Waiting for Charlize

Not only is Charlize Theron blazingly hot, she also knows how to toss a hand grenade.

Yesterday, at the dress rehearsal for todays' World Cup draw, she reached into the pot and PULLED OUT A BALL THAT SAID IRELAND instead of the "France" ball she was supposed to have.

I'm guessing that the assembled FIFA functionaries didn't find this nearly as humorous as Charlize did (and the rest of us do), and the notoriously fun-free Jerome Valke, FIFA General Secretary, felt the necessity to tell everyone that it was "just a joke".

Yeah, Jerome, we got that.

I was planning on doing some kind of take on Charlize without, it should be noted, taking the opportunity for the obvious, sophomoric "balls" double entendres, but then I saw THIS PIECE and, while the author plunged head first into the pool I was determined to stay out of, the rest of it is such good stuff that I gave up entirely.

Of course I could never get away with lines like "Henrys' Hand of Frog" anyway, and would never have come up with:

"The ceremony is expected to last 90 minutes which will please England representative Beckham.

He can't remember the last time he completed 90 minutes for England."

Read the whole thing.

It's a day for joy and tears and conspiracy theories and, of course, "The Group of Death" to which everyone seems to have consigned the USA despite the fact that said group doesn't even exist yet.

(Not to mention the linked articles' even more dreaded Ivory Coast (Drogba)/Portugal (Ronaldo) "Group of Diving")

Of course we're in draws' "Pot of Pansies". What did you expect? Last I saw, we ain't exactly Italy.

And in any case, while "Brazil/Ghana/Portugal" is indeed a possibility, so is "South Africa/Uruguay/Switzerland".

I do want to say though, to all of the Pollyannas who are giving us the "If you're going to win it all you're going to have to beat some good teams anyway" speech today (I'm looking at YOU Alexi Lalas):

Yes, that's absolutely true, but since virtually no one expects the US to "win it all" any more than they expect Santa to drop down the chimney with a pony, our real objective here is to make a respectable showing before bowing out in a close quarterfinal match, rather than going three and out and have to listen to all the US Sports Troglodytes crow about it for the next four years.

In case you missed it, todays' ceremony is being conducted on Robben Island, which was the location of the prison where Nelson Mandela and hundreds of other South African anti-apartheid activists were held for decades.

The place is now a sort of living history museum, with former inmates serving as tour guides, providing an extraordinary opportunity to visit history with some of those who were actually involved. It's not exactly like being shown around Buchenwald by a former victim, but it's in the ballpark.

Yesterday, to their great credit, a small group of reporters was listening intently to one of the former prisoners describe the ordeal he and so many others endured there, when a FIFA public relations flunkie broke it up, telling the stunned media members that "We don't want you to miss President Blatters' statement"

Yeah, no, wouldn't want to miss that.