Thursday, June 5, 2014

Science Gremlin's Soccer Call

Science Gremlin here.  Kicking off the 1st post on this site.  This post will NOT be exciting in anyway.  That is kind of on purpose.  Just getting my footing here in this digital dimension and so I intend to make it about something trivial.

For the most part on this website I will be talking about investing, using dividends to grow my accounts and snowball into a life with a little more time.  However, once in a while I will discuss topics that are interesting in terms of science, sports, travel, or beer.  So lets start with a mix of sports and science: the World Cup.

Why is it science you ask - other than the fluid mechanics influencing the ball in motion, the physiological effects of the game,  and the simply amazing results doctors get with magic spray?  Simple, bracket prediction.  Combing the knowledge of sport, science, and of course a little luck.

Every 4 years my favorite bracket challenge comes along.  I love it because it is the best of the best on a truly world stage.  I like to think the basketball and hockey have the same unique quality at the Olympics, but it is not possible considering that the top 5 of each is easily predictable.  The World Cup always has huge shockers, like Italy being eliminated by Slovakia last time around or the United States getting an unlike 1-0 win over Colombia in 1994.

Yes these things happen in all sports, but the World Cup makes it seem ever so painful.  It takes 2 years of qualifying to get there, only to arrive in nice flashy uniforms and crap your pants for everyone to see.

So let's get my picks, which are destined to be wrong.  I will only cover my final 4 teams:

4th - Spain.  What?  Listen this team is really good, wins all the time, and deserves their ranking at #1.  However, key players are getting older faster than they are being replaced.  Sorry Shakira, neither Pique nor Colombia win this WC.

3rd - Netherlands.  So am I trying to be petty?  Yes.  I think this match up for 3rd is entirely possible and it is possible that for once the Dutch win something (sort of).  This victory will be a moral one. You could say there is always next year, but that just is not true.

2nd - Belgium.  The dark horse, that is no longer a dark horse.  These guys are really good, and they rely on some super talented players.  The question will be can the role players do their job to the fullest?

1st - Germany.  First beer now soccer, what will Belgium have to do to beat Germany?  Belgium needs Germany to borrow a page out of England's storied history: drinking before the game, not just after.

Honorable mentions:
Cameroon - most likely to have the tightest uniforms.  Seriously, no wonder they never win, those guys have enough trouble trying to breathe.
Italy - Most pre-game pasta.
Australia - Most goals against at the group stage.  Love your country, but sorry you got screwed.
USA - The almost there award for, getting within 3 points of making out of the group stage.  Sorry guys, sometimes the luck of the draw just bones you badly.  Not as badly as Australia though.
Brazil - Most disappointed home fans.

- Gremlin