Preview for Non-Soccer People: Spain vs. Russia

Today's Euro 2008 action is presented in terms you, the American non-soccer fan soccer fan, can easily digest. Enjoy.
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↵ ↵Game one, 11:50 a.m. EDT: Spain versus Russia. Given that you likely know nothing about international soccer, remember to fall back on an old reliable in terms of picking games: casual national stereotypes and prejudice.
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↵Spain in Review: The Spanish conquered the world in 1550 and then took a five-century nap, waking only to produce kinky films, Pablo Picasso, and tapas restaurants. We're all in favor of all three of those things, but it doesn't seem particularly impressive given that whole "we conqured the world with smallpox" thing back in the 16th century. Plus: not really into Penelope Cruz.
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↵Bonus:
they do have the running of the bulls, which is nice if you like watching American frat boys being gored by huge animals with sharp horns. (We do, brah.)
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↵Russia in Review: Home of Ivan the Terrible, Rasputin, and Vladimir Putin, the only world leader we know who could actually kill someone with his bare hands. (Putin is a black belt in judo and a "former" KGB agent.) As a nation, seemingly seconds from complete collapse at any point and held together only by a ferocious will to live and the healthy glow provided by mounds of uncovered nuclear waste sitting on the street corner.
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↵Bonus: Russia's team is coached by vagabond international soccer guru Guus Hiddink, a Dutch Total Football wizard famous for revamping the Dutch, South Korean, and Australian squads. His work earned him honorary Korean citizenship in the South, a private island resort someone just gave him after the 2002 Cup, and Kim Jong-Illian fame: ↵
↵ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵ ↵
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↵Double bonus: Do you want to be the one who explains to Mr. Putin how you lost in the first round of 2008?
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↵Advantage: Russia. They won't win, but we're too scared of them to type anything else.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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