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Women’s World Cup Final Breaks Twitter Record

18 Jul

Move over fellas. The women are the biggest draw around this summer. With the viewing numbers set to be released in the next few days (and expect some records to be shattered), the internet has already revealed a new Twitter record for the Women’s World Cup final yesterday afternoon. The match between the United States and Japan drew an average 7,196 tweets per second at its peak, breaking the previously held record of 6,939 set just after midnight in Japan on New Year’s Day.

Sunday’s theme was undoubtedly penalty kicks, as viewers watched Japan defeat the United States followed by Paraguay over Brazil just minutes later. The 3:00pm kick-off for the Copa America quarterfinal, 15 minutes after the Women’s World Cup match began, provided a continuous nail-biting climax for viewers. As a result, Brazil-Paraguay generated 7,166 tweets per second, claiming second place on the all-time list.

For a bit of perspective, here are the peaks from other recent major events:

5,530 – Earthquake/tsunami in Japan
5,106 – Bin Laden’s death
4,064 – Super Bowl XLV, Green Bay vs Pittsburgh
3,966 – Kate and William’s wedding
3,051 – 2010 men’s World Cup Final, Spain vs Holland

Granted with approximately 600,000 new Twitter users daily, more recent events will generate a greater volume of tweets. Regardless, it is a testament to this World Cup and the manner in which the women competed that so many people around the world were drawn to their television screens on Sunday afternoon. Drama, resilience, and the absence of simulation and diving made the final, and the entire tournament for that matter, a must-see event.

Now if only the men can learn to emulate that…


World Cup Voting Breakdown

2 Dec

Here’s how FIFA’s Executive Committee voted on the two bids. What stands out more than anything is England’s dismissal in the very first round of voting (no surprise), as well as Qatar’s dominance in all four rounds. Strangely enough, the USA was neck and neck with Korea throughout the voting process. That the Koreans impressed more with the possibility of having matches in North Korea is a statement and smack in the face to the United States’ bid.

2018 World Cup Voting Breakdown

First round England 2, Holland/Belgium 4, Spain/Portugal 7 votes, Russia 9 votes (England eliminated)

Second round Holland/Belgium 2, Spain/Portugal 7, Russia 13 (Russia obtain an absolute majority)

Russia Win

2022 World Cup Voting Breakdown

First round: Australia 1, Japan 3, USA 3, South Korea 4, Qatar 11 (Australia eliminated)

Second round: Japan 2 votes, Korea Republic 5 votes, Qatar 10 votes and USA 5 votes (Japan eliminated)

Third round: Korea Republic 5 votes, Qatar 11 votes, USA 6 votes (Korea Republic eliminated)

Fourth round: Qatar 14 votes and USA 8 votes (Qatar obtain an absolute majority)

Qatar Win

Get To Know The World Cup Bids

1 Dec

We are less than a day away from FIFA’s announcement of who will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. After months upon months of politicking, accusations, revelations of bribes, cheating, and sweet-talking, we can finally conclude what has arguably been the most intense and shocking fight to host the greatest tournament in the world. It will be the first time FIFA chooses two host countries at the same time, in an effort to pillage maximum profit with a single package of media rights for both tournaments.

Save the FIFA bashing for another time. What is most important for us, the fans, is where exactly and how far we will need to travel. South Africa was clearly a nightmare this past summer from all reports, and the empty stadiums were proof of that. Australia, Korea, Japan, Qatar, and the depths of Russia are accessible but surely not the most affordable. Meanwhile, the European countries as well as the United States would be a dream come true.

So rather than go into the minute details of each bid, which could take months, I have instead provided you with the “bid videos” for each country – short snippets of the cities and stadium designs jockeying for World Cup glory. Enjoy!! (I HIGHLY recommend watching Qatar and Russia’s video. And of course, ours) Continue reading

In Memorium – Paul the Octopus 2008-2010

27 Oct

Since Paul never had a chance to complete his will, please help determine what should be done with him by answering the question above.

Are or you’re an asshole, you can start following Maradona on Twitter who supposedly wrote “I’m glad you’re dead” in response to Paul’s passing.

France sponsors want their money back – Part 2

8 Oct

As reported a little over a week ago, three of the main sponsors of the French national team were demanding compensation for the repulsive behavior of the team during the World Cup while donning their logos. As if that was not embarrassing enough, the situation has only worsened.

Now, everybody wants a piece of the FFF. All twelve of the team’s sponsors have agreed on a payment scale in which “there will be bonuses and penalties based on results and image,” according to FFF vice-president Noel Le Graet. The sponsors can reward a 10-15% bonus if the team starts winning games and, in the process, conducts themselves like normal, civilized, human beings. If not, they will reduce their contributions by the same amount.

Does this not hark back to your childhood? I remember my mother offering me cookies and sweets when I behaved well. Obviously, time-out in the corner resulted from being a brat. This is exactly what has transpired in France, and it is so pathetic yet hilarious all at once.

If you act like a baby, you’ll be treated like one. Come to think of it, I’d throw lots of money behind a Toddler XI to beat this current French squad any day of the week. Then the sponsors would pull the plug on France and the new fad in world football would be Pampers!

It could happen ya know…

World Cup champs receive their weight…in beer

6 Oct

Trophies…keys to the city…medals…videos…photos –  the spoils of war for winning the World Cup. But let’s be honest, all these things will hang on the wall or sit in a case and remain untouched and unused for years to come. That is what winning the World Cup gets you? Nonsense!!

Thank heavens the Spaniards have other options. Cruzcampo, one la selección’s main sponsors, has decided to reward their champions with a different type of memento. Something that won’t collect dust and become obsolete in a year’s time. Something that will generate continued celebration and debauchery for months and months to come – BEER.

Yesterday, one by one, the squad stepped onto the “beer scale,” which measured their weight in kilos and converted that into liters. However much brawn you brought to the table determined the number of cases you walked out with.

In total, the team amassed 1,734 liters of beer. The most went to Basque striker Fernando Llorente, pictured above, weighing in at 94.6kg (approx 209 lbs). Poor little Jesús Navas who weighs all of 60kg (approx 132lbs) only went home with 180 beers…

Oktoberfest?! Pff. Looks like Novemberfest, Decemberfest, and maybe even Januaryfest are in order for the world champions. 

Friday Links!

23 Jul

A great collection of look alikes for members of Manchester United [Right this way]

Sky Sports (England’s ESPN) released an indescribable commercial for their brand spankin’ new season. [Chicks in leather]

An insight into how American politics interact with football. I promise you won’t find another article like it. [Click]

UEFA’s cowardly response to goal-line techonology [The Guardian]

More disgusting and despicable behavior from South American club football [Managers starting fights]

All of the World Cup murals you may, or may not, have seen [Artwork this way]

Iniesta’s Battle Scars

14 Jul

Very ouch baby.

A Final Farewell to World Cup 2010

14 Jul

The planet has shifted back to reality. Parties and celebrations have come to a close. With England reporting an estimated loss of $1.5-2.3 billion in productivity during the tournament, we can now all return to work and actually do work. I on the other hand, am the anomaly. Having DVR’ed every single game of this tournament, my daily goal was to avoid every game and every score (zero internet). Productivity from my end sky rocketed! My imbalance has now leveled out. After what we witnessed this past month, it would behoove international football to find its balance as well.

South Africa 2010 was a monumental tournament, because it initiated a mammoth shift in the way football is, and will be played on the international level for years to come. Sure, we bitched and moaned about the lack of goals early on. The defensive tactics, non-existent creativity, and cagey gameplans. But now that this tournament is over, and the fewest goals have been scored in years, it’s pretty safe to say that this was no fluke. There are a number of causes – each with it’s own ramifications on how we will see the game played out before our eyes 4 years from now in Brazil.

“End of the old guard” – a rather fitting summary of this World Cup. England, Italy, France, and Brazil will be unrecognizable to a majority of the planet in 2014. They came to this tournament dragging the decaying bodies of players past their prime. Players who had shown their effectiveness with their respective clubs, surrounded by the world’s best, only to arrive in South Africa with a sense of entitlement to stink the whole place up. Brazil, England, and Italy had 3 of the top 4 oldest squads. It’s not surprising that with age, experience, and success comes this entitlement that I refer to. A cocky and egotistical player that puts himself above team and country. What worked then surely still works now, no? Just look at what happened to France and England, and even Portugal to an extent.

The world’s most famous and successful countries must go back to the drawing board. Elder statesmen must be discarded. Youth – fresh, ambitious, untested, sprightly young men – are the future. I don’t think a turnover like this has ever happened on such a massive scale. You would think the best teams would balance experience with inexperience, but they haven’t. Now there’s no choice. If this tournament showed us anything, it’s that the younger and more creative players are the key to success. Players who are too young to have been over-hyped with expectations by their countrymen, and can go out and play stress free. That weight off your shoulders is the difference between reaching progressing to the semifinals or being dropped in the round of 16 (or even the group stages).

You could say this World Cup was revolutionary. More significant than countries offing the old farts, is how the actual game of football will be played from now on. In this respect club football is a miles and miles ahead of the international game. Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Arsenal started this transformation years ago – a game of possession that requires patience and quick passing. Where the best defense is offense. International football has just now caught up. The introduction of the 4-2-3-1 formation, which practically every team from the quarterfinals onwards used, epitomizes this style of play. Two midfielders in the hole just in front of the 4 defensemen provide the supply lines to the attacking midfielders and striker. No more of that long ball garbage. Keep it neat and tidy, passing the ball on the ground, from one end of the field to the other.

4-4-2 is a thing of the past. The attacking nature of that formation opens up too many gaps for the more disciplined teams to exploit (see Germany vs England). And we are also seeing defense taken to a different level, and 4-4-2 simply doesn’t have the ability to consistently break down modern defenses. Were it not for Spain winning, the international game would have stuttered. Teams would have walked away thinking that physical dominance and brute force are still keys to winning. Sorry but it couldn’t be farther from the truth.
This was the tournament of the team. Of course there were individuals who excelled, but nobody head and shoulders above the rest. There were probably 6 or 7 players who could have staked claim to the Golden Ball Award. You could see how this played out on the field with only the countries who played as a unit moving forward. England, Portugal, Italy, France, all suffered from living in the past and relying on individuals. Moreover, this idea of “team” and unity counts as much off the pitch as it does on. Africa crashed out of this tournament early, and it’s not really a surprise. Ivory Coast hired their coach a couple months before the tournament and South Africa’s barely had a full year. Cameroon went through 3 managers in the 2 years leading up to this. Only Ghana got it right – with youth. Organization at home is key to success. It has a trickle down effect to the players, the team, and the supporters. South America on the flip side doesn’t screw around. Violence at matches and blood thirsty media outlets will always be a problem, but there is a level of stability that is always maintained. It is the one area the national federations have under control and their success in the World Cup was a direct result.
Youth, organization, possession. That is where international football is headed. Every kid coming through the ranks is being exposed to the modern game. Without any accolades of their own at such a young age, they must rely on their teammates to form a cohesive, efficient unit. I realize this seems absurdly elementary, and believe me it is. But too many of the great teams don’t believe in it – they believe their trophy cases dictate how they should play. Changes are coming…

Now it’s time for the world to learn how to develop these keys to success, and moreover how to beat Spain. As this is the style of play they have revolutionized and perfected themselves, it will be tough work to unseat them as champs.

So thank you South Africa. Empty stadiums aside, you put on a fabulous World Cup – the ramifications of which will be felt on and off the pitch for years to come.

Wrapping Up Celebrations in Spain

13 Jul
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