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Archive for the ‘world cup 2010’ Category

World Cup Fried Calamari

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I think everybody needs to get off Paul the octopus’ back.

I mean, really.

First, he’s a German octopus.  So he clearly could have been biased.

Second, he’s just calling these World Cup games like he sees them.

Err, correction: How he feels them.

Third, it’s a long way down from the top. 

Or rather, it’s a long way up from the bottom.

Anyhow, you know what I mean.

I find it most interesting that Paul started predicting soccer matches during the 2008 European Soccer Championships.  That year, he was four for six.


Paul the Octopus contemplates the outcome of the World Cup final between Spain and The Netherlands.

Now, he’s on his way to six in a row, the odds of accurately picking correctly which are 216 to 1.

I’m thinking that if Paul keeps this up, he may want to find an aquarium in Vegas and soon.  He certainly has a better record in selecting winners than many of the so-called experts.

Of course, they’re not exactly crying for Paul in Argentina, whose loss to Germany led many to suggest a mission to capture, kill, and serve Paul with potatoes (Personally, I like my calimari with rice, but that’s just me).

The Germans don’t seem to be much happier with Paul now that the eight-legged traitor also accurately predicted their own loss to Spain, with many calling for grilled octopus in the restaurants of Berlin and beyond.

What’s a poor soothsaying octopus to do?

Well, Paul could follow the LeBron James model established just last evening. 

He could call his own press conference and provide some massive prediction about the fate of the Democrats in this year’s U.S. mid-term elections or something similarly yawn-inspiring.

Of course, as is so often the case with such instances, social media is the big winner for a story like this.

“Paul the Octopus” and “Pulpo” (Spanish for Octopus) are trending bigtime on Twitter search, and you can’t navigate YouTube without stumbling across Paul sliterhing his way over to the Spanish flag.



I see at least a minor opportunity for helping the distressed Spanish economy:“Pulpo for FIFA Presidente” T-shirts for everybody!

Me, I’m off to Istanbul for a few days’ business.

Come Sunday evening, I plan to be firmly ensconced in a bar somewhere along the Bosphorus enjoying some kalamar tava, a Turkish-style fried calamari, as Spain proves Paul to be a true underseas Kreskin and takes World Cup 2010 to its most logical and seaworthy end.

Written by turbotodd

July 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm

World Cup Digital

with 4 comments

If you’re a fan, I don’t have to tell you what’s coming up in South Africa starting Saturday June 11th.

If you’re not a fan, you probably don’t care, anyhow.

But you should.

Because I expect this is going to be the largest demonstration of global social media in the history of mankind.


I’m talking, of course, about the World Cup futbol championship being hosted this year in the great country of South Africa.

Once again, my tickets didn’t show up in the mail, but that’s okay, because back to my previous point, this will be the most covered sporting event, or event of any kind, ever when it comes to the social media.

Hyperbole, dear Turbo, you say?

Well, let’s start with the estimated 1B+ expected “watchers” around the globe (I suspect that number is too conservative, but it’s a good starting point).

The World Cup is, after all, the biggest sporting event in the world, bar none.

In 2010, there will be 32 teams from countries around the globe competing for the World Cup championship.  In 2006, during the last World Cup (it’s hosted every four years), social media as we know it today was nascent.

There was no Twitter until about the time the tournament started, and only in September of that year did Facebook open up fully to the public.  YouTube was still a wee lad.

Facebook now has over 400M users, Twitter over 150M, and who knows how many YouTubers are out there.

So, what’s my recipe for following the action?

Well, in these United States, for starters get yourself a big screen TV, access to ESPN, and a DVR.  Some games will logically appear in U.S. primetime, but for others you’ll want to watch the DVR replay at your convenience.

Which means you’re going to have to carefully watch and possibly hedge your social media habits.

The last thing you want to do is find out the U.S. beat England in the opening round of Group C (Hey, it happened in 1950 in Brazil, and I can certainly wish it to happen again!).  Or, whomever your favorite team might be.

Which means you’ll need to carefully keep track of the schedule, so you know which of your teams is playing when, and instigating your own self-propelled social media blackout until such time as you can watch that replay without some Twit ruining it for you!

For my money, the World Cup Schedule iPhone/iPad app (V. 1.1) was key.  I think it cost me $.99 U.S. cents and gives me a full view of the groups and playing calendar (up through currently scheduled games, as well as mid-tourney games the teams for which will be decided in the first two weeks).

I also downloaded the 2010 FIFA World Cup application from ESPN (see screenshot below), which also provides schedules, as well as team and venue overviews and a countdown clock (as of this writing, we’re 8 days, 19 hours, 55 minutes, and 28…27…26…seconds away from the first kick).


If you are a highlights junkie, your iPhone or iPad won’t be complete without the “100 Best Soccer Goals” application (also $.99 U.S. cents).

Once downloaded, don’t forget to watch Roberto Carlos’ “Best Goal Ever” during a France/Brazil Tournoi de France match in 1997, a free kick in which the ball bends it into the net way beyond David Beckham.

Of course, let’s also not forget the official FIFA Web site, fifa.com, which is also intending to interact with a number of key social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook.

And I’m sure there are a gazillion other resources that I don’t yet know about.

The key is this: Find the ones that work for you, get them ready in advance of the tournament, and be prepared to talk trash to your friends around the world throughout the tournament.

As to who the winner is…well, the U.S. is generally given around 80-1 odds to win.

Though I’ll certainly be rooting for them (and give it up, we do have one of the world’s greatest goalkeepers in Tim Howard), I have a feeling the winners this year are going to be either Brazil or Spain.

But why should you listen to me, I’m an American!

What in the world do I know about soccer???

Written by turbotodd

June 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Dell and Perot, Cole and Drogba

with 2 comments

Monday mornings are never dull.

I awakened this am, still stinging from the defeat of my Dallas Cowboys in their new $1B+ home (“the palace in Dallas,” some are calling it, which would work great, except the stadium’s actually located in Arlington) by the New York Giants on a last play field goal, only to discover that Dell has announced its intent acquire IT services firm Perot Systems in a deal worth an estimated $3.9B.

According to a press release on the Dell web site, “the acquisition will result in a compelling combination of two iconic information-technology brands. The expanded Dell will be even better positioned for immediate and long-term growth and efficiency driven by:

  • Providing a broader range of IT services and solutions and optimizing how they’re delivered;
  • Extending the reach of Perot Systems’ capabilities, including in the most dynamic customer segments, around the world; and,
  • Supplying leading Dell computer systems to even more Perot Systems customers.

The Wall Street Journal indicated the merged firm would have “$8B in services revenue” and would seek to “better position Dell among its more diversified rivals like HP.

Speaking of rivals, did anybody catch the Chelsea Blues 3-nil trouncing of the Tottenham Hotspurs (“Spurs”) yesterday morning (U.S. time) at Stamford Bridge?

I’m still convinced most Americans don’t know what they’re missing in not checking out more Premiere League soccer (read: futbol) action…I’m convinced it’s one of the best and most competitive sports leagues in the world…and with satellite and cable carrying so many of their games these days, it’s an excellent way to fill in the gaps in one’s sports calendars.

Anyhow, that first goal by Ashley Cole, in which Cole seemed to glide across the turf a few inches and head in a cross from Didier Drogba, was an absolute thing of beauty.

Of course, all this football talk is perhaps just me getting psyched up for next year’s World Cup in South Africa, fantasizing about being sent there to blog about how IBM can help build a smarter planet through World Cup soccer.

A man’s gotta have his dreams…including Michael Dell.

Written by turbotodd

September 21, 2009 at 1:59 pm

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