Monday, June 30, 2014

World Cup Update -- 9 Games to Go

Again, no time to do full team lists.  Two pretty boring games tomorrow unless you are a fan of one of the teams.  The Brits will give you odds of 2 to 9 that Argentina will get past Switzerland, and they will give you odds of 4 to 9 that Belgium will take out the USA.  So two more big favorites tomorrow.

Here's the tale of the tape for the four competitors:

ARGENTINA:
Population:  41.7 million
2014 GDP (est.):  $404.5 billion (29th)
Per capita GDP:  $9,640
Fun Fact:  Argentina's name comes from a legendary treasury of silver thought to be hidden in the mountains of South America.

SWITZERLAND:
Population:  8.0 million
2014 GDP (est.):  $693.5 billion (20th)
Per capita GDP:  $86,145 (4th)
Fun Fact:  Perhaps the most famous line in English about Switzerland is from Orson Wells's character in The Third Man:  "You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance.  In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."  While the rest of the movie was written by Graham Greene, that line was written by Wells himself.

BELGIUM:
Population:  11.1 million (76th)
2014 GDP (est.):   $534.8 billion (23d)
Per capita GDP:  $47,787 (17th)
Fun Fact:  Officially, the British entered World War I because they were defending the neutrality of Belgium, just as they had promised in a treaty of 1831.  Belgium had been invaded by Germany because that was the fastest way for German troops to reach Paris.  (This fact isn't really "fun," but it is interesting.)

UNITED STATES:
Population:  318.3 million (3d)
2014 GDP (est.):  $17.5 trillion (1st)
Per capita GDP:  $54,980 (9th)
Fun Fact:  The United States currently holds the Olympic Gold Medal in men's and women's basketball, the Olympic Silver Medal in women's hockey, the Curtis Cup in women's amateur golf, the President's Cup in men's professional golf, the Olympic Gold and Silver medals in the decathlon, and the Olympic Gold Medal in Ladies' Gymnastics.  But we stink at curling.

24 comments:

  1. I didn't anticipate how much of parenting would be about not getting yourself staked down with all kinds of treaties.

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    1. Yep. Avoid making rules at all costs. Rules are only to be used as a last effort. Also, break precedents from time to time, just to show that you can.

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  2. I still think it should have been a bigger deal that we won the gold and silver medals in the decathlon.

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  3. Just for the record, I will be respecting the live-blogging jinx in the USA game today. The Americans will probably go out, but it won't be my fault.

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  4. Half Time:

    Argentina 0 - 0 Switzerland

    Another game, another 0-0 score at the half. There hasn't been a goal scored in the first half of the last four games.

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  5. For the record, I believe that there will be a score in the first half of the Belgium/USA game.

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  6. 50 minutes:

    Argentina 0 - 0 Switzerland

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  7. 60 minutes:

    Argentina 0 - 0 Switzerland

    Argentina starting to show signs of interest in this game.

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  8. Great uniform game, by the way. Argentina is in their great white and light-blue jerseys with white shorts, while the Swiss are in all red. Looks like UNC v. NCSU.

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  9. 70 minutes:

    Argentina 0 - 0 Switzerland

    Argentina has all the ball and all the action, but they have yet to break through.

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  10. 75 minutes:

    Argentina 0 - 0 Switzerland

    Now the same people who have complained that Brazil, the Netherlands, France, and Germany didn't look all that good are saying that Argentina doesn't look all that good. And yet, you know, somebody is going to win this tournament.

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  11. 80 minutes:

    Argentina 0 - 0 Switzerland

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  12. This is all Argentina now. It's just a question of whether the Swiss can hang on for another 40 minutes and get to penalties.

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  13. 85 minutes:

    Argentina 0 - 0 Switzerland

    Switzerland is no longer making any effort to attack. They have everyone back on defense.

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  14. 90 minutes:

    Argentina 0 - 0 Switzerland

    Lionel Messi, who is probably the best player in the world, almost broke down the Swiss defense, but his teammate couldn't control the last pass into the box.

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  15. 118 minutes:

    Finally, Lionel Messi breaks free, runs the ball up the field, and passes to a teammate -- who BANGS IT HOME! Argentina really deserved that.

    Argentina 1 - 0 Switzerland

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  16. 120 minutes:

    Argentina 1 - 0 Switzerland

    With the game almost over, the Swiss finally went on the attack. Within a few minutes, they had hit the post. And now, deep into stoppage time, they have a free kick only 19 yards from the goal.

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  17. But the free kick bounces off a wall of Argentine players! There's the whistle! Argentina wins!

    Full Time:

    Argentina 1 - 0 Switzerland

    Lionel Messi was the difference.

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  18. So the favorites go eight for eight. Here are your quarter-final matchups:

    1. Brazil v. Colombia
    2. France v. Germany
    3. Netherlands v. Costa Rica
    4. Argentina v. Belgium

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  19. I am for Brazil, Germany, Costa Rica and Belgium.

    Then I am for Germany and Belgium.

    And then I'm for Germany.

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