Before the tournament began, I told fellow Worldview blogger that the injury to Michael Ballack was a blessing in disguise for Germany. "Now they've no superstars," I said, "and they don't have to play to Ballack's strengths or make adjustments to get him into a game."
Unlike the other soccer giants, the Netherlands is but a small, waterlogged country. Still, they punch well above their weight. When they lose, the go out with a bang, and their victor is so drained, it rarely clears the next round.
In 2006, Argentina and Germany held a civilized contest that ended ignominiously in penalties, and then, even more ignominiously, in a full-on on-field brawl. Two Argentinians and one German were punished.
For the last few weeks, people in Chicago, and indeed many across the country are declaring the Bulls the best fit for LeBron James.
If he uses his head, says WBEZ sports contributor Cheryl Raye-Stout, he'll pick the Bulls, since they're the logical package.