No. Football punditry is a mug’s game. Better to have the benefit of hindsight. There have been 20 previous World Cups. Of those, Brazil (five titles) and Germany (four), are regular contenders. Home advantage helps, with host nations winning the trophy six times. But next year’s festival of football is being held in Russia, which has the lowest-ranked team in the tournament.
18. Most Interesting Apology (tie) On Nov. 18, The Hollywood Reporter disgorged a 1,200-plus word apology for not including any nonwhite performer in its Oscar actress round table. Soon after, the director Alex Proyas and Lionsgate apologized for the lack of diversity in the cast in their new movie “Gods of Egypt.”