When the 2010 World Cup kicks off its first game with host country South Africa against Mexico, some NFL fans might want to watch, but not be exactly sure what each team is like. Here is a handy guide comparing each World Cup qualifier with an equivalent NFL team.
South Africa – Denver Broncos: Both teams play at altitude and followed strong starts in 2009 with some disappointing finishes. Each set of fans is annoyingly loud as well, chanting IN-COM-PLETE or blowing on their vuvuzelas.
Mexico – Miami Dolphins: Consistently making early exits in the playoffs since we can remember. Mexico has lost in the Round of 16 every World Cup since Jozy Altidore has been alive.
Uruguay – Chicago Bears: Incredibly talented squads… in the 1930’s. The first World Cup champion and NFL Champion are far from their former golden eras.
France – New York Jets: Cocky, talented, and nearly unlikable. Cohesion is always an issue.
Argentina – New Orleans Saints: Both led by a diminutive superstar (Brees and Messi), each team puts up gaudy offensive numbers.
Nigeria – Arizona Cardinals: Osaze of the Super Eagles might be a better QB than Leinart or Anderson.
South Korea – Green Bay Packers: Over-matched physically at times, but speed and precision kill.
Greece – Washington Redskins: Money issues are not their best area… each goal Greece scores should half count for Germany.
England – San Diego Chargers: They perennially have incredible talent, but seem to falter on the biggest of stages.
USA – New York Giants: They don’t always win pretty, but win they do. They stick to their game plan, but have had some troubles with injuries.
Slovenia – Buffalo Bills: Both “small market” teams that are playing in one of the toughest divisions in their game. Group C and the AFC East aren’t exactly friendly playgrounds.
Germany – New England Patriots: Focused, hard-working team that tries to achieve balance and versatility in all phases of the game. I haven’t seen Germany coach Joachim Löw where a hoodie though.
Australia – Houston Texans: The Soccerroos and the Texans have long been mired in losing, but show signs of breaking out.
Serbia – Cincinnati Bengals: Long though to be on the verge of breaking through, each team is looking at its window closing soon.
Ghana – Tampa Bay Bucs: One has issues with Pirates, the others are Pirates.
Netherlands – Philadelphia Eagles: Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Extremely talented squads that never seem to get it done when it matters.
Denmark – Kansas City Chiefs: Improved squad with good leadership, but is going to have a tough time making it through.
Cameroon – Minnesota Vikings: Adrian Peterson and Samuel Eto’o are absolutely dominant, while Favre (QB) and Hamidou Souleymanou (GK) are some of the oldest at their positions.
Japan – Seattle Seahawks: The Blue Samurai… I think the Seahawks fans would embrace that nickname. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind changing their colors.
Italy – Baltimore Ravens: Defensive minded squads that absolutely dominate teams at times. Showing signs of an improved offense.
Paraguay – Carolina Panthers: Another two teams that have struggled to win the big games.
New Zealand – St. Louis Rams: Little fish in some big ponds. Completely over-matched at present.
Slovakia – San Francisco 49ers: Young teams with hard-nosed coaches.
Brazil – Dallas Cowboys: Each squad tries to play the “beautiful game”, but when penalties and ego get in the way it turns ugly fast.
Ivory Coast – Atlanta Falcons: Both teams have lost a great player (Drogba, Vick), but the Elephants will need to move on as well as the Falcons did.
Portugal – Pittsburgh Steelers: Big Ben and Cristiano Ronaldo should hang out, they both have a penchant for the ladies.
North Korea – Oakland Raiders: Al Davis and Kim Jong-Il, secretive old dudes that don’t know when to hand over the reins. Word is that North Korean citizens won’t be told about results unless they win – if only Oakland could do the same thing.
Spain – Indianapolis Colts: Incredible offenses led by two QB’s (Xavi and Manning) that can only be stopped with pressure. Both have led their teams to impressive win streaks in the past.
Chile – Detroit Lions: Chile itself is as narrow as the chances for these two teams to win it all in 2010.
Honduras – Jacksonville Jaguars: Nobody watches either of these teams, unless they are playing Spain/Indy.
Switzerland – Cleveland Browns: The Browns defense was so bad in 2009, that they seemed to be neutral.
What teams would you change around?