World Cupenomics


We are big fans of the global game, so this is a month to relish – and a tremendous start.  As enthralling as the competition is, the cultural implications of futball are equally captivating.  Some of the best writing on the game off the field — and which deserves a read no matter your sport  — is in The Economist, who are offering an entire and evolving series on the ramifications of the Cup (registration required), and The New Republic, which offers a collection of pieces ranging from  war in Columbia to literary lion Jorge Luis Borges.

For example, what is it about the English (sorry mum) and their inability to handle pressure that has seen them go home early again? Which is the South American team that perpetually stinks? What did the Brazilian vendors do when FIFA banned them from proximity to the stadium? Why did an LA museum devote an exhibit to the beautiful game? It’s a fascinating collection of pieces.

Other reads? For a book, try our perpetual favorite: How Football Explains the World. For more economic analysis, try the Goldman Sachs report. For a statistical model (and some really terrific graphs), go to 538. Futball now consistently commands greater American audience than any other sport except, um Football.  And for a pub atmosphere in Denver, try the British Bulldog or Three Lions. Whichever way you participate, enjoy.