbappe and Griezmann running wild in the other direction.

Wild Ass Guess: I’m tempted to go higher, but I always predict too many goals, and these sides can defend.  Waffles 3, Les Frogs 2 (normal time).

Wakezilla: So far this tournament, Les Frogs have shutout their opponent in three of five matches and have scored six goals over the past two games. They have officially gelled as a unit and continue to get better, which is scary. They have no yellow card suspensions and unless something drastic changes, they are healthy. I’d expect they’ll field the same side that had so much success against Uruguay.

One thing that Belgium has going for them is that since this is a derby match, they won’t be intimidated by France. Similarly to France, Belgium has played some excellent lesser footy. In the quarterfinals, they did the entire world a favoUr by eliminating that embarrassingly dramatic aqua diving squad from Brazil. By typing this, Neymar just began to roll around in a night club in Paris. On a related note, James Harrison just got fined by Roger Goddell for this incident. But I digress.

Unlike France, Belgium has a YUGE problem. Right wing back Thomas Meunier- who has had a pretty solid tournament– has been suspended (yellow card), which is a YUGE blow for the Waffles. We’re talking not getting syrup, whipped cream and a cherry on top on your waffles, yuge. They do not have the depth to fully replace him. However, it is just one game, so maybe (hopefully) Chadli can step up and fill in for Meunier, while the rest of the defensive line holds formation.

/Ron Howard voice: It didn’t.

Prédiction: As much as I want Belgium to win 4-3, sadly, I think France is going to take this one. This game has the potential to be high scoring, so, let’s say France wins 3-2 in an enjoyable match.  Griezmann scores 2 and Mbappe scores the other for France. Big Rom and KDB scores for the Waffles.

Balls: Before we get on to the business at hand,  I want to mention how awesome this World Cup has been. Usually by now you’d normally have various taeks complaining about this or that having to do with the tourney.

To date:

  • There has been no hooliganism.
  • There have been no complaints about forged tickets or ticket scams.
  • All visitors have raved about how friendly the hosts are.
  • There have been no big controversies about missed calls or bad refereeing.
  • Au contraire,  the level of refereeing has been good and VAR has cleaned up the mistakes made.
  • The level of play has been consistently high and exciting.  I can only count on one hand the number of boring games.
  • Non-traditional power teams have emerged to challenge the establishment.

Best World Cup EVAR? Best World Cup EVAR!

Now,  to the game.  I fully expect this game to be as exciting as the Russia-Croatia game. The teams are very evenly-matched and either a big mistake or a moment of brilliance will make the difference.

Prédiction: Le même résultat de Russie-Croatie. Un-Un après 90 minutes et Deux-Deux après 120 minutes. Aux pénales ou les Belges mettent 4 et les Françaises 3.

Aussi, savez vous que le Tour de France à commencé?

SO FRENCH!

Don T: Yeah yeah. Best World Cup… [mutters]

This goddamn tournament broke my heart. This was the year. Carajo Uruguay. If not for the Cavani injury [pouts]

Turning to the living: woof! This has the makings of an all-time game, of which Russia 2018 has had a couple already. Belgium has been the best watch. In more obvious news: Kevin DeBruyne, he good:

Via FIFATV / YouTube

The Wafflen have the talent and it has shined in every game. They’re also tough. Belgium took it to Brazil as if in a qualifier against Monten*gro, and played like a pack of wounded dogs driving a steamroller all over Japan. With goalie Courtois getting into a groove and Roberto Martínez having results validate his coaching decisions… This team is feeling it all ova.

Franzia very convincingly eliminated Perú, Argentina, and Uruguay. Les Melting Pots de Fondue are stacked everywhere and have won in every way: goalkakke, late score, midfield war on shins… A lucky goal by Rojo (ARG) and a VAR penalty given to Australia are the only bad marks for their defense, and the French forwards are TOP, especially since Giroud is not getting in the way. This is also a very confident team. Hard to see the Final topping this game; Englen & the Croats seem très déclassé compared to these two.

Predicción: Belgium 3 : 2 France in extra time. I had it the other way around when I first wrote it and didn’t seem right. I can’t root against this Belgian team, and won’t.

Litre_Cola: This is the matchup I have been looking forward to the most. Both teams are young, fast and extremely skilled. Martinez made a brilliant move last game by moving De Bruyne up to attack last match. Will he keep him up there or slide him back to defend as the trio up front for the French is so good. The back 3 of Belgium is far more experienced than the back 4 of France yet they have been so solid thus far.

This game will be absolutely fantastic. I am taking a half day from work to watch it because it should be fast, aggressive and not a lot of flopping as both these teams (other than Pogba) are tough as nails.

Prediction: France 2 Belgium 2, Belgium wins in kicks because Pogba misses.

King Hippo
King Hippo
Reclusive, vulgar Broncos fan. Also a proud fookin' Evertonian. Likely dropped on my head repeatedly as a small child. [Insert George Carlin quote followed by thoughtful nod.]

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scotchnaut

Part Whatever in my series, “Ken Dryden Wasn’t Good”. December 31st 1976-the Soviets only get 13 shots on goal. Dryden gives up three.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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scotchnaut

Best right-winger from Riverton, Alberta? It’s gotta be Reggie Leach.

scotchnaut

My number 13a receiver of all time? It’s gotta be Harold Carmichael-

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Back in the day he sorta was the Eagles. He was fun to watch.

scotchnaut

Miss my dad. He loved boxing and his fave guy of all time was Carlos (87-3-9) Monzon.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

My dad and I used to watch Friday Night Fights. WAY back.

scotchnaut

My dad was an extreme workaholic but would put aside his precious free time to watch boxing. If 5 year-old me (that idolized him) wanted to spend time with him, I’d be watching boxing as well.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Because of a disability I was raised more by my dad while my mom had to work very hard. He thought the injury sucked, but in the long run I was fortunate to have him around. Some lessons one has no idea they have learned until much later.

scotchnaut

“Hear! Hear!”

-Marlee Matlin

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

“Whawt?”

-Also Marlee Matlin

scotchnaut

I’m dying to watch me some football-here’s my #2 best size/speed rb of all time-

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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It seems fishy, I was ready to argue, but can’t with Earl.

scotchnaut

[snorfs]*

*this is me snorfing

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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scotchnaut

If you haven’t you should give “The Wisdom of Wolves” a read.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

A couple of others have recommended it; even a biologist who cautioned about some unscientific anthropomorphism, but still said it was a good read.

scotchnaut

Give it a go on its own terms. It’s the “feel good read” that pushes against a ton of other shit that we’re subjected to every fucking day.

scotchnaut

Announcer:”And the final score is France-1 Belgium-0. Final thoughts, Ron Jeremy?”

RJ: “The losing side couldn’t score at Plato’s Retreat in the mid-70’s if they had a 16″ dick!”

Announcer: “Uh.. Interesting take, Ron. Now over to Sunny Monsoon and the ‘3 day Weathercast’. Take it away, Sunny!”

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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theeWeeBabySeamus

Well dangit, now I gotta find something to watch until tomorrow.
NYY at BAL, 7:05pm?
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Looks like I picked the wrong week to cancel HBO.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Sharkbait
Sharkbait

Internet Porn?

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

and cats……. or both.

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WCS

scotchnaut

Can we all just agree to agree to cheer the Cro-Magnons tomorrow?

Agreed?

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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scotchnaut

Oof! Moose, you never want to go Full Bruegel.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Too late.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

scotchnaut

Damn. That’s how you get a John Ruskin.

Petronel
Petronel

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Sharkbait
Sharkbait

Why didn’t French Salvador Dali get in the match??

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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SonOfSpam

C3PNIS

Sharkbait
Sharkbait

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scotchnaut

Melting clocks make it difficult to properly keep track of time?

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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WCS

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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SonOfSpam

VIVE LA CHEESE EATING SURRENDER MONKEYS!

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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scotchnaut

You’ve piqued my interest in [guesses] “early 70’s Argentinian”? porn. I think.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Ah, nuts.

SonOfSpam

“Not cool.”

– Lance Armstrong

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

“….”

-Nate Solder

theeWeeBabySeamus

While leaning slightly to one side?

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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scotchnaut

Is Hippo cutting right now?

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

ok so who is who in this game which one is the blue and which one is the red?

scotchnaut

Well, Belgium is *feeling* blue.

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

Really? Belgium is the blue? I totally had the blue guys pegged as Frenchies

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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scotchnaut

“I like it. It doesn’t have a name, right?”

-Buffalo Bill

Sharkbait
Sharkbait

I see the NFL concussion protocol is expanding beyond American football.

theeWeeBabySeamus

Am I the only one who thinks it’s funny that France has a chicken on their kit?

scotchnaut

“It’s a capon and no, it’s not funny.”

-Jacques Pepin

Petronel
Petronel

Yes, it is.

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scotchnaut

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

DAMN YOU!

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scotchnaut

Pourquoi?

theeWeeBabySeamus

I thought it was a Coq.

(phrasing)

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

TWBS: Hey, where’d the chicken go?

ANDY REID: [muffled] I don’t know.

theeWeeBabySeamus

Hehehe

WCS

Artist’s conception:
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Sharkbait
Sharkbait

French keeper is having a day.

scotchnaut

His jeu on this jour is strong.

scotchnaut

Summon The VAR!-that’s what it’s for.