I just watched the World Cup draw on ESPN2. First of all, let me say that Charlize Theron is fine.
Second, I get very annoyed when I hear commentators and analysts instantly opine on which is the so-called Group of Death. Mainly because they're wrong. Before I explain, here's the draw:
Group A: South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France
Group B: Argentina, Nigeria, South Korea, Greece
Group C: England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia
Group D: Germany, Australia, Ghana, Serbia
Group E: Holland, Japan, Cameroon, Denmark
Group F: Italy, New Zealand, Paraguay, Slovakia
Group G: Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast, Portugal
Group H: Spain, Honduras, Chile, Switzerland
Looking at that, the analysts immediately said that Group G is the Group of Death, mainly because they've heard of Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba. This is stupid. Portugal simply aren't a very good team. They really struggled through qualifying -- even with Crystiano -- and unlike Argentina and France, who also struggled, there's no upside there. I don't see anyone other than Brazil and Cote d'Ivoire getting through there.
More generally, groups of death normally take place when you have absolutely no freebies. North Korea is patently a freebie. There are actually two groups of death for next year: Group B and Group D. None of the eight teams in those groups can really be thought of as the top favorites for the entire tournament, but not one of the twelve matches in those groups is easily predictable. Not one.
I will say this about Group G: it's hard enough getting through that group, but then when you consider that the first knock-out game for the teams getting through will be either Spain or Chile...wow. If one of Brazil or Spain mess up in their groups, and somehow finish second, can you imagine a round of 16 knockout between those two? Yikes.
Oh, and Italy? Lucky buggers. Though it bears mentioning Paraguay are not an easy out.