True to form for a one-person blog, the moment I posted an apology for infrequency of posts, this blog became a ghost town; a dusty archive of economic witticisms and increasingly outdated memes. However, despite a dramatic decrease in free writing time, I refuse to let this blog go. I love writing it, and I hope you enjoy reading it. With that said, today’s post should give you some hint as to why the Idiot Economist has been so busy lately. Today I present, based on personal experience and commonly accepted etiquette, “How to Quit Your Job”.
A brilliant piece from the Onion.
The Idiot Economist has done a lot of driving recently – up and down and East coast, to be specific. On any particularly long road trip, there are several constants: traffic in some unexpected location at an unexpected time, tolls that somehow always seem higher than the last time you drove up 95, and lots of fast-food that you only get when leaving the car is totally unacceptable. Not even Nate Silver could explain random traffic patterns (well, maybe HE could), but the Idiot Economist can cover the other two.
Since we are right in the middle of the World Cup, I figured I would share the potential ways Team USA can make it out of the group stage. A last-minute goal from Portugal prevented them from advancing outright today, but they still have good chances. Here are ways the USA stays in the tournament:
- USA beats Germany (They played well against Ghana and Portugal, and this World Cup is full of upsets. Definitely possible. In this case USA would be #1 and Germany would likely be #2, given how high their goal differential is.)
- USA ties Germany (In this case, both USA and Germany will advance. Germany will be #1 – higher goal differential – and USA will be #2)
- USA loses to Germany but Portugal and Ghana tie (Same as the previous scenario: Germany #1 and USA #2)
- USA loses to Germany but Ghana wins by less than 2+X-Y (Where X is the goal differential from the USA v Germany game and Y is the goal differential from the Ghana v Portugal game. Again: Germany #1, USA #2)
- USA loses to Germany but Portugal wins by less than 6+X-Y (Where X is the goal differential from the USA v Germany game and Y is the goal differential from the Ghana v Portugal game. Germany trouncing Portugal in the first game really puts them in a bad place. For the final time, Germany #1 and USA #2).
So there you have it. If the USA beats Germany, we obtain the coveted #1 spot in Group G that will pit us against the 2nd place team from Group H (currently looking to be Algeria, but there could be an upset/I haven’t calculated the outcomes for that group). In the other four scenarios, we would play the #1 from Group H (again, this only likely, but it will probably be Belgium).
Assuming that we win the first game, we have several possible opponents. In the more likely event that we place 2nd in Group G, and advance past Belgium, that puts us almost certainly against Argentina. If we managed to beat Germany out of the group stage, we’ll end up playing Nigeria or France.
Any predictions beyond this point are futile for many reasons, not the least of which is that after the group stages, all remaining teams are very good teams. Regardless, this has already been an incredibly exciting World Cup for Team USA.
Due to a higher-than-usual workload, and the World Cup Group stage happening this week, the Idiot Economist will resume next Monday (June 23rd). In the meantime, I leave you with this link to some excellent articles on the World Cup from the actual The Economist, and a couple of soccer/futbol-related memes.