The national soccer team from Germany won the World Cup championship, defeating Argentina, 1-0, in extra time, the winning goal coming in the 113th minute by Mario Götze. It was the fourth World Cup title for Germany. Their third came 24 years ago, also against Argentina. This World Cup victory marks the first-ever championship for a European team in the Americas.
The US Men’s National Team advanced to the knockout rounds in this World Cup, losing a nail-biter to Belgium in the Round of 16 that saw an incredible performance in goal by Tim Howard. He saved 16 shots in the game, the most by any goalkeeper in the World Cup since 1966.
But Belgium was relentless, and I kept thinking, as I witnessed save after save by the once-in-a-generation goalkeeper, that even the greatest get tired. I think, as group after group, teacher after teacher, politician after politician, keep taking shots at the Common Core or the massive number of standardized tests our kids are required to take, even the best set of standards would eventually fall. And the Common Core isn’t anything close to Tim Howard.
The World Cup, a quadrennial spectacle, was hosted by Brazil. People from the US purchased more tickets this year than those from any country except Brazil. In 2018, Russia will host the World Cup.
After Germany soundly defeated Brazil earlier this week in the semifinals, newspapers in Brazil started referring to the World Cup as an “$11 billion calamity.” I doubt it would have been much different if Brazil had won, since protests about the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, which will also take place in Brazil, have caused the nation to spend billions of dollars for the sake of sports. People are concerned that the nation’s infrastructure and education systems are in a bad state and could have benefited from the money.