I’m sure most of you clicked on this Cover 3 column expecting to see the usual: a statistical observation of a player, coach or scheme along with some film work to go with it. But, this week we’re taking a break from that to embrace a special time in the sports world and something that happens just once every four years: The World Cup.
Now, I know what some of you are probably thinking, “it’s called Pewter Report and not Soccer Report for a reason, Trev.” First of all, that doesn’t make any sense, and second, soccer gets a bad rap for some of the overly dramatic physical encounters that happen – very opposite from the game of football, most of the time – but beyond that truly is a beautiful game that requires strategy, skill, timing, luck, leadership and, of course, a life-long dream to achieve.
Futbol and football aren’t so different when it comes to the complexities of the game all coming together. That’s why I’ve decided to give you, the football fan, a World Cup preview in your own language by pairing all 32 World Cup teams you’ll be watching over the next month with an NFL franchise that most closely resembles them. The reasons for these links and comparisons can be anything from star players to types of supporting casts, historical dominance, coaching situations or even the schemes and philosophies in which they deploy to try to win.
I did this for the first time four years ago and it was a blast to not only write but also go back, discuss and reflect as the World Cup tournament went on. Let me know what team comps you agree with and which ones you might change if you were to do something like this yourself. And make sure to tell me which team you’re rooting for, too. My heritage includes Dutch, Italian and Polish, and since the U.S.A, the Netherlands and Italy aren’t in it, I’m all in on the Poles.
I hope you enjoy this and the coming World Cup, even if our home country with all the resources and third highest population in the world couldn’t even freaking get through an easy qualifying group to be on this list.
But, I digress.