Hi, Nick Hilbourn here, technocrat and professional English major. Many of you on my mailing list who know about my 2010 article "10 Things You Can Do on the World Wide Web" (you may know it by the shortened form "TTTYCDOTWWW"), know that #6 was "Find Information." I’m still astounded by the relevance of this point, even in 2014.

But it wasn’t until I learned of a small upstart called the World Cup while browsing the blogosphere (a subset of the World Wide Web that I will discuss in an upcoming, 5th anniversary edition of TTTYCDOTWWW) that I truly grasped the power of the WWW for finding information.

What kind of sport is it that they play? Does anyone in America know how to play it? We must become better acquainted with this potential threat to national security.
The World Cup is a favorite sports tournament among Asian countries, South American countries, and Germany. Money is hard to come by for these countries and Germany as they are mostly poor. (They can only afford to put on the event every four years.) But, as it is with poor people, the spirits are high.

They aren’t without issues, of course. (Talk to my friend Donnie Quist who’s still trying to get his Kickstarter for a Braille eBook off the ground…keep it strong, Don!)

For example…

  • They don’t stop the clock when a whistle blows. (And whistles blow ALL the time. They miss important, lifesaving advertising money by not stopping the clock to break for sponsors or blowing a whistle for a television break in order to showcase commercials by Tollhouse Cookies or Toyota Tercels.)
  • They also don’t seem to encourage their players to wear advertising stickers on their jerseys. (This works wonders for NASCAR, which I watched with my biological father last weekend. "You could easily Velcro the advertisements onto the players shorts or jerseys!" I said, but he ignored me as he’s done my entire life…)
  • Most devastatingly, they don’t seem to value star power. The biggest stars are names that I can’t pronounce. Messah? Messy? He’s supposed to be the universe’s greatest player? Who the hell has heard of him? His name doesn’t sound appealing either. Important money’s being lost. Trade him for Lebron James, I say.

But I’m being a bit too negative here. Upstarts need all the boost they can get and I think this World Cup thing has taken an interesting approach. Basically, all the countries go against each other in a sport. It’s like a world war, except without the excitement of firearms and the anticipation of drone missiles.

Shaving cream to mark off a free kick in World Cup 2014

Now, for all we know, this World Cup may still be going on; we can’t be too sure. As Americans, I think it behooves all of us to try and find out as much as we can about this. As a journalist, I was trained to ask a lot of questions. I quickly learned that these questions had to be important and related in some way to the subject matter of the article (I could not risk embarrassing important leads by asking them questions about books that I know only I have read, for example).

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The same method is needed here. For example…

  • Where is this World Cup taking place? (In other words, where are these games being played?)
  • More importantly, what television channel are they on?
  • Is America in any way endangered by this World Cup?
  • If so, should we prepare arms for a strike?
  • What would we call this strike, as well? Should we name it after terminology used in the World Cup or should we use terminology from our own, more developed sports? (i.e. Operation Touchdown)
  • Can America become involved in some way and will this, in any way, frighten smaller, poorer countries into generating terrorist cells in order to combat our superiority and freedom?
  • Should we pressure the United Nations to call a vote to rename it the American Cup?
  • What kind of sport is it that they play?
  • Does anyone in America know how to play it?

By asking these questions we can become better acquainted with a potential threat to national security. It’s important to know enough to know if we should attack it, ignore it, or buy it.

Right now, I feel it’s not strong enough to necessitate attacking it, but relatively interesting enough not to ignore it (curiously, a sentence my stepdad has often said in relation to me). Buying it, in fact, is probably the best deal, but more in terms of the growing racket of betting on countries. People in poorer countries often bet stickers of their favorite players (like children do, you know?) and when their team loses, they lose all their stickers. (This is, really, ALL I am able to discern from the voluminous research done through Altavista…to give you an idea of how underground this event really is.)

I think it’s time to really Americanize this event by betting hard-earned, adult money. As it stands, most people usually bet on easy wins. For instance, betting on the WHOLE country of Germany or Brazil? Of course, you’re going to get something! Personally, I love buying stock in Google. It’s like buying stock in asphalt. Do you get what I’m saying?

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It’s too comfortable! Too easy! Forget about the thrill of scoring big on the underdog. The risk of taking a ne’er-do-well team of rascals under your tutelage only to watch them win the little league championship, while you sit on the bleachers with the other parents counting the fortune you scored off of them.

Not only do we have money to bet, but we know that best teams (like bands) are the ones no one’s heard of.

So now my motive becomes clear. First and foremost, we need to find out where this World Cup is happening and how long it is happening.

Then, we need to start betting on extreme underdogs, and I’ve got a few tips on who to put your money on:

#1 pick is Lebron James.

Nobody can outscore him and he’s pretty much revealed himself as The Lord. He could play any sport and dominate it with almost violent tenacity. If you’re looking for an out-of-left field pick with the surety of a dark horse, then LeBron James is your team.

#2 pick is Africa.

Certainly one of the biggest countries probably in the World Cup, its size means that (probability-wise) it’s sure to have the greatest (per capita) amount of star players. It’s no LeBron James, but its size may make up for that.

#3 pick is, definitely, Google.

I recently learned that Google organizes intra-Google team sports. In a company that large, money is sure to draw some of the heaviest talent to hit the map. Although it doesn’t have the size of Africa or the sheer omnipresent spiritual power of Our Lord LeBron James, its sheer financial wealth says "America" more than anything, and that’s something.

For the sake of brevity, I’ve only listed three. But, of course, there’s nothing lower than bronze, so don’t worry about those pitiful, lower tiers populating number 4 to 1,000 on my list. Peruse these and go with your heart.

While I can be an amazing resource for things like this, I’d encourage you to research this phenomenon on your own. Never forget that the more we know about this World Cup, the more knowledge we can gain about how to make money off it.

For example, is there a Starbucks in the World Cup yet? How about a Denny’s? Would you like to start one? It’s this type of thinking that makes millionaires. By getting in on the ground floor, you’re not just making yourself a fortune…you’re joining the world community by franchising a substantial piece of it.

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