As everyone knows, the World Cup, played once every four years, is decided by players’ prowess on the field (and an occasional missed call or two (or three) by the refereeing crew), but that’s a little boring. What if the World Cup was decided by other factors, like, say, country population (USA wins!); or heaviest team (Nigeria wins!); or most rainfall (Costa Rica wins!); or lowest murder rate (Japan wins!)? That would be something we’d be interested in seeing. Lucky for us, the Wall Street Journal has done the heavy lifting for us and placed the teams, in their brackets, and shows us the head-to-head (to head-to-head-to…) match-ups. Some of the data might surprise you— and perhaps give you a chance to cheer on your country of choice in the World Cup of What Ifs.
June 23, 2014