There is one off-the-pitch scene of the Beautiful Game that has only been touched upon once (I think) by my fellow bloggers - predictions.
They can sometimes be as wrong as can be, but they still fascinate football fans everywhere.
Forget Nostradamus, who is well known for his predictions for range of worldly events, people and places. Football predictors both humans and non-humans take their art very seriously.
Now that the stakes are high for both the teams and for the respective fans of the quarter-finalists match ups for this year's FIFA World Cup:
Uruguay vs Ghana
Germany vs Argentina
Netherlands vs Brazil
Paraguay vs Spain
Let's take a look at some of these predictions, predictors and some methods used to make these predictions - to make your footballing watching experience even more exciting, why not try some of this interactive methods for yourself.
WARNING: Pro-line players, addicts you did not hear this from me OK. Bet at your own risk. I don't want you go pawn your treasured grandfather's clock.
Do not ask me how, but somehow Octopus Paul of the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany, has an uncanny talent for predicting World Cup Winners. Paul predicts by placing shells in designated boxes or getting into the winning team's box.
How many of us would have predicted Germany being upset by Serbia, especially after merciless trashing of Australia??
Octopus Paul did! -In fact, The Oberhausen Sea Life Centre in Germany reports Paul has predicted World Cup winners with 100% accuracy so far.
Mmmmh....Quick defeat indeed.
Paul's pick for Sunday game? A German win. Really Paul?
WARNING: Pro-line players, addicts you did not hear this from me OK. Bet at your own risk. I don't want you go pawn your treasured grandmothers's crockpot.
In England, they’ve gone a little more high tech. The Mirror newspaper used the Football Manager video game to simulate the match, which ended in a 3-2 England win. Gerrard got two, Rooney one for England, while Germany’s reply came through Thomas Mueller and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
We all know who came on top on their prediction: Paul the Octopus.
Way long - back in the days in Tanzania, there was a intriguing method of predicting football matches:
Two flags of opposing teams would be hosted at an open area, side by side by their respective supporters and each side would put a frankincense burners under the flags. Most of the time the flags were of Simba and Yanga, country's two major clubs and traditional rivals both based in Dar-es-salaam.
Fans of two clubs from all over the city would flock the area known as 'Kariakoo,' an uptown suburb to burn the frankincense, the aromatic gum native to East Africa and Middle East formerly used for worship.
The outcome of the game would depend on which team had burned more frankincense, under the team's flag post. Hundreds of shillings worth of frankincense would burn while the game is played and listened to on the radio-there was no TV broadcast of the matches in those days. The fans danced, cheered and also taunted each other. Some big shots and businessmen would also visit briefly to burn the aromatic substance hoping for better luck for their teams.
And then there is Sheikh Yahya Hussain, a renowned East African astrologer who claims to even have Pele himself visit him for the outcome of some matches he was involved in. His method is mathematical one:
He takes the numerical value of an alphabet letter plus the date of the match. The team numeric value that divides by two is the winner. Let's try one:
Let's take Spain VS Portugal
The first letter in 'Spain' is 'S' the numerical value of the letter 'S' is 19 alphabetically.
For 'Portugal' is letter 'P' numerical value of 'P' is 16 alphabetically.
Lets see if 'Spain' can be divided by 2, after adding Tuesday's date, the 29th. (note if the first letters of both teams you are trying to predict divide by two, then take the second letter, add the first letter's value+date to get your prediction) if that number does not divide 2 keep on going until you get one team's number that divides by 2 . The team that has the odd number that does not divide by 2 is the loser.
SPAIN = 19 (numeric value of 'S') +29 (Tuesday's date) = 48 Can be divided by 2
Now let's see Portugal
Portugal = 16 (numeric value of 'P') +29 (Tuesday's date) = 45 Can not divided by two - we all know Portugal sent home on Tuesday after being eliminated by Spain. Simple!! try it.
Let's do Germany vs Argentina
G = 7+3 (Match date)= 10
A=1+3 (Match date)= 4
Both can be divided by two, so we take the second letter from each team add the first letter's numeric value then add the date value.
G+E=7+5=12+3 (Match date) = 15
A+R=1+18=19+3 (Match day 3rd July) = 22
Sorry Octopus Paul - Bye Bye Germany. 15 is an odd number that can't be divided by two.
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine not very long pondering the state of Canadian Football. How Canada, with all the mosaic of people from all over the planet and the footballing world has a potential to be a football powerhouse. Yet football seems to have an awfully hard time to take off in the country.
May be similar off-the-pitch football antics could be the answer to our football blues.