SI: How much of yourself do you see in Freddy Adu?
Stewart: Well, when I first started hosting The Daily Show at 14, people thought I was older. Not true. I've just aged a lot since it started.
SI: You played against U.S. National Team coach Bruce Arena when he coached at Virginia. Did he ever say anything to you on the pitch?
Stewart: "Thank you for lowering your team's ability and allowing our team to trounce you year after year."SI: What will happen in the World Cup? Stewart: The U.S., coming out of the Group of Death, ties Ghana and the Czech Republic and beats Italy 1-0. We go into the quarterfinals where we face Brazil, but due to a terrible and ironic twist, the Brazilians get dysentery from the food in Germany and the U.S. wins in a shootout on a goal by Kasey Keller. Now we're in the semis where we play the host country, Germany. But in an amazing display of respect for America's status in the world, Germany decides to lay down its boots, allowing the States in a walkover to get to the finals. At this point we face Afghanistan, who got in with one of those Michelle Wie sponsor exemptions. They defeat the United States because they are on horseback. And that is turned into a movie that Pelé likes better than Victory. SI: In this same space Chris Rock said, "Hockey is like heroin. Only drug addicts do heroin. Hockey is kind of the same way. Only hockey fans watch hockey." Is soccer at all like heroin? Stewart: No, soccer is crystal meth. It's very addictive, but really messes up your teeth. I guess I've never viewed soccer as some sort of controlled substance. To me, it's probably more like Nutella. The rest of the world clearly loves it and puts it on almost everything, but here in America we're like, "I don't know, man, it tastes like almonds."
SI: Tell us about your goal against Connecticut, which helped William & Mary gain the school's second appearance in the NCAA men's soccer tournament?
Stewart: It was a gloomy day, partly cloudy. The temperature was 47 degrees. No one gave the fighting young Rebels from William & Mary a chance... It was a typical garbage goal, and like many of the goals I scored, was based on attitude. Even Pelé would agree I was not playing the beautiful game. I was playing the annoying game. I was the Ken Linseman of the game. But if I remember correctly, Scott Bell, who was from Canada and a much more prolific goal scorer than I was, drilled a beautiful 25-foot volley that knuckled and somehow confused our opponents' goalkeeper. I believe the ball bounced in my direction and somebody pushed my face into it and it ended up in the net.
As we mentioned earlier on this blog, Jon Stewart was a soccer standout at William & Mary when he was in college. Ahead of his hosting the Oscars this week, Jon sat down with Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch for a Q&A where he revealed such insightful details such as what he and Freddy Adu share in common, how the USA will fall to Afghanistan in the final game of the World Cup, and what addictive substance soccer is most like (Nutella!). Visit SI.com for the full interview, but here are my favorite bits: