Well the first game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup is in the books – not surprisingly, it was a tie. As the world’s most watched sport takes center stage again, my creative juices have begun to spark. I realize it has been a slow blogging year, but I’m hoping to spice things up with my second annual “Travel Destinations” bracket buster. Last year, the NCAA’s March Madness tournament was the inspiration for a 64 entry single elimination tournament to decide which tourist destination was the world’s best. With a little bit of creative fiction, it turns out that the Trans-Siberian rail came out on top.
Last year’s set up was much more geared towards destination, as opposed to the countries themselves. Yes, a few entries were actual countries (i.e. Nepal), but for the most part it was monuments, parks, cities and places across the world. With FIFA’s World Cup, we now have a chance to crown a new “Travel Destinations” champion for 2010. The catch for this year will be that the competition will be between the 32 countries in this year’s World Cup Finals. They will compete against one another in the same order they find themselves at the World Cup (Groups A through H). Two winners will move beyond the group stage to the round of 16 and then in single elimination until we reach the finals.
I have thought long and hard over how to determine the winners. In the end, I decided that since football is the dubbed the beautiful game that the winner would be chosen based on its beauty. But beauty comes in many forms, so I have come up with 3 measures of beauty, as follows: a) the beauty of the people (worth 2 points); b) the natural beauty of the country itself (worth 2 points); and finally the beauty of the culture (to measure the beauty of culture, we will use language, dance, and food, each worth 1 point). I hope you will be encouraged to comment along the way. Much like last year’s entries, I have no predetermined winner in mind – we’ll simply see how the match ups go! So, let’s get beautiful!