With the World Cup underway, I have been thinking about the best way to get folks to identify with the most popular sporting event in the world. While soccer is growing in popularity in the United States, it is still a sport that is a bit alien to some.
One thing is for sure. Sports fans all over the country love their numbers and statistics. Just watch ESPN for five minutes and you will get a barrage of information in number form. Whether it's a pitcher's ERA, the field goal percentage of a basketball player, shooting five under par in a golf tournament or a quarterback's rating in a game, numbers are always used to help us understand what is going on in a sporting event.
In order to get a better understanding of this year's World Cup, I have put together some numbers on the tournament.
203 - The number of teams that began the process for qualifying for the World Cup back in June of 2011.
3,200,000,000 - The number of people worldwide who watched the 2010 World Cup, 46.4 percent of the world's population.
$14,000,000,000 - The total cost in U.S. dollars that it cost for Brazil to host the World Cup.
0 - The number of times a European team has won a World Cup in South America.
13 - The United States' current world ranking.
$10,000,000 - The current value of the 14", 18K gold, 13.5 pound World Cup trophy. It cost $50,000 to make in 1971.
20 - Number of times Brazil has qualified for the World Cup. It is the only country to have qualified for each of the 20 World Cups.
.5% - The probability that the United States will win the World Cup.
909,600,000 - Number of people that watched the World Cup final in 2010. This year it is projected to reach more than 1,000,000,000. In comparison, the 2014 Super Bowl was watched by 111,500,000.
42 - Roger Milla of Cameroon was the oldest player to score in a World Cup at the age of 42 in 1994.
17 - Pele was the youngest player to score in a World Cup at the age of 17 in 1958.
8,866 - number of miles the United States will travel to their three venues from their base camp in Sao Paulo. It is more than double the average of other teams in the World Cup.
12 - Number of cities in Brazil that will host a World Cup match.
3rd - The best finish the United States has ever had in a World Cup, back in 1930.
199,854 - The record attendance for a World Cup final match set at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janiero in 1950. The stadium, which will host the 2014 final, has since been renovated and downsized to a capacity of 76,935.
So there you have it. Some statistics to quench every sports fan's need for numbers. I hope you enjoy the 2014 FIFA World Cup.