Here we are at the finals of Europe! Up next, the Final Four!
(1) Paris vs. (10) Trans-Siberian Express
Frustrated ever since their exit in Round 2 of the Asia bracket, China has come roaring back to influence the finals of the European circuit. When Chinese officials got word of the success that the Trans-Siberian Express was experiencing, their Tourism Director decided to make an inquiry to tournament officials, citing the fact that one of the major lines of the Trans-Siberian runs from Moscow to Beijing through Mongolia. Well, wouldn't you know it, this got the snowball rolling - so to speak. Play-in game loser, Mongolia, then protested that the Trans-Siberian Express should hardly be classified as a European entry, as most of the line is within the continent of Asia. Geography purists will comment that there is no such thing as the continents of Europe and Asia, but one mega continent, known as Eurasia. Tournament officials were now drowning in protests, and the train had yet to leave the station (pardon the pun)! Beijing, as the Chinese are wont to do, decided to play some back-door politics by seeing if they could get their fellow Security Council members - London, England - to co-sign a joint complaint to tournament officials. With their summer Olympic ties bonding the two nations, London and Beijing concocted a back door proposal to the Trans-Siberian Express. Their proposal was quite simple: as most tourists will simply not be jumping on board a train from Moscow and heading out east, high not form a mega train, traveling from London, U.K. all the way to Beijing China, all in the comforts of Euro lines coaches. This was an intriguing proposal, and the Russians were quick to accept - ignoring any ramifications from officials of course - as they feared Paris and the French would present a stiff opponent for the finals.
As all this was transpiring, the European Union was quick to convene an emergency session, fearing that their reputation as the world's leader in tourist destinations would lose some of its lustre, out of the pure complexities of the London-Russian-Mongolian-