Friday, June 25, 2010

Jabulani Update. Now Featuring Facts!
2010 World Cup Goals Per Game

Whether I am right about Jabulani or not doesn't really matter, for that is a subjective matter. What matters subjectively is the enjoyment factor of games, which appears to coincide with my theories.

But lets look at some cold, hard facts and take subjectivity out of the equation. Bookmark this and come back from time to time to check in- I plan on updating it every day for the rest of the tournament.

Overall: 2.25 goals per game*. 144 goals, 64 games.

Round 1: 1.50 goals per game. 24 goals, 16 games.

Round 2: 2.63 goals per game. 42 goals, 16 games.

Round 3: 2.13 goals per game. 34 goals, 16 games.

Knockout stage: 2.75 goals per game. 44 goals, 16 matches.

Jabulani effect- 1st group stage game: 1.50 goals per game. Since 1st round of group play: 2.50 goals per game. 120 goals, 48 games

*almost up to passed! back below once again back above the all time low of 2.21 from World Cup 1990 since which 2 major rule changes were passed to increase open play and scoring**

**the offsides rule was technically changed just before World Cup 1990, but one could easily argue that teams did not have enough time to get used to, practice, or strategize to make their play at the world cup that summer significantly different

I stand confidently behind my argument, although like many debates the truth is somewhere in the middle. In the middle of what though? For me, the truth is somewhere in the middle of a) my Jabulani theory and b) conventional and long-held soccer wisdom that the first round of matches are cagey, conservative affairs where teams don't at all mind drawing but at all costs do not want to lose (in the current world cup format only 4 of the 34 teams that lost their opening match made it through to the knockout stages- which is why Spain will look so impressive when they become the 5th tomorrow)

Whether I'm right or wrong doesn't matter. What matters is that there are more goals and that makes life better for everybody- from the fans watching them to the players scoring them to the winning nations celebrating them to the corporate sponsors paying to brand them to the TV networks broadcasting them to the advertisers paying to be associated with them and to FIFA themselves collecting absurd sums of money from them to continue running the biggest, most powerful and most corrupt sports organization on the planet.

If you're scoring at home that's win win win win win win win (kind of like gol gol gol gol gol gol gol!).

I'm stoked that this World Cup has gone from boring and frustrating to unpredictable and supremely exciting- I no longer really give a shit if I'm right or wrong, because right about now I'm happy as hell.

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