World Cup Approaches

Calendar

This breaks one of the Dish's cardinal rules - that we don't cover anything where a ball is involved - but TNR has revived its excellent World Cup blog. Alex Massie is among the commentators. He's not a big fan of Brazil:

I am, you see and I am afraid, bored of Brazil. Bored too of the requirement that we all tug a forelock when confronted by their genius even when, actually, there's been little evidence of any real genius on the actual playing field. This, of course, is linked to the tedious rhapsodies about joga bonito and samba football and all the rest of it that all are compelled to endure every time the men in yellow stroll onto the pitch.

If this ever used to be trueand, to be fair, it didthen it ceased to be some time ago. The sneaky reality is that this Brazilian football teamhighly accomplished though they may beare boring. They're like a German car, which is fine if you're looking for a German car but not if you're searching for football worthy of the praise that's lavished on Brazil.

Jack Shephard provides a layman's guide to the tournament. Image from here.