World Cup predictions revisited

Well now I’m back I guess I should catch up with what’s been going on…

Let’s see, what were my tips for the World Cup again?

  1. Brazil
  2. Germany
  3. Argentina
  4. Italy

And what was the result?

  1. Spain
  2. Netherlands
  3. Germany
  4. Uruguay

I should perhaps cross “professional sports gambler” off my list of alternative careers. I’ll admit that I was too quick to dismiss Spain’s chances after their opening defeat, but in my defence I’ll point out that no side had previously won the cup after losing their first game, and that Spain have a history of underperforming in big tournaments (apart of course from the last European Championship). I still can’t quite believe that Holland beat Brazil, and I suspect that the Brazilians feel likewise. At least I spotted that the Germans would do well.

Still, if football was predictable it wouldn’t be half as much fun to follow. It’s interesting that in the US high-scoring games, where the better teams almost always win, are popular, while most of the rest of the world favours low-scoring football, where the plucky underdog is always in with a chance (in one-off games at least; the cream does usually rise to the top over the course of a league season). I suppose that this reflects American political hegemony, and an underlying cultural preference for the maintenance of predictable power relations. Or maybe US sports fans are just too sensible to waste their time watching dull 90-minute 0-0 draws.

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