With the World Cup only days away, you can probably find a preview in every newspaper, magazine, television show and website around the world. In these previews, you will likely find analysis about who will win each group and specific information about Argentina's great Lionel Messi and the impact Didier Drogba's injury will have on the Ivory Coast's chances.
Well, you're not going to find this information here. Instead, I'm proud to provide a World Cup preview about stuff you probably didn't think you wanted to know.
• Tallest players: Serbia's Nikola Zigic at 6'8" and England's Peter Crouch at 6'7". Crouch is listed at 165 pounds, which couldn't be correct, right? Los Angeles Lakers' Ron Artest is 6'7" and 260 pounds!
• Shortest players: Danilo Tucios and Walter Martinez of Honduras; Aaron Lenon of England; and Arthur Boka of the Ivory Coast are all 5'5". I feel tall compared to these guys!
• Heaviest: There are only 18 players at the World Cup weighing 200 pounds or more, yet three are Americans led by the heaviest player in South Africa goalie Marcus Hahnemann at 227 pounds. U-S-A! U-S-A! Of these 18 players, 10 are goalies.
• Skinniest: France's Mathieu Valbuena is 128 pounds.
• Oldest: Netherlands' Sander Boschker was born on October 20, 1970.
• Youngest: Denmark's Christian Eriksen was born on February 14, 1992. You feel old, don't you?
• Longest name: Sokratis Papastrathopoulos. You'll be shocked to discover that he plays for Greece.
• Shortest name: Former Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Ed Ott. Actually, for a two-name player (as opposed to players known by only one name like Portugal's Deco) Japan's Yuki Abe and North Korea's Ri Jun-Il share the honor.
• All-Name Team: If you still have the humor of a 13 year-old:
Kim Dong-Jin – South Korea
Kaka – Brazil
Pepe – Portugal
Danny Shittu – Nigeria
Jorg Butt – Germany
Gaetan Bong – Cameroon
• I share a birthday with: America's Oguchi Onyewu and the Ivory Coast's Yaya Toure (May 13).
• Opposing brothers: Germany's Jermone Boateng has a brother, Kevin-Prince Boateng, that plays for Ghana. Apparently Kevin-Prince became frustrated in not getting called up by the German team and decided to represent the country of his father's birth. Naturally, they will face each other in Group D.
• Where's Waldo (Ponce)? He's a defender for Chile.
• Most Fabios: Italy has two of them (Fabio Cannavaro and Fabio Quagliarella).
Finally, while you won't see David Beckham playing in South Africa, you may see Denmark's Mikkel Beckmann.