Thursday, July 08, 2010

A bit of luck

The semi finals of the FIFA World Cup 2010 have just finished with the final and the third fourth placing to be played over the weekend.

A day before the Spain – Germany semi final match, my son thought Germany was going to win since the team played so well against both England and Argentina in the round of sixteen and the quarter finals respectively. I said, ‘Let’s wait for the psychic octopus’ input before determining which team will win.’

Of course Paul the now famous octopus housed in a German Aquarium predicted Spain to win that match vindicating why it is still the best psychic for predicting FIFA football tournaments – despite the wishy-washy interpretations of its trainer and/or spokesperson in the quarterfinal and semifinal matches played by Germany. However it does not mean you can wager your shirt or house on its predictions. Since it is also known that Paul the psychic octopus has been wrong once so far, way back in 2008 where it predicted Germany to beat Spain in the European championship final - Spain won instead.

If you need a bit of luck too like my son, wait for the psychic octopus to choose whether Germany will take third placing over Uruguay this Saturday. But remember not to put your shirt or your house on the line. A small wager will do, if you really have to punt.

Meanwhile if you have watched all the Holland matches in this World Cup, you may agree with me the team has a bit of luck going their way. My son did not notice that.

In all tournaments at the world stage, the qualified teams are skillful enough to represent their respective countries and would have a chance to win the championship. Holland played ‘total football’ back in the 1970s led by the legendary Johan Cruyff of Ajax Amsterdam FC fame and who had coined that phrase. The Dutch team played real skillful and beautiful football then. But they did not have the luck to win the World Cup final both in 1974 and 1978. Like always, winning a championship requires much skill and a bit of luck, and Holland has both this time round, I had told my son.


In the opening match in the group stage against Denmark, the play opened up when Danish Daniel Agger headed the ball away from the D line only to hit the back of his own team mate to score an own goal much to his amusement. Holland scored a goal to win the game 2 – 0. Holland went on to win the remaining two Group E matches.

After beating Slovakia in the group of sixteen, it met Brazil the favorite to win this World Cup and the team to avoid in the quarter finals. As expected, Brazil opened the score with a beautiful goal from Robinho. When Holland counterattacked with a lob into the D, Felipe Melo of Brazil, under pressure, headed in an own goal making it all square at 1 – 1. Similar to the match with Denmark, Holland scored a goal and a 2 – 1 score line was enough against ten men (Melo was red carded later for a foul) to put it through to the semifinals.

In the semifinal match with Uruguay, Dutch Wesley Sneijder scored with a deflected shot by a Uruguay defender. Holland won the closely fought and exciting match 3 – 2.

With all the luck they are getting in this World Cup, and with a bit more luck in the final, Holland would win it this time round. However, Dutch fans should keep their fingers crossed since I am neither a psychic nor an octopus like Paul!


Self taught cultivators of Tao also need a bit of luck to get the right books and texts for study and confirmation of their correct neidan practice since Bodhidharma had said that only one in a million of the self taught can become Buddhas.

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