Wednesday, June 23, 2010

World Cup Tiebreakers Explained

As we are well into the last matches in each group the permutations of what results will result in which teams going forward is almost as confusing as the NFL's playoff tiebreakers.

Actually, the World Cup tiebreakers are fairly straightforward.

1st tiebreaker: Cuisine
Just not Gouda-nough

If teams are tied in the standings it goes to cuisine. The country with the better cuisine always advances.

This worked to great effect in 2006 when Argentina and Holland were level with 7 points in their group. Argentina got to top the group as their inexpensive and tasty steaks just narrowly beat out the Edam and Gouda of the Land of the Nethers.

2nd tiebreaker: Music
Hate to say we told you so

If taste buds cannot discern between two national teams, it will go to music. This can be a difficult tiebreaker given the English-speaking world has little, or no knowledge, of Third World music unless Peter Gabriel, David Byrne, Paul Simon and Sting tell us about it.
Often the judges have to revert to traditional musical forms (i.e., tango, Peruvian pan flutes, etc.) to decide on a winner.

In 2002 Sweden and England had to battle it out this way. Now, normally, England would have walked away with this given its New Wave history but, remember, this was 2002. New Wave or punk had long been over. Even the Stone Roses and Oasis were old news by then. Sweden was rising a musical wave of itself in bands like the Hives, Sounds, Caesars and Cardigans to pip England as winners of their group.

3rd tiebreaker: Hotness
The winners--no contest

Once we get to the 3rd tiebreaker it gets much easier to separate the teams. It basically comes down to a selection of women determining how hot the respective players are on each team (this gives the Italians a decisive edge and shows us why they've won 4 World Cups).
If the male soccer player hotness quotients are level, it goes to the dreaded hotness ratings on female supporters (Brazil also uses this to huge advantage hence its 5 World Cups).

4th tiebreaker: Culture
Well, it is the "Whirl" Cup, isn't it?

This is an even tougher category to judge. Judges are often swayed by one odd yet unique aspect of a nation's culture.
In 2002 Turkey advanced to the knockout stages thanks to its whirling dervishes and fez hats over Costa Rica's eco-tourism which the judges felt was a stretch thinking this was more a Costa Rican fluke of geography than culture.

1 comment:

Norskybear said...

This is, quite simply, the best post on the subject I have seen. I haven't laughed this hard for quite some time.