Sunday, June 20, 2010

Big Names

If we don't count South Africa, there were seven seeded teams that earned that position on merit. Let's look at those seven.

Brazil; Won their first 2 matches, already assured of advancement to the next round.
Spain; Lost their first match. But they can still go through quite easily if they win their last two matches. Honduras looks unlikely to put up too much of a fight. Of course, if Spain doesn't dispatch of them tomorrow, it may be time to panic.

Netherlands; Already advanced after winning their first two matches. The games were hard-fought, no doubt, but victory was never really in doubt.

Italy; The Azzuri have drawn twice, and looked bad doing it. What else is new. They control their own destiny though. Beat Slovakia and they are through. Has a boring 1-0 written all over it.

Germany; They won their first game and lost their second game, but they control their own destiny as well. Win and they advance. Draw and they need help.

Argentina; Diego Maradona and his charges are just about through. It would take a dramatic turn of events to keep them from winning the group.

England; For all the hand wringing going on in Blighty, England are actually in decent shape. If they win they advance. Draw and they need help.

So calm down everybody. All seven of the seeded countries are still very likely to go through.


Dan said...

What do you think would actually gain more attention in America; a couple of underdogs make a run at it or teams like Italy, Germany, etc.? By attention, I mean viewership from Joe Six Pack.

Dennis said...

That gets a little complicated. Obviously, the US will get the most viewers. Over 14 million people watched USA-England on ABC (and another 5 million on Univision in Spanish), and it got a substantially higher rating than Game 4 of the NBA Finals, which had shown in prime time the night before.

A country like Italy going out is bad for ratings, as they have a massive following of immigrants and children of immigrants, not to mention grandchildren and great-grandchildren of immigrants.

Overall, I think the underdogs make a more interesting narrative on Sportscenter, but more people will watch the big teams.