World Cup: Picking a Device Easier than Picking a Winner

Erik Linask : Convergence Corner
Erik Linask

World Cup: Picking a Device Easier than Picking a Winner

With the 2010 World Cup set to kick off momentarily in South Africa, two questions come to mind: how are you going to follow your favorite teams, and who will win?
The first, despite today's busy lifestyles and work schedules, is the easier of the two. Between streaming feeds, ESPN's coverage, and availability of various mobile World Cup apps, keeping tabs on your team is simple.
In fact, ESPN Mobile TV, available with most major U.S. carriers (sorry T-Mobile customers), as well as to FloTV subscribers, will ensure you don't miss a minute, regardless of where you are. 
Certainly, the experience isn't the same as watching on a big screen TV or, even better, your new 3D TV, but your Sprint Evo will give you a pretty good picture of what's going on (pun intended) - either through carriers' mobile TV capabilities (in conjunction with ESPN Mobile TV), or your Slingbox app (now available for Android phones as well).
In any case, the power of the World Cup is evident in the host of applications developed to allow fans to track the month-long tournament wherever they are.
The second question is the hard part and, to keep up with something of a tradition he had started, I asked our friend, former colleague, and current TMCnet Robotics blogger Greg Galitzine for his predictions (may he fare better than in 2006):
fifa-world-cup-trophy.jpgRound Robin Round
Group A: France, Mexico
Group B: Nigeria, Argentina
Group C: England, USA
Group D: Germany, Ghana
Group E: Netherlands, Cameroon
Group F: Italy, Slovakia
Group G: Brazil, Ivory Coast
Group H: Spain, Chile

Argentina, England, Netherlands, Brazil
Nigeria, Germany, Italy, and Spain

England v Brazil and Nigeria v Spain

Nigeria over England

Brazil over Spain

A few comments from a casual glance at the pairings:
Can the U.S. pull off another upset like it did against Spain in the Confederations Cup? If so, it could end up on the left side of the bracket - the easier side - likely against Serbia in the quarters (instead of Germany). Not a great bracket there, which could benefit the American squad and send them to the quarters against France, which is not as strong as in the past.
The other side likely brings us Spain v. Portugal in Round 2 with the winner getting Italy - a pair of Final Four-worthy matchups indeed. And as much as I want to pull for Ivory Coast and injured superstar Didier Drogba, it is stuck in a group with Brazil and Portugal - too much for even the best striker in the world to overcome, even without a broken arm.
If we do, indeed, see a Brazil v. Spain final, Brazil and it's new style will likely triumph, despite not looking as smooth and graceful as Spain. But on July 11, what will matter is how many times the ball ends up in the back of the net, not how it got there.
For even more on how technology is being used to deliver World Cup scores, highlights, and live feeds to fans across the globe - and how it is impacting the sports world as a whole, visit TMCnet's Sports Techy regularly.

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