[MY VIEW] Just how many folks were watching USA-Algeria Wednesday morning? Let's do the math ...
Totaling the number of the viewers isn't easy in this age of multiple platforms, but here's a start:
2.2 million (Univision)
1.1 million (ESPN3.com)
650,000 (ESPN Mobile)
That totals almost 10.2 million viewers (and doesn't include those who watched the repeat broadcasts).
What that also doesn't include is everyone who watched the game on television at work or at bars or restaurants or big-screen viewings.
If there were a million or so watching the game at work on their computer, let's assume that there were another million watching on a television at their business. And let's assume five people on average were huddled together. That's another 5 million viewers.
Public viewing is a little harder to calculate. Let's say there were 10,000 establishments at which there was some kind of organized viewing with an average of 100 fans watching. That adds another 1 million viewers.
In all likelihood, more than 15 million or so fans were watching Wednesday morning.
(Where were you watching Wednesday? Let us know in the comments below.)
TRACKING THE TRACKERS. Just how popular is the World Cup in the United States compared to England. According to ESPN.com, its USA-Algeria GameCast peaked at 1.7 million concurrent users seeking scores. BBC Sport served 800,000 concurrent users during the England-Slovenia game being played simultaneously.
STATE OF SHOCK. You'd think the Slovakia players would have been elated after knocking out Italy, 3-2, in one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, but they walked single file through the media mixed zone and didn't talk to the press.
Relations between Coach Vladimir Weiss and the Slovakian media have been stormy, to say the least. After the 2-0 loss to Paraguay, Weiss hurled expletives at journalists, walked out of the press conference only to return and threaten to beat up a reporter. (Weiss later apologized.)
Team doctor Villam Fischer said the players were simply in a state of shock. "I'm a cardio surgeon, I know what shock is -- they are in shock. This win against Italy is a shock for our players."
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“When we won the World Cup, we all got given national medals of honor. Now they’ll give us medals of shame, which is right." -- Italian midfielder Gennaro Gattuso.
LE SCOUNDREL. Of the big stars at the World Cup, the players in whom sponsors have invested millions, Franck Ribery's reputation has suffered the most. And not the least for his poor form on the field in France's three games.
Nicolas Anelka was the symbol of the French malaise. Patrice Evra, the captain, was the gang leader. Raymond Domenech was the incompetent coach. But behind the scenes, Ribery was a troublemaker.
Already suffering after being implicated in the scandal involving an underage prostitute, the now world-famous mademoiselle Zahia Dehar, and missing the UEFA Champions League final after being sent off in the first leg of the semifinals, Ribery comes across as a conniver.
Before the tournament, Ribery battled with Thierry Henry over the starting job on the left side of the French attack, and Henry was eventually dropped. Ribery was given the starting job on the left wing, but just about every French observer agreed that the Bleus needed Ribery on the right side and Florent Malouda on the left.
After the 2-0 loss to Mexico in the second game, Ribery and young playmaker Yoann Gourcuff reportedly came to blows on the plane ride back to the Bleus' base camp.
That wasn't the first time Ribery and Gourcuff got into it. Ribery was accused of bullying Gourcuff, ridiculing him when he did not join his French teammates on a players' night out at a Paris "gentleman's club."
On Sunday morning, Ribery burst on the set on the popular soccer show Telefoot to deny he fought with Gourcuff and to apologize to the French nation for the Bleus' pathetic performance on the field.
Ribery offered crocodile tears by concluding that "we'll do everything to win" against South Africa. Any credibility Ribery had was lost within hours when the French boycotted training to protest Anelka's expulsion from the team. Ribery was one of the ringleaders of the boycott.
According to the the weekly newspaper Nouvel Observateur, goalie Hugo Lloris, right back Bacary Sagna and Gourcuff wanted to practice, but they were prevented from exiting the team bus by William Gallas, Evra and, you guessed it, Ribery.