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Is anything more fun and striking than leopard? Our beautiful take on the classic is printed on stretch cotton jersey ...

Obituary: 2010 FIFA World Cup

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The Chicago Tribune has released the full transcript of the report (dated July 11, 2010) it received from Andrew Wathan just moments before the sportswriter jumped to his death during the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in Johannesburg Sunday.

Wathan was part of an American contingent outspoken in regards to the lack of scoring during this year’s competition, speaking recently on the record with this publication.

The note was being reviewed by South African authorities and the FBI in the wake of nine other U.S. sports reporters who also committed suicide moments before Spain finally scored the decisive goal at the 116th minute of play.

NOTE: [Editor’s notes throughout]

JOHANNESBURG — And I’m already at a loss for words. Yes, Johannesburg. South Africa, a country in Africa. They play soccer here and this is apparently the best of the best. I don’t know how I drew the short straw but Timmy [Chicago Tribune Sports Editor Tim Bannon], this is the last time I take one for the team.


And we’re underway. Woo-hoo!!! Most excellent part of today’s final is that one word: FINAL. This means you can’t do this to me anymore. I won’t be twisted into this ridiculous brand of logic and be forced to eat the dog food after today. You can’t make me eat it. I won’t do it. No way. In 11 hours, my ass is on a plane and they can take these notes and suck it.

I’ll waste a paragraph talking about how each team got here: Spain improved as the tournament progressed, following it’s opening game upset by Switzerland and using it’s famed “Tiki-taka” style of play to reach today’s final with a 1-0 victory over Germany on Wednesday. The Netherlands is undefeated in its last 24 matches and not much else is known about them. It will be the first World Cup victory for either team.

Sweet Christ, after 20 minutes of back and forth you just know where this thing is headed. You can smell it in the press box and see it in everyone’s eyes. This is another one. They know. There’s a point where you know — you feel the pressure change in your ears — but you hope that everyone else doesn’t know too. They know. The life is slowly being sucked out of the stadium and I’m right there with it.

Andy [uncertain which, although reports suggest Andy Lovullo of USA Today] says a best of 7 finals would give you higher scoring games, taking pressure off the defense over just one game where everything matters. I did everything I could to not beat him to death with my laptop. Six more these? I don’t think so.

Just pick up the ball and throw it!! What the hell’s wrong with you? Maybe just one player gets to use his hands? Just some free associaition [sic] but maybe one player gets to have sword, like Yoshimitsu in Tekken 6.

I’d take the junior varsity high school girls field hockey beat over this — I’d at least be closer to home. Don’t get me wrong, I love South Africa. I could die here and be content. The people are great, the food is fantastic and I’d come back in a second. However, if I see another World Cup soccer game, it’s in hell.

Full disclosure: A minor misunderstanding that I’m not afraid to admit might have been my fault. Great defense, my ass, Andy [uncertain which, although reports suggest Andy Sasser of the Dallas Morning News]. I’m typing this from the cab to the hotel and the game’s on the radio — it’s everywhere: TVs, radios, a guy’s boom box as he peddles past us his bike. Seriosly [sic], what the hell’s with this cabbie? Dude, you just got dusted by some guy on a 3-speed. Someone score a goal already. I’d still be at the game if it was 1-0 anybody.

Back at the hotel and this screaming in my ears won’t stop. A few minutes left in regulation and still no score. I’m looking for those three paragraphs left over from the Paul the Octopus story. Fill, fill, fill. I hate that eight-legged son of a bitch but he picked Spain to win so that must mean Spain scores a [censored] goal. It’s a big net and a small ball, people. Just kick the thing past the guy and let’s all go home.

I’ll talk, okay? If this is some sort of Defense Department Al-Qaeda resistance training and you’re pushing my limits to see how deeply I can be trusted, you win. I’ll talk. I’ll tell them everything. Will the water-boarding be any easier? I don’t care at this point. Still no score. Do with me what you will.

Forgot there was a pool there. Extra time??? You’ve got to be [censored] kidding me!! Somebody score a Goddamn goal!! No higher rooms available. Will have to make do.

Clearly I’m impervious to injury. Still no score. Elizabeth, I love you and the kids but if there’s one thing I know in my heart for certain, you would have jumped two weeks ago.

Of course it’s still scoreless. Aim for the brain. Only 2 floors — head first and make it count.

I think I figured it out. Let me try something and if I’m back, it didn’t work.

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© 2010 – 2013, Soapy Johnson. All rights reserved.

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