On Thursday June 14th the most watched worldwide sporting event with begin in Brazil. The 2014 World Cup will be watched on more TVs, streamed to more computers, tablets, and phones than any other event. This mass celebration in various countries with every goal scored or missed, corner kick having millions braced. Tweets (TWTR) , Facebook (FB) messages and updates will be certain to flood the social media landscape. This is the time when it is ok for grown men to cry, to neglect the house, and be out late with friends watching the games. Brazil, the host nation, are favored this year to triumph with Argentina a close second. National GDP, average wage, and social status mean little on the soccer field.
US World Cup Fever
World Cup Soccer fever is lost in the US and limited more to immigrants who cling to cultural pride. The game is growing in popularity but the world's most-loved sport can’t compete against American Football, Baseball, and Basketball. For countries including Cameroon, Brazil, and Argentina; the players take pride in representing their countries. They are the image, the strength, and the hope.
FIFA is more known here in the USA thanks to its hugely successful video series games developed by EA Sports (EA) . Sony Music ($SNE) has laid the ground work for the music rights “Ole, Ole, Ole”.
Is $14 Billion ok for a football game?
Brazil has spent $14 Billion, making this the most expensive World Cup in history. Germany comes in second at $6 billion in 2006. This is an astounding amount of money for a country that is considered underdeveloped, but the world audience will gasp at the new stadiums and the new technology that has been invested for this month-long spectacle.
Brazil will continue receive a lot of controversy over their budgeting for this event. Most Brazilians feel this money could have been spent on infrastructure and more sensible economic development.
This is a pilgrimage for many fans, who will leave their home counties to follow their heroes, idols and sporting gods. Many people save their money for years for this event, this is what they live for, family commitments are rearranged to accommodate the World Cup Schedule.
World Cup Controversy
A whole nation will grieve over a loss in this championship, national pride hangs in the balance, a free, red card, or off side could mean exile for player. Governments can literally hang in the balance, churches and the Pontiff himself will intervene. In 2010 there were national scandals when Ireland lost a quarter-final qualification to France. The French and Irish government relations were strained over a goal counted by French player Thierry Henry.
750 Million Viewers for World Cup 2014
This is passion, this is religion there’s no doubt. The 750 million expected to watch this month long event can indeed show signs of devotion and dedication that would drive many crazy. The time delay in broadcasts worldwide means nothing as countries make exceptions for this. In Europe, pub times are changed and work schedules are altered.
Referees who make a bad call may need body guards for the rest of their life, discussion of what exactly “off side” rules are will go long into the night in every home, pub, and restaurant. The national Jerseys will be worn with pride and nothing else will matter during this tense culmination of 3 years of playoffs and hard work by each qualifications nations newest ambassadors.
There is not a frenzy for world cup ads. This is sport, plays will be talked over for days. Footwork and passing will be scrutinized, most of all by your fellow countrymen. The USA does not even have an official National Soccer Stadium.
Third Best is Good Enough!
America best ranking was 3rd in 1930 and in 1994 when it hosted the event. The US World Cup team is excellent, the best I have seen, but national pride is not at stake. Win or loose, it will be business as usual for the US team. They will not receive national recognition unless they win, they do not have a country behind them all the way.