Daily Cal Intelligence Bureau dispatches from World Cup Russia: Part 3

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July 13, 2018

Counterintelligence Operations

Undisclosed Location: Russian Federation

Agent ******* Embedded

Berkeley, California



The Russians are on to me.

This may be the last intelligence report I can provide before they find me.

I have been deeply embedded in enemy territory for about a month now and had remained largely undetected because of careful planning, supreme training and the fact that Vladimir Putin is too short to have noticed me creeping around the top floors of the Kremlin.

I had remained perfectly anonymous until I heard the news that was shaking America to its core. While I was in a deli ordering a hot pirozhki to go with a cold vodka, blending in and such, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a breaking news ticker dash across the television screen that read:


I rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, and to my anguish, it wasn’t a dream at all — it was a nightmare.

The promise of Selena Gomez and Justin had been broken. That fateful choice extinguished true love, turned youth to dust and left the prophecy unfulfilled. Selena was supposed to bring balance to Justin, not break him!

I felt my heart shatter into a thousand tiny little pieces, each one painfully cutting into my soul with every passing moment of the tragic realization that Jelena was officially … Jegone.

I was trying to protect America from the outside but in the cruelest of fashions, it was destroying itself from the INSIDE. If I could not protect Justin and Selena — who could I?

A single tear ran down my cheek and before I could hide it, a local patron spotted me.

“He cry! American spy! Stop him!”

The entire pirozhki shop rushed toward me, yet I was able to John Wick my way out of there — but not before the authorities were alerted to my presence.

Before I had even reached my safe house, the Federal Security Service and local authorities had ransacked my room and plastered my face online and in the newspapers.

I’m a marked man now, living life on the run, but I refuse to surrender until this World Cup has concluded. If Oski has taught me anything, it’s to finish what I started.

I only regret that I have but one life to give to my campus.



Waffles. Chocolate. Mistresses. Crepes.

France and Belgium engaged in a bloody struggle to gain control of their four most valuable natural resources this past Tuesday. Both sides had defeated impressive opponents to get to this point with the French eliminating Uruguay and the Belgians besting the Brazilians — the stage was set for an epic battle between these two frenemies.

Only it was not all that epic.

The French deployed a strategy that the Belgians decried as “anti-football,” France called “defense” and our intelligence would classify as “boring.” The French players had realized that their little neighbors’ strategy was based almost entirely on counter attacking, so rather than pushing forward, Les Bleus prudently hung back and let the enemy come to them. It worked.

The French controlled the midfield with Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté while the rest of the team clogged passing lanes, withstood pressure, made timely tackles and distracted their Belgian counterparts with arguments over which nation’s fries tasted better and the relative virtue of Bruges.

The Belgians controlled 60 percent of possession yet only managed nine shots on the French defense and only three of them could be classified as quality chances. The French, meanwhile, fired 19 shots and generated five good chances, including this beauty, but ultimately they only needed one to seal the deal. Samuel Umtiti’s header in the 51st minute would prove to be the difference as France consolidated control of the match, even without the ball. The Belgians gave it all they had and even sent out their secret weapon of Jean-Claude Van Damme to regain a foothold, but it was not to be.

The crepe conflict may be settled but the waffle war has only just begun.


Our British allies suffered a bitter defeat at the hands of a rising Balkan power led by a former London understudy named Luka Modrić and his two Ivans — Perišić and Rakitić. It was a dramatic slugfest but ultimately the Croatians outlasted and out opera-ed the English.

The British public appeared to be under the impression that there was actually hope despite all history to the contrary and the queen’s recent edict that the team had to lose or face the consequences of her wrath. The raucous cheering from the public over the last few matches had interrupted her afternoon naps and that was an inconvenience Her Majesty could not afford. If the winning did not stop at once, the queen vowed to suspend the grain dole for the local serfdom.

The Three Lions faithfully adopted the corny ‘90s cut “Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home)” in an effort to meme their way to the trophy, but despite their best efforts, the players themselves came to the sudden realization that they were England after all, so a painful defeat was in order. Defeat was secured, the queen’s nap schedule was protected and Brexit is … still happening? Frankly, our intelligence sources are still a little fuzzy on that one.

At least the English can still hold onto the glory of being the best at throwing beer into the air.

This is a satirical article written purely for entertainment purposes.

Rory O’Toole writes for Bear Bytes, the Daily Californian’s sports blog. Contact him at [email protected].