The accompanying graph shows the number of countries competing in 2 different sporting events: FIFA’s 2014 World Cup that ended last week, and MLB’s upcoming 2014 World Series.
Regarding the red bar, only 32 counties fielded teams that appeared in this year’s “group play” (from which 16 teams advanced to the “knockout” rounds). However, a total of 195 teams were involved in “qualifying” matches—held in 2011, 2012, & 2013—to determine which 31 countries would join Brazil, the host country, as FIFA’s best teams this year.
The World Cup truly is a world-wide event. But baseball’s World Series? Its world is much smaller!