Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Thanks and What Still Remains

Thanks to everyone for making the BISERGS a fun event and hopefully increasing your enjoyment of the World Cup.  I would like to echo Carol's special thanks to everyone who commented on the game on this website and via twitter and facebook. The real thanks go to Carol Barrera for her many posts about the soccer games and everyones progress through the BISERS.  She may not have won the BISERGS this time (although she claims to have picked Rodrigo's teams for him) but she was without a doubt the most enthusiastic participant.   Many of you said that you wanted to write to this site but had trouble signing on to blogger/google.  I'm sorry about that since it would have added a lot to the game to get some banter going. I'll try to find a better place to host the BISERGS in 2018 and I'm sure many new ways for us to communicate will have been invented by then.

Brian Markwood deserves a special shoutout for winning the first ever cousin of Greg Samuelson category.  Hopefully in 2018 there will be many more cousins and kids of cousins playing the game.

A close approximation of the BISERGS awards
ceremony that will take place in Cheyenne in early August.
Pele, Ronaldo and Sepp Blatter have not confirmed that they
will be in attendance yet.
Now all that remains of the 2014 BISERS is to give Rodrigo his prize, a Neymar Brazil Jersey.  We'll be traveling to Cheyenne in a couple of weeks and I will present it to him in a very formal awards ceremony.  Pictures of the gala event will be posted to this website.

The fact that the top 5 finishers all had Germany has produced calls for a change in the BISERGS scoring system for 2018.  Germany alone produced more points than all but the top 12 BISERGSers scored (7 discounting those who had Germany in the first place).  Any suggestions for a revised score system would be greatly appreciated and your feedback on this years format versus the group stage and final stage format of 2010 would also be appreciated.

The BISERGS World Rankings will be updated soon and posted to this site, so keep checking back until then.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Rodrigo Continues Barrera Dominance

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer lifts the World Cup as Germany
celebrates their victory in Brazil.
Germany wrapped up an incredible run in Brazil to claim the World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Argentina.  That result ensured that the BISERGS would stay in the Barrera side of the family as Rodrigo claimed the BISERGS for the first time, following his wife Carol, who one in 2010, and daughter Sharleen who won the first three editions of the BISERGS.  Just as Germany became the first European team to ever win a World Cup hosted in the Americas, Rodrigo was the first male BISERGS champion after four rounds of female domination in the quadrennial family event.  Rodrigo's impressive total of 88.25 points was the result of 42 points scored by the Germans for their owners, but he also picked the 3rd place Netherlands who accrued the second most BISERGS points of all the World Cup teams and Costa Rica which was the surprise team of the tournament.  It was a well deserved masterclass in BISERGS domination in which Rodrigo never dropped out of the top 5 and was in the number one position for most of the competition.

The Netherlands victory in the third place game and Argentina's loss allowed Gray to move past Krista in the final two days and claim second place overall, 9.5 points off of Rodrigo's blistering pace.  Four years ago Krista narrowly beat Gray for the Nephew/Niece title, so it was sweet revenge for Gray this time around.  Brian G. and Evan rounded out the top 5.  Brian was the best rookie of the BISERGS with his 4th place finish.  It was an impressive run for the Oregon Samuelsons which placed Rachel in 9th to join Gray and Evan in the top 10.  The Barreras showed their quality with Carol finishing 8th and Sharleen ending up in 10th.  Carol's finish was especially impressive given the disappointment of her first pick Spain.  Doug and Greg finished 6th and 7th with Greg being the only Brazil owner to survive the World Cup hosts' awful collapse and remain in the top 10.

Ivan was the top finisher in the 12-years and under category finishing 12th overall. Max finished 2 spots behind him as the second youngster while Annika rounded out the top three of the kids category and finished 18th overall.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

And Then There Were Two

Thomas Muller celebrates one of Germany's seven goals
in front of the stunned Brazil.
The absolute demolition of Brazil at the hands of the ruthless Germans coupled with Argentina's penalty kick victory over the Netherlands means that only Rodrigo or Krista can claim the BISERGS crown.  Krista can boast that she is the only one with both finalists, but even with that honor, the odds of are very much in Rodrigo's favor at this point.  He holds an 8.25 point lead over Krista and also has the Netherlands playing in the third place game.  If the Dutch can defeat the demoralized Brazilians, Krista's Argentines may have to win by several goals to make up the difference.  The other complication for Krista is that every goal scored by Argentina counts as a goal not only against Rodrigo, but agains herself, since they both have the Germans.  The final is worth triple points and the third place match is worth the same as the group stage matches were.
Argentina advances to the final after defeating
the Netherlands in a penalty kick shootout. 

The record breaking victory by Germany was worth 12.5 BISERGS points and not only did it lift Rodrigo, Krista and Gray into a nearly guaranteed top three finish, it also vaulted Brian G and Evan into the top 10 from the 16th and 17th places respectively.  Brian M also entered the top 10 for the first time with Argentina's victory and could climb much higher than his current 9th place if Argentina wins it all.  Doug sits in 4th place and has Argentina in the final, but he is nearly 12 points behind Gray.  All of Brazil's owners slipped backward with the minus 2.5 point result in the semifinal round.  The Netherlands lost on penalties, but still earned their owners 2 points because they finished 120 minutes on equal footing and the semifinal was worth double points.

The Brazilians would probably rather not have to play in the 3rd place game after being humiliated in front of their home fans in the semifinal, but Holland are also exhausted after back to back 120 minute matches decided by penalties.  It may not be a game worth watching, but the results will affect the final BISERGS standings.

The final is a classic matchup between Europe and South America.  Germany is a complete team that seems to be able to score at any moment, while rarely conceding a goal. Thomas Muller can take home the Golden Boot and the World Cup if he is able to score twice in a German victory.  Currently, Colombia's James Rodriguez is the Golden Book leader with 6 goals in this years World Cup, Muller has 5 goals and Messi has 4.  Lionel Messi has a chance to put his name in the conversation as the best player ever.  A hat trick in the final would give him 7 goals, the Golden Boot and the World Cup and would probably put him ahead of Pele and Diego Maradona in most peoples rankings when added to his other accomplishments with Barcelona over the years.  He wasn't able to assert himself on yesterday's match, but he did have two clever passes in overtime that could have lead to goals if his teammates were able to finish their golden opportunities.  

3rd Place Match

World Cup Final

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Final Four

 The World Cup restarts for the semifinal round today with a huge match between Brazil and Germany.  Tomorrow the Netherlands will take on Argentina with the winners advancing to the final on July 13th.  The games are worth double points for the BISERGS and with the final match being worth triple, there is still a chance for four of the top five to win the BISERGS depending on the results.  Gray can't win because he has the same teams remaining as Rodrigo and is currently behind him in the standings.  Doug is definitely a long shot but with negative points being doubled or tripled in the next two matches, there is still a possibility he can win.  16 BISERGSers still have at least one of the four remaining teams.  Rodrigo, Gray and Krista are the only remaining players with 2 teams left and they all share Germany.  There is a lot at stake for bragging rights and positioning in the all important (ok, we all know they are actually meaningless) BISERGS world rankings.  The losers in the semifinals will play one another in the third place match, which is worth the value of a group stage game in the BISERGS and could have an effect on the standings.

Before the tournament started many experts thought a final featuring South American giants Brazil and Argentina was a real possibility.  Germany was also a real favorite before things began, but not many expected the Netherlands to make it this far.  Neymar suffered a horrible injury, so for Brazil to succeed at home will require some other players to step up against Germany.  Messi is the biggest star remaining in the tournament and would love to add a World Cup title to his long list of achievements.

I made a mistake in the calculations of the scores following the quarterfinals.  I had accidentally given Spain the points for the Netherlands victory.  The error has been corrected and the biggest changes at the top are that Gray is currently ahead of Krista in the nephew/niece category and Rodrigo's lead is larger than previously reported.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Eight Nations Left Standing

The round of 16 ended with America bowing out to Belgium in extra time.  Argentina also moved on in the last day, sending Switzerland back home in a match that required an extra 30 minutes to determine a winner.  That leaves eight countries standing and three rounds to go until the World Cup is awarded on July 13th.  In the BISERGS Brian Markwood had the biggest day, as the owner of both Belgium and Argentina.  He jumped up to 12th place with 7.25 points on the day and looks ready to move into the top ten in the next round.  Krista and Rachel reentered the top 10 forcing both Sharleen and Annika off the list.  Doug jumped from 8th into a tie for 3rd with Rick, the exact place they ended the group stages.  With the loss of Switzerland and the USA, the BISERGS must say goodbye to James, Colinsboys and Josh.  

Greg's 11 points were the most scored by anyone in the round of 16, followed by Rodrigo who was just 1/4 point behind for the 8 matches.  Matt S. and Krista each scored 8.5 points in their attempt to keep pace with the leaders.  Only Greg and Rodrigo have 3 teams remaining, while 10 BISERGSers have 2 teams left.

Tomorrow the World Cup restarts again with two quarterfinal matches.  The first is an all European clash between France and Germany, which is followed by a South American battle between Brazil and Colombia.  In the BISERGS, the matches are now worth 50% more than the previous rounds, so a win will earn 4.5 points and a goal .75 points.  The points will increase further in the next two rounds, meaning there is still going to be plenty of movement on the BISERGS leader board.  Greg and Rodrigo meet head to head in both matches, so it is a big day for the BISERGS.  The following day will feature Argentina against Belgium and The Netherlands vs. Costa Rica.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Do You Believe?

This is the big day for Team USA.  They get Jozy Alidore back from injury and are playing Belgium who will be missing their best and perhaps the world's best central defender, Vincent Kompany.  Belgium are still the overwhelming favorites to win this match with tons of star power.  By salary, the Belgium squad makes more money playing soccer for their clubs than any other country except Brazil.  That is just the type of underdog story that Americans crave as they look for an upset.  The favorites have won every match in the round of 16, but that is bound to end, isn't it?  In the opening match of the day, Lionel Messi looks to further cement his claim to be the best player ever as he leads Argentina against Switzerland.  Then the US and Belgium take the field at the exact moment we will be checking into the airport and clearing security.  Hopefully there will be plenty of TVs showing the match so I can catch at least one or two of the many goals America will be scoring.  Cue the crowd chanting: I believe that we will win!

In the BISERS, it is a big day for Doug who has all three of his remaining teams in action.  His strong 8th position could improve dramatically with the right (wrong in the case of the Belgium/USA game) results.  Rachel, Brian M. and Cookie have two teams a piece while Greg, Rick and Grey have big matches as they try to position themselves to make a run at Rodrigo in the next round.

BISERGS headquarters will be moving 12 timezones for the duration of the World Cup, starting today.  That means the scores won't be updated on this site for a while, so it is up to you to dust of your abacus and calculate the scores while you wait for more BISERGS news on this site.  Remember to use the comments section on this page and #BISERGS on twitter to keep the discussion going over the next two days.


France and Germay Prevail

Germany finally broke through in added time to set up a
quarterfinal clash with France.
Africa is out of the World Cup as Nigeria and Algeria couldn't overcome their European rivals.  Nigeria and Algeria had plenty of the attack in the early going of their matches and each saw goals called back due to offsides calls.  In the first match, a tactical switch halfway through the second half turned France into the dominant side.  Still, their attacks were turned away by brilliant goal keeping and the woodwork until their goalie misplayed a corner kick and Paul Pogba easily headed home the first goal.  France scored a second to seal the victory as their continued pressure force Nigeria into an unfortunate own goal.  Algeria gave Germany a scare from the outset and both goal keepers were called into action again and again.  Germany took firm control of the match in the second half, but were unable to score and at the end of regulation time the score was 0 - 0.  Early in the overtime Germany broke through as Andre Schurrle brilliantly dragged low cross into the net using his trailing foot.  As Algeria committed numbers forward to rescue their World Cup dreams, Germany struck again.  Algeria managed a very late consolation goal, but the Germans ended up 2 - 1 winners.  The result sets up another thrilling World Cup quarterfinal between France and Germany the day after Brazil and Colombia square off.

The prevailing wisdom throughout the tournament has been that the European teams would struggle in the heat and humidity of Brazil, especially late in matches.  The Netherlands, Germany and France have all proven that wrong in the round of 16, scoring either in the extra time or late in regulation to knock out Mexico, Algeria and Nigeria.  Even Greece managed to score in the 90th minute to force the extra period against Costa Rica, although Costa Rica went on to win the match.  Currently two South American teams, one Central American team and three European teams have spots in the quarterfinals with the final two round of 16 matchups still to come.

The German victory puts Rodrigo firmly in control of the BISERGS with a five point lead over second place Greg.  He has three teams into the next round (Germany, the Netherlands and Costa Rica).  France's victory lifted Annika back into the top 10.  The Nigeria loss adds Derek to the list of BISERGSers who have had their third team eliminated.  Sorry Derek for not getting your name on the Nigeria flag graphic this summer.  I just noticed that now.