Best Uniform: Uruguay, for the insouciant way they wore their collars. No two players agreed -- should it be up, a la Eric Cantona; non-existent, a la Brazil, or all messed up? All messed up seemed to dominate.
Worst individual performance: Ricardo Clark, USA. Phew, he was dreadful. Substituted after half an hour against Ghana? That's a starting pitcher giving up 8 runs in the top of the first. On two grand slams. No one out. In the post-season.
Least enjoyable game: England vs. Algeria. Did anything at all actually happen? I remember the ref blowing for the start, and for half-time, and for the start of the second half, and for the end. In between? Beats me.
Most enjoyable game: In a world cup of few classics, Italy Slovakia was terrific. Especially as Italy scored a perfectly good goal to tie 3-3 and thereby go through, only to see yet another dodgy offside call ruin their tournament. Beat that.
Best two minutes of a game: Paraguay penalty, missed, despite the entire Spanish team, including the goalie, encroaching as far as the six-yard box before the ball was even struck. (Even the Spanish subs encroached.) Straight up the other end, Spain penalty, dispatched by Alonso with aplombo. Referee decides that THIS time there was encroachment, re-take, good save, but in doing so Paraguayan keeper de-kneecaps Fabregas, no penalty given. Great stuff.
Betraying least understanding of the sport: All those folks who said Luis Suarez 'cheated' in the Uruguay Ghana game. No, he stopped a 'goal' with his hand, which is illegal, and for which he correctly received a straight red card, and a penalty was awarded to Ghana. The fact that Asamoah Gyan missed the penalty has nothing to do with Suarez's actions. Cheating means you get away with it. He didn't.
Best morally-dubious moment: Luis Suarez crying like a baby after his red card (see above), then laughing hysterically when Asamoah Gyan missed the resulting penalty.
Betraying least understanding of the sport, part two: Alexei Lalas.
Most dramatic moment: Landon Donovan, added-time goal vs. Algeria.
Least informed celebration: Me, English, wildly cheering Landon Donovan's added-time goal vs. Algeria, and failing to immediately realize this pitted my home country against Germany in the round of 16.
Most overrated player: Bastian Schweinsteiger, Germany. One clever run against an already-beaten Argentina and suddenly he's Franz Beckenbauer? His performance against Spain in the semi-final proved what a few of us believed: he ain't all that.
Most overrated team: Argentina. Did no one notice that three of their back four were Gabriel Heinze, Nicolas Otamendi, and Martin Demichelis? That spells 'mid-table' if ever I saw it. And that their midfield dynamo was the excerable Javier Mascherano? He makes Mark van Bommel look like a ballet dancer.
Best place for a summer vacation, 2014: Brazil.
Click here for Howard Wolfon's Best and Worst.