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Around the World Without Leaving My Blog – 2020

My year in blogging – in color.   

The following is a cloud I created containing all the names of countries from which someone viewed my blog during the last year. Larger fonts represent nations with more numerous visits, smaller fonts represent those with less. Outside of the expected visits from my own U.S.A, the bulk of visits originated from Northern Europe, Africa and Southern Asia. EBM also experienced its largest turnover since I began tracking such trends. A happy hello to our eight (wow) newcomers – Kenya, Qatar, Indonesia, Singapore, South Africa, Mauritius Ecuador and Cameroon.

No matter how you feel about 2020, it certainly showed us how small the world has become. I am humbled by the breadth of viewership on my tiny little slice of the internet.

As always, my thanks to every visitor, near and far.

                                                                                                 Japan

                            Canada     India

                                                                                                              Ukraine Indonesia 

                                                    Russia  United Kingdom 

                              United States

                                   Qatar  Mauritius  Ecuador  France 

                                                                                                  Dominican Republic 

Germany  Australia  Kenya 

                                     Portugal   Singapore   South Africa

                                                                Cameroon  Hong Kong

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2014 World Cup

World Cup 2014 – Days 1-2

Brazil – Getting the job done. Spain, not so much.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

After a rocky start, Brazil did what they had to do, gaining 3 points and +2 in goal differential. With Croatia dispatched and Cameroon apparently mailing it in (Samuel Eto’o appeared to be playing with ten guys he met in the parking lot) Brazil should be able to see their way through the group stage, even if Mexico forces a draw.

Spain, on the other hand, might be in deep trouble. They lost their first match in 2010 as well, but this team appears a bit more weary, a bit less hungry. In this magical run that has seen them win two Euro Cups with a world title sandwiched in between, they have been able to impose their will on other teams. It never appeared to be that way yesterday, not even when they were up 1-0.

And I tip my hat to the Netherlands. If anything, I expected them to look tired at the end of the game. Sneijder and Robben have logged a large number of kilometers on those legs, but they both were both energetic throughout the second half, Robben dangerously so. As much as this game bodes poorly for Spain, it has to be a giant boost for the Netherlands.

I try not to read too much into first games. Sometimes what appears to be a bad loss just turns out to be a blip or perhaps the case of an up and coming underrated team against an overrated team, on the downturn but still dangerous. Spain’s next match, against Chile, could be more telling than this one. There is a very good chance they will make it through the group stage, but now it would almost certainly be in second position, making the likelihood that they will face Brazil in the round of sixteen a distinct possibility.

Today I look forward to Italia vs. the Three Lions and whatever other surprises the next four matches bring us.

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