The Nature Newsblog is reporting that mathematicians have shown that scoring begets more scoring in
soccer football association football. I don’t have access to the Nature News article, but it appears that World Cup goals cannot be modeled as Poisson random variables.
Wondering why I called it association football? Do you know where the term ‘soccer’ comes from? Read on below the fold.
I had no idea why Americans play ‘soccer’ and Brits play ‘football’ until a few months ago when a football loving Englishman clarified it all for me. Depending on where you live, ‘football’ can mean very different things. In England, it refers to a game played by kicking a round ball into a goal. In the United States and Canada, it refers to a game played while wearing heavy padding in which the players attempt to get an oblong ball into an end zone (along with many other rules which I won’t even begin to explain). In Australia, football is a game . . . well, go ask John to explain football to you. And in Ireland football can mean this.
Each of these versions of ‘football’ (some sharing nothing in common other than the name) was given a descriptor. American football is what we play in the United States. Australians play, well, Australian football. Gaelic football is played in Ireland. And what Americans call soccer — and the rest of the world calls football, futbol, fussball, futebol, etc — was named Association football (or ‘soccer’ for short).
Wikipedia has much more.
I also picked up an interesting bit of advice when I was in Arizona from a Canadian living in Australia (hopefully you could follow all that). When cheering for your favorite Aussie rules club, never say you “root for them”. The word ‘root’ has a very different meaning down under.