Unsurprisingly, the World Cup continued to dominate the English Wikipedia's viewing statistics. In particular, the record-breaking performance of US goalkeeper Tim Howard and the tournament-ending injury to Brazil's Neymar drove a large number of views to their articles.
28 down, four to go. Brazil suffered a catastrophe against Colombia when a bad tackle by Juan Camilo Zúñiga left Neymar, Brazil's ever-reliable goal-dispenser, out for the count with a fractured vertebra. They still managed to win though. Plucky Costa Rica, ranked 34th in the world before the tournament, managed to hold the Netherlands to a goalless draw for the match's duration, only to finally succumb 4/3 on penalties. The four remaining teams (Germany/Netherlands, Brazil/Argentina) represent two of the most ancient and bitter rivalries in world football, but are denied the chance to enact their respective feuds, if at all, until the final.
Usually, when a big-shot director is tired of a franchise, the studio will offer him a juicy pay packet to stay on; Paramount gave Michael Bay an entire movie so he would agree to continue to prop up their tent-pole series, which is all the more vital since Marvel and Indiana Jones are now at Disney. The movie's 17% RT rating (even lower than for the much-reviled entry, Revenge of the Fallen) shows just how much commitment Bay brought to the project; that said, its $300 million worldwide opening (of which $100 million was from the US and $90 million, thanks to some shameless in-movie pandering, was from China) shows audiences don't really care.
The broader article on the history of the competition may have been accessed by people looking for the long view, but in truth it was probably more to do with people looking with the more specific article above.
Whenever the American attitude to sports is mentioned in conversation, sooner or later someone is bound to quote an aphorism popularised (though not coined) by Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi: "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing." There have been many theories proposed as to why football (soccer) hasn't exactly caught fire in the US, but the simplest is that not only do Americans not generally win at it, it's not really a game that encourages the Big Win. The Big Win is a defining theme in US culture, and the idea that a game could end in a nil–nil draw rakes claws across the American psyche. Americans don't feel comfortable unless the home team is ahead by double digits. Well, America lost its match against Belgium this week, sending it out of the World Cup, but their goalkeeper Tim Howard will go down in history after making a superhuman 16 saves; a record for a World Cup match. This led to an explosion of Internet memes suggesting other things Howard could save (My favourite? Howard saving Emily Ratajkowski from Robin Thicke). So perhaps Americans have finally learned that winning isn't the only thing. Or perhaps not. But still it was fun while it lasted.
The American celebration of its Declaration of Independence from Britain on July 4, 1776 (although technically American independence was declared on July 2, by which time the American Revolutionary War had already been going for more than a year, and not actually attained until February 3, 1783) is arguably the biggest summer festival in the English-speaking world, with the possible exception of Christmas in Australia. Still, only half the interest of last year, which seems to be a running theme.
The Colombianmidfielder scored at least one goal in each of his team's matches, even their final, home-sending loss against Brazil. That his team is out is no tragedy for Rodriguez; not only is he a favourite for the Golden Boot but Real Madrid are now desperate to sign him.
How must it feel to be him right now? To go from the tournament's supernaturally competent goal-scoring machine to hospitalised with a fractured vertebra thanks to an unpunished bad tackle? He must be wondering what the chances are of him never competing again, to say nothing of seething with rage.
This stalwart little country, with a population slightly smaller than Sydney, Australia, managed to demonstrate that you don't need an army to wage an effective campaign for world domination. Although they "only" made it to the quarter finals of the World Cup, they still had to be worn down by a 4 to 3 penalty shoot-out.