Guest blog post written by sports blogger Nicholas Emerson.
The most popular sporting event in the world is the world cup soccer tournament. I have the opportunity to view this on satellite television because I found some very cheap direc tv prices so that I could get my fill of World Cup action. Of course this doesn't happen all the time and sometimes it is a rerun versus a live game, but of course it depends on what teams are playing. When a favorite side is on, I like to view the action whenever possible as the excitement grows to a fever pitch, especially when each team is comparable in ability.
soccer or Football as it is known around the world, has it's annual tournament every four years. There are 31 teams selected from a number of preliminary elimination games plus the host country who is included automatically. The total number is then 32, who are then split up into groups or pools for round robin play. The highest total points are then awarded pass into the next round.
It is exciting to see if the favorites are able to advance or whether this tournament will feature an upstart that the experts didn't see coming. Occasionally, a latecomer will catch fire, due to a hot goalie or lucky bounce. That is one of the beautiful things in the tournament. Although there are favorites, the best team does not always win the final.