To those of you who chose to participate in TNR’s World Cup bracket (and there were over 370 of you), I have an important announcement: I am in (joint possession of) the lead. No foul play, no backchannel communications with Sepp Blatter, no Italian match fixing scandal—as your commissioner, you have my word.

Hovering within striking distance of the leaders, I merely felt the winds shift in favor of Germany and chose Spain. (As a further assurance, let me also note that my victory, should I manage to hold on, would be a purely moral one: The signed novels are reserved for readers only.)

Scanning the tables, I am tempted to also nominate a prize for best team name involving a pun. Some personal favorites include: “The Joy of Cesc,” “Ledley King and I,” and “I’ll be Celeste.” I’m sorry to say that the Messi ones—“Messi Situtation,” “And baby… he was Messi,” (the list goes on)—are amusing yet altogether too easy.

Thanks to all for participating in some friendly competition and, if you find yourself at the end of the tournament in the top five, make sure to email me at jzwick@tnr.com.