The Evster's top XI things to look forward to in the World Cup™

The Evster's top XI things to look forward to in the World Cup™

WARNING: THIS POST IS ABOUT SOCCER

1. Paul Pogba's Hair

With apologies to Arturo Vidal and the entire Japanese National Team, no one has better hair than Paul Pogba. I'm not even sure what Paul's got goin' on up there. It's like a half-Gumby, half-Prince, half-Peanut Buster Parfait-lookin' jawn and yes I realize that's too many halfs. Plus, he shaved some Nick Van Exel lines in his eyebrow and correct me if I'm wrong, is that dyed blonde chin hair? This dude is so cool looking, and also happens to be one of the best young midfielders in the world. Now that France has Paul Pogba (real name!) playing behind Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Yohan Cabaye (PSG) and the adorable Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille) / Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich) combo platter, Les Bleus might actually not suck beaucoup de butt this time around.

[nbcsports_video src=//www.youtube.com/embed/1yo6K1WItIA width=620 height=349]

2. Beautiful (and I mean beeeee-yooooooo-tiful) Colombian Women

Maybe it's the cocaine. Maybe it was my sheltered Jewish upbringing. But Colombia has BY FAR the most attractive fans. For those of you out there who are like, "AYO EVSTER, WHAT ABOUT PARAGUAY?" Please note that they failed to make this year's tourney. And Sofia Vergara is Colombian. And sex on cocaine seems INCREDIBLE.

3. Spain v. Netherlands on Match Day 2!

Forget about giving players time to find the cleanest hookers, FIFA has scheduled a 2010 Final rematch on the very first Friday. The defending champs (sorry, "cup holders"), Spain, return with an even more ridiculous midfield, consisting of Xavi (Barça), Iniesta (Barça), Sergio Busquets (Barça), Cesc Fabregas (OMG WE GET IT, BARCA), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Juan Mata (Man U), Rafael Nadal (Roland Garros), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Frank Dorblestam (FC Dorbsville), Koke (Atletico) and David Silva (Man City). Unfortunately, up front they'll still be starting Fernando Torres (fart noise).

The Dutch no longer have Mark Van Bommel to regulate the midfield (he retired), but they do still have the Nigerian (not Nigerian) Nightmare, Nigel de Jong.

[nbcsports_video src=//www.youtube.com/embed/J2NqS4IBLxw width=620 height=465]

Prediction: Spain 2, Arjen Robben NOPE.

4. Andrea Pirlo's Beard and Gigi Buffon's Barrettes

Gennaro Gattuso, Pirlo's ex-teammate at Milan, summed him up best, "When I see what Andrea can do with the ball, I have to ask myself whether I am a footballer." Granted, Gattuso was one of the least-skilled midfielders to ever play, but still, I'm not telling him that wasn't a good quote. That guy's crazy.

He sometimes wears an ascot, too!

5. The Return of Michael Essien, Alex Song, Didier Drogba, and other Gigantic African Dudes

The last few years in America, we've been denied the opportunity to see these African superstars because of injury (the Bison), Barcelona's depth at midfield (thanks, Sergio Busquets) and banishment to Turkey (is that where Galatasary is?). But now these three monsters are BACK, along with their adorable African mates.

It's amazing how easy it is for Africans to endear themselves to Americans. This is partly due to the unbridled joy they play with. As well as their passion. And the fact that their continent is literally riddled with dysentery. Or it could just be Samuel Eto'o's ears. Also, is that where you're supposed to put the apostrophe in "Eto'o's"? FASCINATING.

I have an amazing idea that revolves around African footballers that I've never shared with anyone... let me know what you think. Let's say you owned a mid-tier English Premier League team -- some team like Stoke or West Ham or Sunderland -- who was never in contention for a Champions League berth, but always fighting to stay up in the top flight. Every off-season you sell your best players off and scrounge for new talent. But why not sell EVERYBODY, and simply rebuild your team with ONLY Nigerian internationals? You could still be West Ham, but you'd be made up of strictly Nigerians. That would be your team. Nigeria. You wouldn't have to pay big-time salaries (John Obi-Mikel and Victor Moses would be your only bank-breakers), and the rest of the squad would just be African warriors who would PLAY THEIR AFRICAN HEARTS OUT. Every single match. They'd take it as a personal, no, NATIONAL challenge, to beat those English pig dogs every time out. Do you think Ogenyi Onazi would let his team get relegated?! OF COURSE HE WOULDN'T. I don't even know who he is, but he wouldn't let James Milner beat him. I obviously think this is a brilliant idea. There's no reason Fulham can't also be Ghana.

As a sidenote, Ghana plays Germany on June 21st.

AKA...

DA BATTLE OF DA BOATENG BROS!!!

6. Everything about Belgium

No longer just some cutesy European contender, the Belgians are HERE TO BELGE. They have potentially the best centre-back duo in the world with Vincent Kompany (Man City) and Daniel Van Buyton (Bayern Munich), plus loads of fire power up front: Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg), Adnan Januzaj (Man U), Lurf Flervswan (Made Him Up), Kevin Mirallas (Everton) and Romelo LOO-KA-KU (Chelsea/Everton/$$$).

Also, if you haven't seen it, the move In Bruges is TOTALLY worth watching. Colin Farrell. Ralph Fiennes. Some other people. Awesome flick. I actually visited Bruges a few years ago and it was really, really nice.

Pic or it didn't happs, Ev!

BOOM BABY.

Why do we live in Philadelphia again?!

This church claims to have a vile of Jesus's blood!

HORSE!

7. Mesut Özil's Eyes (and yes, I also mean his field vision)

Sure, he might look like Marty Feldman, but Özil is the smoothest, silkiest, niftiest playmaker in the world. And his eyes are so bulbous! And he might have herpes on his lip there. But that's cool with me! Get 'em Ozie! I mean Özie! Adam Oatesy!

8. There's a Guy on Greece Named Sokratis Papastathopoulos

LOVIN DAT CHEST HAIR, STEPHANOPOULOS.

9. Argentina's Attack

You know when you order nachos and you can't decide to get 'em loaded or just regular and then you decide to get 'em regular 'cuz you don't wanna spend the extra $4? Then the waiter brings 'em out and you're like, "We shoulda got 'em loaded!" Well, Argentina got 'em loaded. They got 'em so, so loaded. There's sour cream and guacamole all over the place. Leo Messi (Barça), Sergio Aguero (Man City), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid), Ezequiel Lavezzi (PSG) and Rodrigo Palacio (AND HIS TAIL). It's stupid how many forwards they have. It's honestly stupid. Please tell me you clicked on that "tail" link. PLEASE TELL ME YOU CLICKED ON IT.

10. The Samba Boys

Nothing else matters, folks. Nothing else matters. When push comes to shove, it's all about the Brazilians. I don't care who's partnering up front with Wayne Rooney. It doesn't matter how cute my wife thinks Clint Dempsey is. The Samba Boys are the illest. They have a guy named Fred for cryin' out loud. Fred! And Hulk. And Neymar. And Os-CAR. And their two attacking fullbacks -- Marcelo and Dani Alves -- are more skilled than any other team's wingers. I know, I know, style doesn't always beat substance, but these guys are by far the most fun team to watch, and I'm not even sure if "style doesn't beat substance" is an actual saying.

11. This Uncle Drew-inspired Football Video Will BLOW YO MIND

[nbcsports_video src=//www.youtube.com/embed/VGEfNcvntno width=620 height=349]

And now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to shit my pants.

Follow The Evster @TVMWW.

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

OKLAHOMA CITY -- James Harden scored 21 points, and the Houston Rockets overcame Russell Westbrook's seventh consecutive triple-double to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-99 on Friday night.

Harden also had 12 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets win their fifth straight. Houston withstood Harden's 6-for-23 shooting effort.

Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He has the longest triple-double streak since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989. The most in a row is nine by Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968.

It was Westbrook's 12th triple-double this season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA's active leader in the category and ranks sixth all-time.

The Thunder had won the previous six games during Westbrook's triple-double binge (see full story).

James moves into 9th on scoring list as Cavs top Heat 114-84
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 27 points to move into ninth place on the NBA scoring list, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Miami Heat 114-84 on Friday night.

James passed Elvin Hayes on a driving layup with 6:58 remaining and has 27,315 career points. The four-time MVP was removed about a minute later and received a loud ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Kevin Love, a game-time decision because of back spasms, scored a team-high 28 points and had 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. He missed the morning shootaround but was in the lineup after warming up on the court about an hour before tip-off.

Kyrie Irving added 23 points for the Cavs, who have won three straight after losing three in a row.

Derrick Williams scored 17 points to lead the short-handed Heat, who have lost four straight (see full story). 

Schroder has career-high 33, Hawks rally past Bucks 114-110
MILWAUKEE -- Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 33 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from 20 down in the second half to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-110 on Friday night.

Paul Millsap had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18.

The Hawks, who ended a seven-game losing streak Wednesday with a win over Miami, trailed by 20 at halftime. A 40-point third quarter put them back in the game.

Jabari Parker scored 27 for Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo, in foul trouble throughout the game, had 14.

Atlanta pulled ahead 105-103 on Kyle Korver's jumper with 3:15 remaining, giving the Hawks their first lead since early in the game (see full story). 

Best of NHL: Blue Jackets top Red Wings to notch 5th straight win

Best of NHL: Blue Jackets top Red Wings to notch 5th straight win

DETROIT -- Brandon Dubinsky scored a tiebreaking goal in the second period and the surging Columbus Blue Jackets won their fifth straight game, 4-1 over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.

Lukas Sedlak got his first NHL goal for the Blue Jackets, who have earned at least a point in 12 of their last 13 games. Cam Atkinson contributed a short-handed goal in the first period for Columbus.

Dylan Larkin's power-play goal in the second was the only scoring of the night for the Red Wings. Sergei Bobrovsky had 32 saves for the Blue Jackets.

Sam Gagner scored into an empty net with 13.9 seconds remaining (see full story). 

Staal scores in 6th round of SO to lift Wild over Oilers
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Eric Staal scored in the sixth round of a shootout and the Minnesota Wild beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on Friday night.

Matt Dumba and Jason Zucker scored in regulation for Minnesota, which has won three straight.

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk made 25 saves. He entered with a league-best .946 save percentage and 1.65 goals-against average.

Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had goals for the Oilers, whose four-game losing streak began with a 2-1 home overtime loss to the Wild last Sunday.

Staal scored on a backhand deke before Nugent-Hopkins fired wide in the sixth round (see full story). 

Raanta, Rangers beat Blackhawks 1-0 in overtime
CHICAGO -- Nick Holden scored 55 seconds into overtime, Antti Raanta made 26 saves against his former team and the New York Rangers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0 on Friday night.

Derek Stepan passed from the boards to a streaking Holden in the middle of the ice, and he beat Scott Darling on the stick side for his fourth goal of the season.

Darling was going for his second straight shutout while subbing for injured starter Corey Crawford but had to settle for another solid performance.

Raanta, who made his NHL debut with Chicago in 2013 and played for the Blackhawks for two seasons before he was traded to New York, improved to 15-0-3 in 20 career appearances at the United Center.

The 27-year-old Raanta had 17 saves in Thursday's 2-1 victory at Winnipeg, and coach Alain Vigneault opted to give him a second straight start over Henrik Lundqvist because of his recent play and his success in Chicago (see full story).

Oshie, Johansson, Grubauer lift Caps over Sabres 4-1
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- T.J. Oshie and Marcus Johansson each scored a goal, Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves and the Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 on Friday night for their third straight win.

Jakub Vrana and John Carlson also scored, helping Washington beat Buffalo for the third time in 15 days.

Kyle Okposo scored and Robin Lehner made 25 saves for Buffalo. The Sabres have lost three of their last four.

Oshie gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead 6:43 into the second period when he lifted a shot from the right edge of the crease past Lehner. Jay Beagle drew two defenders into the corner and sent the puck back to a wide open Oshie for his ninth goal of the season (see full story).