“Dear God, I know I’m not staying awake for it, but please make tonight’s Copa America semi-final between Venezuela and Paraguay a real cracker. And if you can, could you arrange for something ridiculous to happen after the match so I have something to put up on the Paddy Power Blog tomorrow morning. Thank you. Oh yeah, I know I ask this every night, but could you also arrange for the triumphant return of Chesney Hawkes to the top of the charts? Yours sincerely, Aidan”
That was the summary of the little prayer I said to God last night before turning in after a hard day of greasing the wheels of the Paddy Power Propaganda machine. The bit about the good football match hasn’t come to pass and unless there’s a peculiar spike in downloads of The One And Only between now and Sunday, I don’t think old Chesney will be returning to prominence anytime soon, but the Lord above did see fit to grace us with a familiar sight – namely overly emotional Latin Americans kicking lumps out of each other.
After a crap match and a penalty shoot-out, it all kicked off with many of the players displaying more energy than they’d shown for the previous 120 minutes. It’s mainly a lot of posturing and running away, but there is the occasional kick and punch, which is good enough for us. Plus, we learned the word ‘patetico’ from the commentator, which we can only assumed was a reference to the quality of the poor punches being thrown.