Happy Friday, and Happy COPA America Centenario to all you soccer fans out there.
I found this article over at StarsandStripesFC, SB Nations USMNT & USWNT blog. I was totally unaware of this, but tonight's match vs. Colombia has bigger stakes than just group standings for COPA. America could be crowned the World Champions* with a win tonight!
Almost like the Championship belts in Boxing, or wrestling (for all you WWE fans out there), "Nasazzi's Baton" has been passed from country to country since the first World Cup in 1930.
...Yet not everybody viewed the title of world champions that way.
Some football fans imagined an alternative version of the world championship, viewing the honour the same way that titles are passed on in boxing. To become the world champions, they reckoned, you had to defeat the current holders of the title.
As such, Italy were not the "defending world champs" at the 1950 World Cup. Rather, England was the team putting the title on the line. They had defeated Scotland, who had defeated England beforehand, who had defeated Sweden, who had defeated Switzerland, and so on and so forth all the way back to Brazil, who had defeated the 1930 World Cup winners Uruguay in September of 1931.
Sure it's not really how this works (that's not how any of this works), but I found the idea to be fun. And while www.nasazzi.com isn't updated, Colombia's 3-1 win over Ecuador in a WCQ Match in March means they are the current holder of Nasazzi's Baton. With the USA is next in line to challenge.
So let's get 3 points and a Baton tonight! #USA #USA #USA!
And, last but not least, obligatory dog gif.