The World Cup is over, Spain has been crowned champion, and we reflect on what made the whole tournament worthwhile.

  • Despite a 0-0 draw between Uruguay and France in the group stage, captivated fans across the world took delight in all the amazing plays that almost happened
  • Portugal scores 7 goals against North Korea after the goalkeeper makes a break for it, dashes into the crowd, runs up the stairs, and jumps over the side of the stadium
  • After taking an early 1-0 lead over Nigeria, Argentina beautifully milks the clock by taking 85 minutes to throw in the ball
  • Just when it seems the U.S. will once again disappoint in the World Cup, Landon Donovan scores a game-winning goal in extra time to ensure the U.S. won't disappoint until the next round
  • World Cup refereeing is heralded as a triumph of heartwarming human bumbling over the cold, unfeeling precision of error-free replay technology, reminding fans what sport is all about
  • The French squad's petulant infighting provides the world with a life-affirming reinforcement of national stereotypes
  • Although Spain's Xabi Alonso manages to walk off his cleats-to-the-chest injury in the final, his teammate is carried off the field after kicking himself in the foot to draw a penalty
  • The unrelenting, exasperating noise emanating from soccer crowds is finally drowned out, thanks to some cheap plastic horns