World Cup, US vs Algeria

PRETORIA, South Africa

Weezer's "Represent" was blaring across the delirious, victorious American locker room about the time Bill Clinton strolled in.

Landon Donovan'a injury-time game-winner over Algeria had sprung the United States into the knockout round and set off parties from here to back home. The most important moment in American soccer history is what team officials were calling it, at least until Saturday afternoon's game against Ghana.

The players knew the 1-0 victory was big, but the enormity hit home when -- of nowhere -- just sort of walked in. He appeared more in awe of the players than the players of him.

Someone handed the former President a soda. He put his arm around Donovan. He sought out coach Bob Bradley. The party went on. Clinton wound up just hanging out for 45 minutes; some think he would've stayed hours longer if, you know, the guys didn't have to actually get dressed.

An exploratory analysis was suggested by one of our egghosts, who wrote:

Are you going to check the USA EGGs response to the event of the American National Team goal against Algeria yesterday ?? I would like to suggest to check the response of the USA EGGs after the goal. It was truly a very very exciting event for the American sport fans.


While this was not part of our planned World Cup coverage, it was indeed a hugely exciting moment for the developing American soccer fan base. An exploratory analysis looked at the match plus 45 minutes after the goal. The first following image shows this whole period, and the data are from all eggs in the network.

World Cup, US vs

The second figure shows just the 45 minutes following the goal, again looking at the response from the full network. This corresponds also to the time President Clinton spent with the team celebrating in the locker rooms.

World Cup, US vs

The third image is the same period as the first, looking at the match plus the 45 minute aftermath. In this case, only the US eggs are considered. There are 16 currently running, so it is a reasonable sample. There is an even stronger downward trend, which continues after the match. Please note the caveat following the figures.

World Cup, US vs

It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.

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