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First things first: GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!! Here, have a John Philip Sousa march:

Wonderful.

Folks! The quarterfinals are here! This is where things get crazy, and upsets happen, and generally every moment is super dramatic. At this point we have 8 teams that are only 3 wins away from taking the Cup home. To recap: France (1 title), Germany (3), Brazil (5), Colombia (0), Argentina (2), Belgium (0), Netherlands (0), Costa Rica (0). This is pretty exciting, because right now there’s a 50% chance that we’re going to have a new winner this year. Oh, and before I forget, we have to add in my 1 point for Argentina’s (non-penalty-shootout) win.

Brian’s Prediction Points Tally = 39

The stake have been raised, so the point allocation is going to be raised again, too. Now a win will get me 3 points, a penalty shootout win will get me 1.5, and a correct score prediction will earn me a whopping 9 points. I highly doubt that this will happen.

The early match today is one that I haven’t the foggiest clue how to predict but am SO EXCITED to watch: France v. Germany. This may be my most anticipated match of the tournament. Germany were my pre-tournament favorites, but France have been my favorite team to watch, so I honestly don’t know who I want to win. It would be great if France could take the whole thing after their devastating finals loss to Italy in 2006 and group-stage catastrophe in 2010, but Germany haven’t won since 1990, and they’ve got the most Arsenal players on their team since Bacary Sagna of France just left for Manchester City, so I’m torn. Both teams struggled in their round of 16 matches, but France looked just a bit stronger, especially at the back. If it weren’t for Manuel Neuer coming out of the box and acting more like a defender than a goalkeeper, Algeria likely would have stolen that game. This is tough. I think Germany are going to win. I think this is going to be the game they get it together. If they don’t, then oh well, I get to see more of France’s ultra-attacking style. Poor me. My prediction:

France 1 : 2 Germany

I have no idea who it's going to be, though.

It’s all fun and games until someone gets knocked out of the World Cup.

The second game of the day is the controversial one, because there is no doubt in my mind that Colombia are going to wipe the floor with Brazil. Neymar is a fantastic player, but to win the World Cup, you need 11 fantastic players. Colombia have 23 fantastic players, plus the ever-present specter of Carlos Valderrama’s hair. Colombia might win this whole thing. This is going to be an insane game to watch, because there are likely to be nearly as many Colombia fans as Brazil fans in attendance, and also because there’s the obvious threat of full-scale rioting that might occur if/when Brazil lose. Honestly, though, Brazil, it’s bound to happen sooner or later, so maybe it’s better if it happens now so you don’t get your hopes up too much. Image how terrible it would feel to lose in the final to a team like the Netherlands. That wouldn’t sit very well. At least if you go out in the quarterfinals, you can just chock it up to a bad squad, regroup, and try again next time. If you go out in the final—again—you might all have to commit suicide or something. I’m not sure what the official FIFA rules are for losing a final in your home country twice. My prediction:

Brazil 1 : 3 Colombia

No one will ever see you or hear from you ever again.

Make Carlos proud, James, or he’ll find you, and he’ll put you in his hair.

Dear god, I hope that the France-Germany game ends like 41-42 or something. It has the potential for so many goals. It could be the most exciting game ever. It could be. I really hope both teams don’t just sit back and defend against what they believe is going to be an inevitable onslaught. BRING ON THE INEVITABLE ONSLAUGHTS.

Now, I kinda think France are going to win.

Maybe.

I don’t know.

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