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2010 Football World Cup - Various Comments & Stories
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LesBleus



Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 457
Location: Soccer Field

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 3:43 pm    Post subject: 2010 Football World Cup - Various Comments & Stories Reply with quote

Is anybody around here good enough to do a spread sheet like was done four years ago, so we could keep track of the game and update the score? See

http://www.avenueviet.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=815

We football (REAL football, not what the Americans call by that name) fans would be eternally grateful. That was such a great way to follow and keep track of the game.

Reminder: It starts on 10 June. France plays its first game on the 11th.

Allez les Bleus!!

[Oh God I hope we don't do a Korea number again, being beaten by Senegal and having to go home after the first round. That was SOOOO embarrassing!] Embarassed
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Wildflower



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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Location: Shuttling between France and the US

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 3:52 pm    Post subject: Re: The 2010 Football (Đá Banh/Futbol/le Foot) World Cup Reply with quote

LesBleus wrote:
Is anybody around here good enough to do a spread sheet like was done four years ago, so we could keep track and update the game? See

http://www.avenueviet.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=815

X did that spreadsheet and it was so great. I asked him to do it again, but he doesn't have the time, can't be bothered. Me, I've never used Excel in my life and have no idea how to do a spreadsheet. I'll look around to see if we have somebody available.

I noticed that Tygol was around a lot, and she's disappeared. I'll try to chase her, as well as Ngoc Hoàng who's pretty good at techie stuff. That's all I can do, guys and gals. I hope someone comes forward.

Inkling or anyone else, do you know somebody who could help us here? It'd be greatly appreciated.
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LesBleus



Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 457
Location: Soccer Field

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 4:12 pm    Post subject: Re: The 2010 Football (Đá Banh/Futbol/le Foot) World Cup Reply with quote

Wildflower wrote:
X did that spreadsheet and it was so great. I asked him to do it again, but he doesn't have the time, can't be bothered.

That's really too bad. Sad

I'm sorry, but I can be no help, my computer skills are very limited. I hope someone will come in. If not, we'll just do a day-to-day copying of the scores, like we did with the Winter Olympics a few months ago. It'll be better than nothing. Confused
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inkling7
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 8:49 pm    Post subject: Spreadsheets Reply with quote

The FIFA website will most likely have it up like the Grand Slam Tennis Cups do and we could just copy and paste the results that way I suppose. Spread sheets are so time consuming and often frustrating to make - I know I wouldn't bother with the frustration and time to do it. We will be buying World Cup magazines and my other futbal fanatic half will be filling them in - or asking me to do it by hand.
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Last edited by inkling7 on Fri May 21, 2010 11:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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LesBleus



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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 9:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Spreadsheets Reply with quote

inkling7 wrote:
The FIFA website will mot likely have it up like the Grand Slam Tennis Cups do and we could just copy and paste the results that way I suppose. Spread sheets are so time consuming and often frustrating to make - I know I wouldn't bother with the frustration and time to do it. We will be buying World Cup magazines and my other futbal fanatic half will be filling them in - or asking me to do it by hand.

You can't copy and paste a spreadsheet to a page on this site, it comes out all screwed up, the columns are not aligned right, the result is thorouguly confusing.

I tried it for the Olympics and it didn't work, that's why I usually copied only the three top winners by copying the results line by line, and adding the flag images separately. I also noticed that someone in one of the Harry Potter subforums tried a couple of times to copy and paste spreadsheets - didn't come out too well.

That spreadsheet that X did back in 2006 was really cool, a true masterpiece. I hope WF will find another techie who can help.
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Tygol51



Joined: 06 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 2:35 pm    Post subject: Nike's World Cup Commercial Reply with quote

More like a short film to me. 3 minutes of awesome-ness. Is it June 10, yet? Very Happy

http://yhoo.it/bdPg91
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LesBleus



Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 457
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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 1:10 pm    Post subject: Soccer Players Reply with quote

Thanks, Tygol, for that ad! Awesome! Having the Simpsons in was a nice touch. super grin

inkling7 wrote:
Oh god watch out for the Uruguayans - they tend to cheat by pretending they are dying on the field due to being kicked or tackled by their opposing team - just like the Italians do yuk!

Yeah, the Spaniards and the Portuguese do the same thing. They give Oscar-winning performances of great suffering at the least little bump, when the Welsh stay impassive with a broken ankle... Rolling Eyes

One day closer to 10 June, Tygol, hang in there, it's coming! Very Happy
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LesBleus



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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 11:23 pm    Post subject: Sixteen days to go Reply with quote

16 days to the first kick-off!

I wish we had a spread sheet like we did last time. I know WF and Tygol have one, but they haven't been able to put it up on here. Maybe X could help? Please?
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Tygol51



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:40 pm    Post subject: Americans can cash in on World Cup Reply with quote

The Women's Professional Soccer league was launched recently in the U.S. Let's hope that the men's success will also help increase the popularity of this league or else it'll be suspended like the Women's United Soccer Association did in 2003.

Americans can cash in on World Cup
Martin Rogers, Yahoo! Sports
June 1, 2010


Few World Cup teams embody the concept of togetherness better than the United States. Unlike the soccer elite, the Americans don't have global superstars but they also don't have to bother with outlandish egos or internal disharmony.

Yet for the 23 men who shoulder the hopes of a nation, this summer's tournament offers the prospect of individual glory and life-changing riches as well as collective success.

It is commonly understood that it will be via a united effort rather than flashes of individual brilliance that the U.S. can flourish in South Africa, with every man having a specific task that must be religiously adhered to.

But with the world tuning in – and the soccer universe gradually opening its eyes to America's talent pool – the next month gives the USA squad the chance to turn themselves into million-dollar babies.

"The World Cup is soccer's ultimate shop window," said Cos Toffis, a leading British-based soccer agent. "Clubs from all over the world are focused on the showcase and it can really open the door for players to boost their profile, especially those from countries with less international recognition."

For established players such as Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, a productive World Cup would enhance the possibility of a lucrative transfer to a bigger club in Europe. Donovan performed well on loan at Everton of the English Premier League earlier this year and Dempsey blossomed at Fulham, but both could become a target for elite English or European teams after the tournament.

For players such as Edson Buddle and Robbie Findley who ply their trade in Major League Soccer, there is no bigger stage upon which to step into the spotlight.

"Of course everyone is out there fighting for the team and fighting for their country," U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra said. "One thing no one can ever question is the motivation and dedication of this team.

"But yes, there is a chance for players to take huge steps in their career at a World Cup. If you show you can perform at this level, then you have answered all the questions and can stand tall. Players who do that deserve everything that comes their way as a result of it and we have seen big moves made after World Cups time and time again."

European clubs with bulging bank accounts routinely bide their time on transfers in World Cup years, waiting to see which surprise stars the tournament unearths. American soccer still awaits its first mainstream hero to emerge and is crying out for someone to fill the void.

It once seemed it could be Freddy Adu before his career imploded to such an extent that he did not even make this year's preliminary 30-man World Cup roster. With soccer's profile growing and this World Cup likely to produce record viewing figures in America, could a Donovan or Dempsey take a seismic leap into the public conscious?

"There is a huge upside for these guys going into the World Cup," said Mark Ganis, president of Sportscorp Ltd., a Chicago-based firm that specializes in sports economics. "Not only could they get themselves a big-money move to an elite club that is going to throw cash at them, but the potential endorsement value in the American market is significant. But only if the team goes on a big run."

Every World Cup is followed by a series of transfers that defy belief, based almost entirely on performances on the biggest stage of all.

Brazilian star Denilson shattered the world transfer record when Real Betis splashed out more than $32 million for his services following the 1998 event. And countless players from relatively obscure African and Asian countries had the World Cup boost both their profile and their bank balance.

Another factor that could help the Americans post-tournament is that the international soccer community now has a more open mind about players from the U.S. That path was forged by the likes of Donovan, Dempsey and goalkeeper Tim Howard – and Brian McBride before them.

For Donovan, who just a year ago appeared to be mired with the Los Angeles Galaxy for the long term after another failed spell in Germany, the lure of a permanent move to Everton or even a Champions League participant exists.

"This is your ultimate test as a player," Donovan said. "This is how you will be remembered; this is what you will be judged on. It brings pressure but it also gets you ready. The sky is the limit and that goes for every player at the World Cup. What more could you ask for?"
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Tygol51



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:34 am    Post subject: World Cup -- Brazil to win it all? Reply with quote

Well, that is according to several "clever economists." Agree? Disagree? Who do you WANT to win and who do you THINK will win?

Clever economists pick Brazil to win the World Cup
By Brian Phillips
Yahoo! Sports


Statistics are the refuge of prophecy, and in the run-up to the World Cup, a number of financial analysts have rolled out predictions for the tournament based on complex mathematical formulas designed to assess each nation's relative strength. Tracy Alloway at the Financial Times has been keeping a record of these predictions, and they make for fascinating reading, particularly if you can make sense of snarls of math like this:

ΔGoals = 0.18*ΔGDP/capita of US + 0.19*ΔPop (100mill.) - 0.02*ΔPop2 (100mill.) + 0.05*ΔWC Participations + 0.17*ΔBallon d'or nominee - 0.01*ΔFIFA ranking + 1.12*ΔHost - 0.85*ΔAsia/Oceanic/North America

The assumption behind most of these exercises (including the one above, from the Danish Danske Bank) is that to pick the winner of the tournament, you should look not only at a team's talent level and tradition, but also at the economic and social conditions of its home country. The formulas incorporate things like GDP, unemployment level, and consumer credit along with more quaintly obvious factors like player strength. The rundown of the elements included in the Evolution Securities model reads like a page ripped from the CIA World Factbook:

GDP (and breakdown), Unemployment Rate, Jobless claims, Employment, Earnings, Industrial Production and Orders, Productivity, Capacity Utilisation, Capital Expenditure, Personal Income/Savings, CPI, PPI, Money Supply, Mortgage lending, Consumer Credit, House Prices, Housing Activity (New home sales/existing home sales), Construction, Building Permits, Retail Sales, Wholesale Sales, Auto Sales, Durable Goods, Trade Balance, Export & Imports and Export/Import Prices, Capital Flows, TIC Flow, Government deficit/revenue/expenditure, Govt Debt, Survey data, consumer/manufacturing/services confidence, Fed Manufacturing Surveys/Conference Board/ IFO/ZEW, bank lending surveys, Senior Loan Officer Survey, Beige book, Leading Indicators........ and whether or not they are any good at football ...

So why would you consider auto sales when trying to pick the winner of a soccer tournament? The economists might not admit this, but the major reason is surely just that it's easy to measure them. Detailed statistical data about soccer games themselves are still pretty hard to come by, often unreliable, and, at the highest levels, tied up in proprietary models licensed by teams and leagues and not available to the general public. Mortgage lending data, on the other hand, blows freely down the hallways at Goldman Sachs.

The larger reason to consider social factors in soccer predictions — and it's connected to the absence of good soccer stats — is that it's part of the broad process of inductive reasoning. If you can show that there's a connection between GDP and soccer results, your model will work whether or not you know why, exactly. A few months ago, the sportswriter Simon Kuper and the economist Stefan Szymanski published a book called Soccernomics, which made a case for this sort of analysis and helped make it fashionable within the tiny caste of sports-obsessed stats analysts who are capable of building their own socioeconomic models. Kuper and Szymanski capped their work off with a formula that they claimed would pick the winner of international matches 75% of the time. And that was the thing: if the formula worked, you didn't have to agree with any of their arguments. The formula just worked.

Only in this case, the formula has hilariously predicted that Serbia will reach the final of the World Cup. That's a ... questionable prediction. Serbia, and I say this with a respectful sense of the difference between myself and supercomputer, are not going to make the final of the World Cup. (If it does, Kuper and Szymanski will look like geniuses). This throws the whole model into a different light and makes you notice that a 75% accuracy rating really isn't anything to get excited about. Don't you, yourself, predict the outcomes of games about 75% of the time? What was the point of the calculators?


The formulas, of course, are only as good as their results, and for all their methodological differences, these formulas absolutely love Brazil. JP Morgan tries to spice things up by picking England, but UBS, Danske Bank, Evolution Securities, and Kuper/Szymanski pick Brazil. Glancing over them, it's easy to make the case that they've overrated Brazil's economic strength and soccer tradition, and underrated the slight decline of their overall team quality. Then again, it never makes sense to bet against Brazil in the World Cup. The statisticians might have cannily isolated the smartest statistic of all.
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