Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 4th 2014 Contents A76
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, July 4, 2014
World Cup online: Howard's
saves, streaming frenzy
SAN FRANCISCO---Move over Chuck Norris,
the Internet crowned a new hero this week---
that's US goalkeeper Tim Howard. The 35-year-
old player became a Twitter sensation after an
astounding 16 saves in the US team's match
against Belgium, as the knockout stage of the
World Cup continued to play out online this
Some ESPN users complained on Twitter of
streaming issues, including a reported lag that
had them screaming at the action during the US
vs Belgium match minutes after their coworkers
who were watching Univision or following the
game on Twitter.
Here's a look at how the World Cup fared
online this week:
Not long after Howard's fortress-like defence
on Tuesday, someone changed the Wikipedia
entry for "United States Secretary of Defence" to
feature the goalkeeper instead of Chuck Hagel,
the actual defence secretary. The page was
quickly updated, but not before the change made
the rounds online.
As of yesterday afternoon, a White House
petition to change the name of Ronald Regan
Washington National Airport to "Tim Howard
National Airport" had nearly 17,000 signatures,
short of a 100,000 goal set for July 31.
Online jokesters also plastered Howard's image
on famous photos to create a bevy of Internet
memes. These included his face on a brick wall
with the words "The Great Wall of America" and
replacing the wizard Gandalf shouting "You shall
not pass" in the The Lord of the Rings: The
Fellowship of the Ring.
The hashtag #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave
became a trending topic on Twitter. Answers
included the Boston Red Sox in the 1986 World
Series, dinosaurs and the Titanic. Sadly for the
US team, it wasn't enough. Players Mix Diskerud
and Brad Guzan posted photos of their packed
luggage on Instagram, ready to head home.
Tuesday's US vs Belgium game turned out to
be quite the nail-biter, but it only came in fourth
place when it comes to the World Cup's most
tweeted-about matches so far. People sent 9.1
million tweets about the match and mentioned
Howard 1.8 million times. Brazil's victory over
Chile that was decided by penalty kicks on
Saturday holds the top spot with 16.4 million
A GOAL IS A GOOOOAALLL?
Facebook analysed World Cup-related
language in users' posts and found that "gol," the
word for goal in Spanish and Portuguese, was
the most commonly used term for goal, followed
by the English word, then Thai and German
"Only in Spanish, Portuguese, English, and
German do we find significant use of redundant
characters in exuberant posts (such as 'Goooool!,'
'GOOOAAALLLL!,' or 'Tooooooor!') People tended
to post these exuberant mentions right after key
moments in matches. In particular, goals scored
by Neymar Jr from Brazil consistently garner a
high number of exuberant mentions," Facebook
data analyst Dustin Cable wrote in a blog post
The US vs Belgium match set a record as the
most-streamed match so far during the World
Cup according to Akamai Technologies Inc, which
helps companies distribute online video and
works with more than 50 World Cup online
streaming rights holders worldwide. The game
hit a peak of 5.7 terabits per second in online
streaming traffic. In comparison, last week's
concurrent US vs Germany and Ghana vs.
Portugal matches peaked at 6.8 terabits per
second combined, according to Akamai.
SAO PAULO---An overpass under con-
struction collapsed yesterday in a World
Cup host city, killing at least two people
and trapping a commuter bus, two con-
struction trucks and a car, Brazilian
authorities said. Nineteen people were
The incident took place on a main
avenue, the expansion of which is one of
the infrastructure improvement projects
planned for the World Cup but like most
urban transportation projects related to
the tournament, was not finished on time
for the event.
There was no word of any tourists being
among the casualties.
A woman who was driving a commuter
bus trapped by the overpass died, said
Capt Federico Pascual of the Belo Hor-
izonte fire department. An official in the
mayor s office said a second person died,
raising the death toll to two.
The official said 19 people were known
to be injured so far. The official spoke on
condition of anonymity because he wasn t
authorised to talk to the media about the
The overpass collapsed about 3 miles
(5 kilometres) from the Mineirao stadium,
which has hosted several World Cup
matches in recent weeks and is the site
of a semifinal match Tuesday.
The overpass "arched over a really busy
thoroughfare," Pascual said.
Security camera footage showed heavy
traffic on the street below the structure
the moment that the overpass collapsed,
striking vehicles below and trapping them
Even with its record five World Cup
titles and list of players that reads like a
"Who s Who" of soccer, Brazil isn t all
that different than a beer-league team.
While the other teams at the World Cup
will sport traditional (read: boring) jerseys
with last names on the back, the names
on Brazil s signature yellow shirts are more
like something you d see Tuesday nights
at the park. Except instead of Big Mo,
Dave, Smitty and The Destroyer, Brazil
has Fred, Jo, Bernard and, best of all, Hulk.
"It gives us the idea they re our friends,
our mates in the park," said Alex Bellos,
who wrote Futebol: The Brazilian Way of
Life during his five years as The Guardian
newspaper s Brazil correspondent.
This isn t some slick marketing ploy
because Brazil is hosting the World Cup,
The Brazilian culture prizes informality,
with everyone from the president to the
kid next door on a first-name basis---
often with monikers not found any-
where on a birth certificate.
"Nobody knows anybody s last
name. The phone book lists last
names, but that s pretty much it,"
said Ana Maria Carvalho, who
grew up in Brazil s Sao Paolo
state and is now the director
of the Portuguese language
programme at the University
books---it s all by first
names," Carvalho contin-
"From that, nick-
names are just another
No one is quite sure
where Brazil s affection for familiarity
Some trace it to the country s days as
a slave colony, because slaves were often
identified by their first names when they
were registered. Others think it s related
to Brazil s literacy rate, still one of the low-
est in South America.
And still others believe it comes from
Brazil s Portuguese roots,
with most Brazilians
following the Por-
tuguese tradition of
having four names:
a "first" name,
which is often two
to include a saint s
name, followed by
of the mother and the father.
Write all that out a few times and you d
want to shorten your name, too.
Whatever the reason, the practice is so
strong that Luiz Inacio da Silva legally
changed his name when he got into politics
so voters could find him on the ballot.
Lula went on to serve two terms as Brazil s
"It s Lula. Not Luiz Inacio or President
da Silva," said Lyris Wiedemann, a sen-
ior lecturer in Portuguese at Stan-
ford. "I bet if you ask 20 Brazil-
ians, 19 would say we
never had a President
Nicknames reflect Brazilians'
affection for familiarity
Unfinished overpass in World Cup project collapses
Fire department personnel work to retrieve a body from a bus after retrieving it from
underneath a collapsed bridge in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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