Let’s get this out of the way. Based on Nate Silver’s models, Brazil had a 1 in 4000 chance of losing by six goals. By that same model, Brazil had a 65% chance of victory, even without Neymar and Thiago Silva . And there is no statistical model I would trust more than something Nate Silver created (John Hollinger being a not-too-close second).
Even if you take the reasoning that statistical models don’t really care about the difference at the extremes, that 1-in-4000 is not that distinguishable from 1-in-400, this beatdown was still an all time outlier, as in this was one of the most unexpected scorelines in history.
Not sure if you have heard, but the World Cup starts today. Time for one magnificent, unadulterated month of flag-waving, “Golazo!”-yelling, sometimes rage-quitting bliss. 32 teams, 8 groups, 1 more great Shakira World Cup song, and the world’s brightest and greatest stars (well, most of them at least). Once every four years, countries assemble in the great international turf war for glory. And here I am, in the United States, a country where soccer still only has a niche following. Despite recent gains in popularity, a large majority of people still can’t get excited about the sport. But there is something a lot of people do get excited about- business. So instead, I’m going to be decidedly un-hardcore and link business to this year’s World Cup field. Some numbers, look-ins at four key entities in this year’s tournament, and my personal predictions abound. Here comes a preview unlike any other that you’ve read.
Playing with a Venn Diagram | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Spain | Neymar | Jürgen Klinsmann | Fun with Numbers | Personal Predictions