Sticking with Germany in World Cup
Nevada Appeal Betting Columnist
Americans will find this hard to believe, but 30 billion television viewers will be tuning in to this year’s World Cup. That means on average, everyone on earth will watch at least a part of four games during soccer’s greatest tournament.
Needless to say, United States viewers are going to hurt that average, and with the Americans now eliminated, the ratings will get even worse. For numerous reasons, Americans as a whole just won’t watch soccer.
I remember watching my first World Cup, back in the days when the games were so insignificant in America that they were televised only on the Spanish-speaking channels. I didn’t understand much of what the announcers were saying, but I learned a few more words than just “gooooooooooool!”
Since then I haven’t learned much Spanish, yet now I still prefer to watch the games on the Spanish-speaking channels. At least there it sounds like someone really cares about the World Cup. American announcers sound nowhere near as excited, which reflects to and symbolizes their audience.
Quarter-finals: 32 teams have been whittled down to 8, but more importantly, the referees have been whittled down as well. Referees have already issued a record 310 yellow and 25 red cards to players, including a ridiculous 16 and 4 respectively in the Portugal-Holland game. The refs that went card-happy and made the most mistakes thankfully have been sent home, hopefully leading to a less controversial finish to the World Cup.
Predictions: Italy -1 goal; Germany and England at a pick ’em; France +1.
Finals: The winner of the Germany-Argentina game should end up meeting the winner of the France-Brazil match. Three-time champion Germany at home defeats the defending and five-time champ Brazil in the Final.
TOUR DE FRANCE
The challenging and brutal Tour de France begins Saturday, and for the first time in eight years American Lance Armstrong will not win cycling’s greatest event. That is, of course, because he decided to retire rather than defend the title he has owned since 1999.
Now he will be spending the rest of his life doing defending of another sort. Forever, it seems, people will be accusing him of having improved his endurance through the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Despite numerous sworn affidavits by doctors and frozen drug samples that have exonerated him, the accusations continue to fly.
To me, the story of Armstrong using drugs just doesn’t add up. A little more than ten years ago Armstrong was stricken with cancer, coughing up blood, with golf ball-sized tumors in his lungs and brain, and having a testicle removed. After undergoing a radical procedure, he was cured. Would Armstrong then take drugs that could possibly risk bringing cancer back into his body? I don’t think so.
WIE HAVE NO PROBLEM
Professional golfer Michelle Wie creates quite the stir by always wanting to play against the men. No, she hasn’t even won a women’s tournament yet, and it is forbidden for men to play on the women’s tour, but the idea of women taking on men in sports sells tickets.
We will eventually learn that Wie is the real deal. Her ultimate goal is to win on the men’s tour. At 16, she takes on all challenges and accepts almost all invitations to play men’s tournaments. But then she is told by many that she doesn’t belong.
The criticisms won’t end when Wie wins her first women’s major, and they won’t end when Wie makes her first cut on the men’s tour. But she will eventually do those things. Wie is talented and only makes golf more interesting.