Last Chance for World Cup Success

Three European countries, France, Germany, and Spain have suffered embarrassing World Cup losses. The French team in particular has appeared to be in complete disarray. Their combined record to this point is just 2-3-1 (W-L-T).

What do these three countries have in common? None of them have purchased translation rights for How to Teach Physics to Your Dog. Meanwhile, the seven countries with current or forthcoming editions (the US, Brazil, Portugal, England, Italy, Japan, and South Korea) have a combined record of 5-2-7.

I think the lesson here is clear: translation rights for Spanish, French, or German editions of How to Teach Physics to Your Dog are still available. Act quickly, publishers in those nations, and you may yet salvage some World Cup success for your country. The clock is ticking…

On a slightly more serious note, we have now reached the halfway point in terms of the number of games played. The second round of group play saw four tie results, and a huge increase in scoring, with 42 goals in the second set of 16 games, compared to 25 in the first quarter of the tournament.

A linear projection would thus predict 20 total ties, and 134 total goals. This means Jing at #19 and Noel at #27 are probably in the best shape in the Uncertain Principles World Cup Contest. It’s a little tough to predict whether the do-or-die nature of the third set of group play games will lead to more goals and fewer ties, or the resting of players by squads who are safely in will lead to more ties and fewer goals. Probably a wash, really.

Comments

  1. #1 Kea
    June 21, 2010

    Humph. I’ll have you know that New Zealand is currently level with Italy in their group … and we plan on knocking Italy out by smashing Paraguay.

  2. #2 sparc
    June 21, 2010

    Don’t you that we have Metin Tolan on our side who analyzed the physics of football (So werden wir Weltmeister: Die Physik des Fußballspiels). You will find some extracts from his football work at Welt der Physik. And don’t forget that Gary Lineker said that football

    “is a game for 22 people that run around, play the ball, and one referee who makes a slew of mistakes, and in the end Germany always wins.”

  3. #3 sparc
    June 21, 2010

    I must admit that John Wesson the author of The Science of Soccer may come to another conclusion. However, I wonder if somebody using the term “soccer” rather than “football” is really qualified to discuss the issue.

  4. #4 Anna
    June 22, 2010

    Have The Netherlands bought translation rights yet? We’re at six points out of two games (with abysmal football, but who cares). In other words, it’s blatantly obvious we’re going to win the Cup. Don’t stuff us away as a measuring error or I will invoke Popper on you!

  5. #5 Bob O'H
    June 22, 2010

    Isn’t Belgium just mesurement error?

    *runs away and hides*

  6. #6 dhogaza
    June 22, 2010

    Have The Netherlands bought translation rights yet? We’re at six points out of two games (with abysmal football, but who cares). In other words, it’s blatantly obvious we’re going to win the Cup. Don’t stuff us away as a measuring error or I will invoke Popper on you!

    The Netherlands doesn’t need a translation. As we all know, the Dutch speak english better than us anyway. A point your post supports!

  7. #7 jim
    June 22, 2010

    Uruguay, which you don’t mention, has yet to allow a goal to be scored against them. Which is rather awesome.

  8. #8 Chad Orzel
    June 22, 2010

    I’ll admit to a teensy bit of cherry-picking, here, as there are a whole bunch of Spanish-speaking countries that are doing really well, better than Spain. Uruguay is the best example, followed by Argentina, etc. None of them have bought translation rights, either (but we’d be happy to sell them…). And the Netherlands is the other big exception to the rule, accounting for one of the two losses by teams with forthcoming editions. Dutch rights are available, though, if they’d like to really sew things up. I’m just sayin’.

    Thank God for the French, though, letting me keep this joke running at least one more day…

  9. #9 Nick
    June 23, 2010

    SICK USA! Congratulations!

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