Have you ever noticed how much the World Cup tournament has in common with the NFL's regular and post season model? The former is essentially a condensed version of the latter. They both field 32 teams who are divided into eight groups of four. During the NFL regular season, It is the goal of every team to either win their specific division or gain a wild card spot in the playoffs, which mirrors, in part, the pool play concept of the World Cup. If you initially win enough games or matches, then you automatically qualify to participate in the single elimination playoff rounds.
In another interesting parallel, the US soccer national team is strikingly similar to the Carolina Panthers. Neither has ever won a world championship and, as such, are frequently looked down upon by the media and opposing fans in their respective sporting communities, both nationally and internationally. But never underestimate the power of belief. These insufferable fan bases are experiencing a revival of sorts and are faithfully clinging to their most recent promising performances as proof that a trip to the top of the hill is closer than any so-called pundit can imagine.
Will the United States of America win the World Cup in 2018? I certainly wouldn't bet on it. However, when it comes to the Panthers, I would be willing to push all my chips to the center of the table as a manifestation of my unwavering confidence that they will win the Big One before the next World Cup. Unlike the national team, they will have four chances to do so.
What about you CSR? Will the Panthers win it all before the 2018 World Cup?