July 13, 2006

World Cup Death Watch - Final Count

Hoolikid_79 Headbutts notwithstanding, the most harmonious World Cup in history has ended, leaving a final body count of 78 79. The deadliest event of the entire cup took place in Burundi, where seven people died after police hurled a grenade and opened fire into a crowd of celebrants who were setting off fireworks. Burundi now stands second only to China as the country with the most World Cup fatalities. China had eleven deaths, although no new fatalities were reported there since the last update. The entire nation is reported to now be experiencing a post-Cup hangover.

But the spate of Asian heart attacks continued, even without China's participation. In Thailand, yet another fan expired of heart failure while watching the final. Tragically, a ten year old boy in England also died while watching the final, although the cause of his death is till unknown. And in Montpelier, the fifth French World Cup death was reported, when a young man was stabbed in the neck Zidane_headbutt2during an outdoor viewing of the France-Portugal game. In Salerno, Italy, a sixteen year old boy was killed when the car he was leaning out of (waving the flag) crashed and rolled over. And there was another flag-related death in Italy, when a 77 year old man fell while trying to attach a flag to a pole prior to the final game.

A 30 year old member of the Italian crime gang Camorra was shot to death by a rival gang members riding motorbikes, as he came out of hiding to celebrate Italy's victory in Naples. A 21 year old man in Barbados was also killed while celebrating the Italian victory, after being stabbed in the neck. An argument over the final match also prompted one Ugandan man to hack another to death with a machete. "Now I have come to finish your life. Never play with veterans. We kill anything," the murderer was reported to have said during the killing.

Continue reading "World Cup Death Watch - Final Count" »

July 07, 2006

World Cup Death Watch - Update 5

Hoolikid_63 With only two days remaining until the final, the World Cup Death Count stands at 63, almost as many people as have died worldwide of Avian Bird Flu.

Four people died in France during the celebrations that followed France's victories over Brazil and Portugal. An 18 year old Parisian reveler died after he fell off the top of a subway car he was riding. A 20 year old French woman from Lens died when her car crashed, as she leaned out the window in celebration. Another Frenchman was killed by police after he opened fire on a crowd of loud fans outside of Monaco who were celebrating France's win over Brazil. (This is the second case  during this World Cup of someone firing bullets into a crowd of loud soccer fans - see Update One. And a man is feared drowned in Lyon after he jumped off a bridge into the River Saone with a group of friends. Meanwhile in Somalia, there has been a second case of Islamist fundamentalist gunmen firing into a cinema full of people watching the World Cup in contravention of Sharia law, killing two. See Update One for the first case. Chinadaily is reporting that eleven Chinese people have died of what is now being called "World Cup Syndrome," which consists of watching a match and keeling over and dying, usually of a heart attack. Since I had reported only nine Chinese deaths, this report will add two more to the count. China remains the nation with the most World Cup deaths, all the more strange since the Chinese team did not even qualify. But for all the deaths in China, at least one television set has survived the mayhem.

Continue reading "World Cup Death Watch - Update 5" »

June 30, 2006

World Cup Death Watch - Update 4

Hoolikid_50 Seven more people have lost their lives to the 2006 World Cup. The death count now stands at 50.

A 25 year old South Korean college student died after suffering a suspected heart attack while watching his country play Switzerland on a giant TV screen in Seoul. Five other people died in Asia as well. In Japan, a 60 year old man hung himself after his team lost to Germany. A Chinese man collapsed and died in Malaysia while watching Argentina play Mexico, and Malaysia's Daily Express reported that the man may have made a bet on the game. Another Chinese man jumped to his death from a hotel in Baoji City after The Netherlands lost to Portugal, making the ninth World Cup related death in China, the highest total for any country. Back in Malaysia, the body of a 28 year old man was found ten days after he had disappeared. Police believe he had been killed by loan sharks after he was unable to pay back the money he borrowed to bet on World Cup games. In Thailand, one football fan stabbed another to death during an argument over the penalty kick that decided the Italy-Australia game. And in the only non-Asian death (since the last update), a Ghanaian man expired as Ronaldo scored his first goal in Brazil's win over Ghana.

Soccer_devil BJ wrote that Sports Illustrated reported a South Korean suicide, when a man set himself on fire following Korea's loss to The Swiss. But I haven't been able to find any verification of this report.

But all is not death and despair here at the World Cup Death Watch desk. There has been much good news as well. There have been numerous World Cup related births and pregnancies, and more importantly, there have been two World Cup related resurrections. The second one happened in South Korea, when a clinically dead man got up and walked out of the hospital.

Alas, even a resurrection does not lower the official death count.

Tune in to People Like Us this Monday at 7pm when Vicki plays an hour of the best and worst football chants from around the world.

June 27, 2006

Game Watch, Not Death Watch

Cup Hello, everybody—nice seeing you again.

If you’re stuck at your dayjob and can’t sneak out to a nearby bar for two hours without getting caught, it’s been hard to follow the World Cup games. Supposedly there are online radio broadcasts, but it seems they’re blocked from reaching the U.S. somehow. I’ve relied on so-called online “gamecasts”—no audio, no video, but with various graphics and moment-to-moment commentary typed in by anonymous reporters.

The official FIFA/Yahoo site (sponsored by Emirates Airline) had very dry play-by-play descriptions and an extremely annoying real-time “fan chat” feature.

The BBC site had the advantage of British commentators who were willing to interject a little more personality into the play-by-play. Their descriptions were very detailed and well-written, but I couldn’t see any graphics while watching the live-text feed. I like the graphics to help me imagine the play on the field.

My favorite has been the ESPN gamecasts. The graphics are good and informative and are visible along with the live commentary. The ESPN guy (guys?) is clearly British also. He called some player who took a dive “a girl’s blouse,” and he says some pretty snarky stuff sometimes. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the first round:

"Babic attempts a pass to an imaginary player. He finds him."

"Ukraine are now playing with a back three and it's safe to say 3-4-2 wasn't Blokhin's ideal formation."

“81 Mins – SAUDI SUB: Massad comes on to replace Sulimani; Sulimani looked like Saudi Arabia’s best attacking player, but he is hauled off.
82 Mins – Massad’s first contribution is to throw himself to the ground, scream in agony, and then get to his feet when he realizes the free-kick has been given his way.”

“20 mins - Barnetta is annoyed when another free-kick decision goes against him. ‘Yargh,’ he cries. That's Swiss for ‘I disagree, referee.’ “

Or, from the second round: “Australia have lined up with what seems to be a 3-1-4-1-1 formation. Possibly.”

I find this stuff hilarious, and it helps take the sting out of my favorite team (NOT the Sockeroos, by the way) getting knocked out in the second round.

Speaking of the Sockeroos, here’s a listing of the official nicknames of every 2006 World Cup team.
Unfortunately, it’s from the Big Grey Pack o’ Lies, which I guess explains why USA are supposedly known as the Amerks.

Beckham And here’s some separated-at-birth visuals courtesy of a very nice English blog called OverYourHead. There’s more where that came from.

Thanks for reading my blog entry this time, and may God bless.

June 23, 2006

World Cup Death Watch - Update 3

Hoolikid_43 Sadly, there have been eleven eighteen more World Cup related fatalities. The World Cup Death Watch increases to 36 43 as we head into the second round of play.

Happily, my own death is not included in the tally, notwithstanding the many death threats that this series has inspired. But should I die at the hands of football hooligans, let it be known that this was how I wanted to perish.

That would make me the first to die of standard football hooliganism. Of the 36 World Cup fatalities we've seen so far, not a single one has been due to rioting or classic hooliganism. In Kenya, a man died after being stabbed during a fight over the Iran-Portugal game. The stabbing took place in the Feel Good Bar in Nyaribo. China leads the way with World Cup deaths. A South African website reported that six Chinese people have died of heart attacks or stress related to the beloved game. Since one of these death could have been the over-drinking death in Hunan I reported earlier, I'll count this report as five, not six. Another two Chinese fans were killed in a car crash after a night of World  Cup festivities. Why so many deaths in China (nine so far) when they don't even have a team in play? The prevailing theory lays the blame on time zones. It is late at night in China while the games are played in Germany, a perfect recipe for drinking the night away. The same theory is being blamed on the recent spate of Chinese Facial Paralysis.

Other Asian countries are checking in as well. A man in Thailand died of soccer-related drinking injuries, only the drinks in question were coffee and an  unspecified energy beverage. In Vietnam, a 45 year old man suffered a fatal heart attack while watching the Germany-Costa Rica game. And finally, Nigeria was home to the first 2006 World Cup related strangling, where a man was murdered by three boys while all four of them watched the opening match.

Continue reading "World Cup Death Watch - Update 3" »

June 16, 2006

World Cup Death Watch - Update 2

Hoolikid_25 As we roll into the second weekend of play, the World Cup Death Watch stands at a big eighteen. Before we jump into the details and links, this is the link to use for World Cup Death Watch (WCDW) posts. The most current post will always be at the top. And don't forget to get your guess in and become eligible for the WCDW Fun Pack - details and rules here. You can put your guess in on any WCDW post, but the deadline for guessing is next Monday, June 19th at 11:59pm.

So how did we get from 15 to 18 with the German and British police arresting hooligans by the thousands?

Here's how: A woman in China died after plummeting from the 17th story of her apartment building last Sunday, after an argument with her boyfriend, who wanted to watch the World Cup in the early morning hours. The boyfriend says she jumped. He swears.

And thanks to Rob, we now know that a 48 year old Frenchman expired of natural causes in Stuttgart, Germany while waiting outside the France vs Switzerland game. And in Mexico, Felipe Sanchez Soccersuffered a fatal heart attack last Wednesday while preparing to come to Germany to see his son play.

Have you noticed the high number of World Cup heart attacks? The combination of excitement and the  physical exertion of cheering has proven fatal for many a soccer fan. When you add ass-shaking nationalism to the mix, like in this video from Mexico's Chic Pack, elderly people with faulty tickers don't stand a chance. (Thanks Pseu.)

This is why Cambodian Monks have been warned to remain impassive while watching the World Cup.

Continue reading "World Cup Death Watch - Update 2" »

June 12, 2006

World Cup Death Watch - Update 1

Hoolikid_15 Here we are on Day Five Six of the most sedate World Cup in recent memory, and the official death count stands at one three nine fifteen twelve fifteen (see update below). Many people who are already in our World Cup Death Watch pool will be disappointed to learn that the one fatality so far was neither hooligan nor yob, but a 24 year old Chinese man named Wang, who died in Hunan Province after a night of excessive World Cup related drinking. But according to the rules, the news account of Wang's death mentions the World Cup, so it counts.

If you haven't made a guess yet, you have until June 19th to go on the record and be in the running for the World Cup Death Watch Fun Pack. Details and rules here. More hooligan-related news and links:

Here's some nsfw soccer mayhem music and spoken word from Primal Scream, Adrian Sherwood and Irvine Welsh: The Big Man and The Scream Team Meet The Barmy Army Uptown - Full Strength Fortified Dub (MP3) and Irvine Welsh's spoken track, A Jake Supreme (MP3). Thanks Chad!

Arch-hooligan Paul Dodd remains in custody.

Paul Dodd may be the proto-hooligan, but Paul Lupton was the first hooligan arrested, so there!

Finally, a mainstream media source weighs in on the etymology of the word "hooligan."

Watch the World Cup.. and Die. (thanks Chad)

Avoid racist attack by singing a little song. Or just read this.

You can't tell the police and the hooligans apart anymore!

Neo-Nazis dress up as Iranian players to deny the holocaust.

BBC in crisis over big-screen soccer riots

German police strip-searching at will.

Thanks to Doc Phrankenshop for a spiffy new World Cup Death Watch Logo. It's all about the children.

UPDATE: Two more dead, in Trinidad and Tobago (of heart failure), bringing the body count so far to three.

UPDATE 2: Six deaths reported in Haiti, where two armed gangs battled over an electrical generator needed to watch the World Cup. Body count now stands at nine.

UPDATE 3: There's been a report of a World Cup resurrection, but this doesn't reverse the count! We're counting deaths here, not births, not reversed comas, and sure as hell not half baked tales of resurrection.Six more deaths bring the official count to fifteen, as of Tuesday at 2pm. A Scottish man died after being stabbed in a World Cup-related argument. In Somalia, Islamic fundamentalist gunmen shot two World Cup fans who were viewing the games in a theater despite a religious order banning the practice and in Nairobi, Kenya, three men nearly died when the TV antenna they were erecting hit a power line: link. Thanks Chris!

UPDATE 4: As pointed out in the comments section, the three Kenyans didn't actually die, so the count gets reduced down to twelve. I'll update the graphic on Wednesday.

UPDATE 5: The Soccer Gods giveth and the Soccer Gods taketh away: After being briefly down to twelve, the death count is back to fifteen: A Thai gunman shot and killed two of his countrymen when they make a racket at Italy's first goal in the Italy  - Ghana game. In Ecuador, a soccer fan was terrified by his own power and committed suicide after he correctly predicted that Ecuador would lose to Poland. Thanks Tommy, Alex, Giamaica & MG for the news on the Thai shootings.

June 08, 2006

World Cup Death Watch

Soccer_riot_3 I love soccer. I hate death.

So what to do when World Cup rolls around and the two get entwined in a month-long headlock?

Answer: The World Cup Death Watch.

Here's how it works: Guess how many people will perish worldwide in World Cup-related violence between June 9th and July 9th. Get your guess in by 11:59pm on June 19th, EST. Whoever comes closest wins a WFMU Messenger bag filled with CDs, T-shirts and other sundry WFMU crapola. Bear in mind, we're not talking just about deaths in Germany! We're counting arson in Australia, deadly bar brawls in Brazil, homicidal hooliganism in Helsinki, just as long as the World Cup is implicated in a news report of said incident. More rules below, but first a wrap-up of World Cup weirdness to get you started:

Sex slaves being smuggled in to Germany to populate giant World Cup Brothel in Berlin.

Brits seize passports from 3,500 known soccer hooligans to prevent them from going to Germany.

Incessant flag-waving likely to be deadly.

Domestic violence sites worldwide gear up for increase in World Cup related battered women crimes.

Germans say: It will all be the fault of Polish hooligans!

German police will hum loudly when British hooligans sing their silly songs.

Nine million extra pints of beer to be consumed in UK during Wolrd Cup: Soccer_riot_4no relation to forthcoming "summer of violence."

British World Cup video at youtube, via Moritz from Sound Scavengers

And dont forget this amazing Russian soccer brawl video.

Now get your guesses in. You can follow the official count with this link here. Follow the jump for the fine print.

Continue reading "World Cup Death Watch" »