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Thursday, June 12, 2014

THE 2014 WORLD CUP HAS KICKED-OFF


Protests in Cairo... Bangkok... Croatia?  Nope, Rio.  In 1997 the Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) decreed (there was no competition, as there was to this country "winning" the 2016 Summer Olympics) to Brazil the hosting of the 2014 World Cup, except someone forgot to ask the people of the country if this was okay.  Brazil just began the first match with Croatia at Itaquero Stadium in San Paulo (have fun trying get from the airport to town) with 61,600 people, and I can happily report that the stands are holding and the game is on.  This is the first capacity use of this arena.  Games will also be played in eleven other stadia throughout the country, and there is high anxiety about readiness and mass riots.

There are 32 teams in eight groups, and one country missing is 16th ranked Ukraine, which must have been distracted, for they did not qualify.  USA is in group G with Germany, Portugal and Ghana, the first U.S. opponent is on Monday, June 16, Noon Hawaii (6PM EDT).  That's the official soccer ball, and, thankfully, no vuvuzelas.

Brazil is favored to ultimately prevail, winning that Cup, plus $35 million, scheduled for Sunday, July 13 at 9AM (3PM EDT).  Except for one problem, as Croatia at around the 10-minute mark scored the first goal.  Brazil has not lost at home since 1975, a string of 57 victories.  Odds:
  • Brazil  3:1
  • Argentina  4:1
  • Spain 13:2
  • Germany  13:2
  • Russia  100:1
  • Croatia  150:1
  • USA  200:1
  • Iran  1000:1

Ah, at the 29-minute mark, Brazil tied the score with Croatia:  1-1.  Watch ESPN for the full game.    All 64 will be on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC.  That's the World Cup above, and Fuleco, the mascot, to the right.  In case you can't figure it out, Fuleco symbolizes futebol and the ecology, and, is an armadillo.  Not sure where the "l" came from.  There is a Futeco Park in Mozambique, where soccer is played:  A local expression to bring together FUTebol and ECOlogia, Football and Ecology led to the creation of FutEcoPark.

FOR THE RECORD, BRAZIL BEAT CROATIA, 3-1.

For the record, the Super bowl last year drew 111.5 million TV viewer, WHILE THE WORLD CUP FINALS FOUR YEARS AGO HAD JUST UNDER A BILLION (909.6 MILLION).
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FUTURE POSTINGS:  I will later today have an article on the draping of leis on the King Kamehameha statue, tomorrow will present the BLACK OR WHITE follow-up to '50s and 60's Party Songs on How the Twist Changed the World, and on Saturday return to TRANSITIONS on my early retirement.

Oh, by the way, the 2016 Summer Olympics will also be held in Brazil:


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Wow, Hurricane Cristina has become a monster of a storm, now up to 150 MPH, with gusts of 185 MPH:


Models show her turning west toward Hawaii, but weakening and dissipating.  In the Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Nanauk will not attain hurricane strength nor quite make it to Oman.

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