for a World Cup Winner
So everyone and their second cousins have their own system to fathom what’s by definition unpredictable: who’ll win the World Cup. Obviously, only a certified fool would risk squandering what’s little left of their personal street cred by offering their own stupid guesses. Here’s our certified fool’s stupid guesses.
As with any completely unscientific research worth its dirty test tubes, a credible-looking set of predictions has to have some semblance of a rationale animating the proceedings, along with its mostly random elements of pure insanity. That’s why we’ve added the always reliable, and certainly ancient, Chinese horoscope.
Completely arbitrarily, we’ve created a point rate system by attributing an order of relevance to each team’s credentials: the number of World Cup wins, 1.5 point each, home advantage, 0.5 point, continental advantage, 0.5 point, reigning champion status, 1 point, and 1 point for each year the team won under the Year of Horse, which is the Chinese sign for 2014.
In 19 editions of the cup, the number of wins has been a consistent indicator of success; single winners won only three times. Hosting has equaled six victories. Europe and South America have split championships and, in South Africa, Europe took the lead.
Reigning champions have won twice in a roll only two times, but this was our way of tempering with the system, and add value to Spain’s current status. 2014 marks the seventh World Cup under the ‘influence’ of the Horse, the seventh sign of the Chinese horoscope (whooo, drum roll and all that).
This year’s sign was the same for 1930 (Uruguay win) 1954 and 1990 (both Germany wins), 1966 (England win), 1978 (Argentina win), and 2002 (Brazil win). Germany earns two points for its two victories under the Horse.
AND THE ODDS ARE (MAYBE)
5. Spain: 1.5+1 = 2.5
5. England: 1.5+1 = 2.5
4. Uruguay: 2×1.5+0.5+1 = 4.5
4. Argentina: 2×1.5+0.5+1 = 4.5
3. Italy: 4×1.5 = 6
2. Germany: 3×1.5+2 = 6.5
1. Brazil: 5×1.5+0.5+0.5+1 = 9.5
It’s never too late to remind everyone that these have been concocted for entertainment purposes only, and we’d emphatically disavow anyone foolish like us to bet their mother-in-law on such pseudo-predictions. We do not take bets, by the way. And speaking of the Horse, there’s always the possibility that a not so dark one will cross the line ahead of everyone else.
France, the Netherlands, Belgium, some other South American, African, or Asian team may be the great July Surprise this time around. It’s all in good sport, but we’re sure their supporters (and everyone else) would love to kick our behinds just about right now.
So that’s it. Before you start cursing at us, though, let us also note that, giving the particular cycle of the Chinese horoscope, only three signs have been, and will ever be, related to World Cup years: the Horse, the Dog, and the Tiger. And that in our defense, at least we’ve stayed clear of digging into any of the characteristics of each sign. We’re done here. Discuss.
* Ill-Fated Jules Rimet