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June 21, 2010

The World Cup and the Redskins

Tom McLaughlin

Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia – It’s Saturday morning following the opening games of the World Cup. They started here at 10 P.M. and ran through the night because of the time difference. Both matches, South Africa vs. Mexico and Uruguay vs. France, played to a draw.


There was hardly any Saturday morning traffic as everybody slept in late. Coffee shops and businesses opened later than usual. The early risers I did meet had bleary eyes and that lack-of-sleep look. My wife slept in, awakening much later than usual.


This is my first World Cup where everybody riots over the event. I have made it a concerted effort to understand international football as compared to American football. Alas, my only experience is the Washington Redskins.


In South Africa, the fans were overjoyed with the 1-1 results. They honestly felt their team had won the game, according to BBC, Al Jazera and London-based CNN. Had the Redskins at least tied a few of their lost games last season, the sound waves from the cheers from Washington would have stopped both the oil well and the Iceland volcano.


According to the Malaysia Star newspaper, the country’s USA Today, an analysis of the teams’ jersey colors and their won-lost record proved that red was the most victorious color by over 25 percent. Obviously, the Redskins’ stats were not included.


High altitude countries have an advantage over low altitude countries. Given the Redskins location at sea level, coupled with the heavy, hot, humid and polluted air from Congress, this factoid seems to hold true for my home team. In fact, any team having an altitude above one meter has an advantage over the Redskins.


In taking hormone levels of teams throughout the world, testosterone levels were highest just before a home game which, some feel, explains why home teams have the advantage.


One wonders about the Redskins low levels because of their 3-5 record at home last season. They probably had to donate most of it to the team owner, Daniel Snyder.


As far as punters and kickers are concerned, statistics from Liverpool have shown a correlation between finger length and performance. It seems those “…footballing elite” had longer ring digits compared to their index fingers. Known as the double bird, Redskin scouts now have an extra recruiting tool.


Football is the most exciting of sports, says the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, according to The Malaysia Star. “Los Alamos National Laboratory is a premier national security research institution, delivering scientific and engineering solutions for the nation's most crucial and complex problems. Our primary responsibility is ensuring the safety, security, and reliability of the nation's nuclear deterrent.” Their words. I guess they crunch football results as well on their super computers, needing a break from their all important nuclear deterrent work.


They claim the underdog wins 25% more often in international football than in American football. If only a small percentage of that number is true, the Redskins should have a winning season in 2010-2011.


During the World Cup, hospital admissions for cardiac arrest rose in England by 25% when England lost to Argentina in 1998. The death rate from strokes and heart attacks increased by 50% in Holland when they were defeated by France in 1996.


The World Cup is the playoffs and Super Bowl rolled into one month-long event and the Redskins never came close to either of those goals, which could have caused angina increases throughout the D.C. area. They do keep their fans healthy.


Still, they are my home team so…


“Hail to the Redskins! Hail Victory…


…Life is good…


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