This image was lost some time after publication.

The World Cup is ominously close! So that you aren't caught offside (they have that in soccer, right?), we're previewing all the participants, bringing you Four Things You Don't Know About Them. If you have a tidbit, send it along to Today: Germany! And for World Cup previews that are even better than ours, check out That's On Point, who helped us with these as well.

1. Achtung!. OK, first of all, the Germans would like you to know that they are very sensitive about their history. A warning to fans, especially of the English persuasion: do not taunt Germany with your goose-stepping antics. Any goose-stepping will result in jail time. (A rule that could have been put to better use in '41, but better late than never we suppose). Also, no fake German helmets, or jokes that feature Goebbels. Anyone beginning a limerick with the line "There once was a dictator named Adolf," will be fined. Anyone seen mocking a Volkswagon is subject to arrest. Well, we don't see anything that could possibly go wrong.

2. They're Lovely In Goal. There may not be an uglier, more detestable player in International Football currently that No. 2 keeper Oliver Kahn. Unless it's No. 1 Jens Lehman. (Nice way to get sent off in the Champions League Final). — (thanks to Mike Cardillo).

3. Welcome To Sprockets. I Am Your Host, Corney. Third division club FC St. Pauli is currently owned by an openly gay, cross dressing theater owner, Corney Littmann (ranked No. 2 on FourFourTwo magazine's biggest 'Nutters' list). The club wears brown uniforms, attracts punks and greens and American Corey Gibbs once played for it. — (thanks to Mike Cardillo).


4. Mercenaries R Us. Of Germany's main striker options, none were born inside the countrie's borders; Gerald Asamoah (Ghana), Miroslav Klose (Poland) and Lucas Poldoski (Poland). Also, coach Jürgen Klinsman actually resides in Los Angeles and is under heavy fire for that, as well as adopting American training methods. By the way, current It-boy Bastian Schweinsteiger's last name, literally translates to, "Pig Climber." — (thanks to Mike Cardillo).

(Tomorrow: The United States.)