- The 2006 World Baseball Classic champion was Japan
- The 2004 Olympic gold medal basketball team was Argentina
- The 2004 World Cup Hockey champion was Canada and the 2006 Olympic gold-medal team was Sweden
- There is no national football team
"You start in a process that began four years ago with 204, 205 countries, and now you're down to 32," said U.S. soccer coach Bruce Arena recently of the World Cup. "That's the real animal. And maybe in this country no one understands this because we have our nice little -- not little -- nice professional leagues where we call whoever turns out the winner the world champion, which is the most bizarre thing I've ever heard, and never win a world championship in any of these sports anymore. This is it. This is the real world champion in sport."
Sort of leads one to an uncomfortable conclusion, doesn't it?