Brazil is anticipating the total amount of foreign visitors during the World Cup to cap at around 600,000 people from 186 nations when the final whistle blows. For most Brazilian businesses (although not the nation as a whole, as previous World Cup host have seen monetary downfall), this is an opportunity to exploit hundreds of thousands of potential patrons.

For the dating apps Tinder and Grindr, the influx of tourists is like Christmas in the summer. Every day.

According to the Latin Post, Tinder, the anonymous swipe-dating app, has increased its downloads in Brazil since early June. Tinder's actual usage is up 50 percent as well. In Brazil, the average Tinder user is spending over an hour–approximately 77 minutes–per day on the app.

Meanwhile, Grindr, the non-anonymous app geared toward gay, bi and bi-curious men, has seen the rate of users opening the app boost 31 percent. Brazil is the sixth-largest market in the world for Grindr with 200,000 active monthly users.

Along with the tourism numbers, 3.1 million Brazilians mobilizing around the country in travel helps, as well. Brazil, with 23 percent of its citizens using smartphones, has the second greatest population of people using the mobile Internet in Latin America. (Mexico is at 28 percent.) That puts about 82 million Brazilians on the mobile web.

The World Cup dating news continues with a growing theme of finding love at the World Cup, as this risqué Hyundai commercial suggests:

[H/T Latin Post]

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The driest part of the NFL summer is here. The limbo between the end of mini-camp and the start of training camp has players and fans struggling to be proactive.

But Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has found a method to improve during this football purgatory -- by learning Minnesota's offense through EA Sports' Madden NFL video game.

Bridgewater told ESPN he uploaded the Vikings' playbook to his Madden NFL game to practice and improve his execution of Norv Turner's offensive system.

The video game allows Bridgewater to simulate offensive plays against defenses similar to those he will be facing on the field.

"It helps because you get one more rep than you had in practice, actual practice," Bridgewater said. "Any chance you get to take an extra rep or go the extra step, extra mile, it's going to be very beneficial transferring it to the field."

Bridgewater used the same tactic during his Louisville days when he used an NCAA football video game to practice the Cardinals' playbook.

Madden's customizable playbook and increasingly realistic play makes it a viable tool for NFL players to prepare for game day. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees credited Madden NFL on life-like practice without the hits.

Elite quarterbacks like Brees know the importance of going the extra mile to master the playbook to translate that football IQ to the field.

Bridgewater’s commitment to learning the Vikings’ playbook is invaluable in a young quarterback who is expected to lift a struggling franchise.

"I try to take as many reps as I can, whether it's on a video game, playing EA Madden Football or in the playbook, just drawing it or just visualizing it in my head," Bridgewater said. "I try to just maximize every rep I can get and every opportunity that I can take."

Kurt Melcher was surfing the Internet one day when he decided to search for an old favorite: Starcraft. Melcher, 45, played the computer game during and shortly after college, and he wanted to see if he could find any news on it. He discovered the original 1998 game evolved into Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty in 2010. Melcher was surprised to find the sequel is played competitively. He also discovered League of Legends, another Microsoft Windows and OS X video game with a competitive following.

"I was just shocked at the size and scope and scale and the passion of the community," Melcher tells ThePostGame. "It's played at the high school level and the collegiate level and even professionally."

Melcher also happens to be associate athletic director at Robert Morris University-Illinois in Chicago. Rather than a hobby, he saw League of Legends as an opportunity to broaden the athletic department. Melcher brought the idea of giving out video game scholarships to Athletic Director Megan Smith Eggert, and the duo pitched the idea to RMU President Michael P. Viollt.

"To his credit, he's forward thinking," Melcher says. "He looked at it and he thought it made a lot of sense."

Robert Morris announced it is now offering gaming scholarships as part of its athletic program, specifically for the game League of Legends. The university is offering recruits money to study at the university and represent its colors in intercollegiate competitions.

"At our school, we offer scholarships for a wide variety of the traditional sports and obviously the untraditional things like bowling, color guard and band," Melcher says. "It just seemed like a natural progression for students that have a skill set outside traditional sports. Maybe they couldn't make their high school team or didn't want to, but they have a different skill set. It's still operating in a team environment."

The scholarships will not exceed 50 percent of tuition and 50 percent room and board. For reference, RMU costs $7,900 and housing with meals is $3,600 per quarter.

RMU would like to get its newest student-athletes in front of monitors as soon as this September. The team will participate in the Collegiate Star League, a gaming conference of 103 institutions of higher education. Many of the schools are Division I institutions and feature opponents other Robert Morris athletic teams do not get to face in NAIA competition.

RMU will be the only U.S. team offering substantial scholarships to its gamers. Melcher says colleges in Korea have already done this.


The athletic department's first step was getting the word out. Now, the school needs to find a coach. With the help of Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, the coaching search is off to a fast start in the first two weeks.

"[Riot] has been providing a couple ideas and we've had a couple people contact us," Melcher says. "We've been going through that applicant base and we'll hopefully start interviewing next week."

A few upperclassmen have embraced the team and announced their credentials in League of Legends. Melcher says students are also trying to recruit friends for the team. He is confident there will be enough demand for the first season this September, with the new coach making the necessary cuts.

The players, or the coach for that matter, can be male or female. He says he has not personally crunched the numbers, but the administration is not worried about breaking any guidelines of Title IX.

League of Legends now has its own page on the Robert Morris Eagles' Athletics website.

WLS-TV in Chicago interviewed one of the scholarship candidates:

As for League of Legends, it is one of the most popular video games in the world on Windows and OS X. In January, The Wall Street Journal reported about 27 million people play the game each day. Riot Games' annual North American Collegiate Championship provides a $100,000 scholarship prize to the winning team.

Parents, if you are worried about your children's video game obsession hindered their abilities to get accepted into college, well, this may be your way out. If they get good enough, you may even save money.

Somewhere, Madden Nation stars are sulking this news did not come a decade ago.

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If you have been on Twitter in the past week, you have probably seen a lot of flags. You may recognize this has to do with the World Cup, but you may wonder how everyone got the memo to post flags. Are they just emojis that are becoming a trend?

Nope. It is all Twitter. Before the World Cup, Twitter reintroduced hashflags, a social media attribute applied during the 2010 World Cup. Every time, a Twitter user types in a three-letter hashtag affiliated with the nation of choice, the flag pops up along with it. The three-letter hashtags are the FIFA abbreviations of the countries.

For example ...


Unless the hashtag is used with the exact three letter, the flag does does not appear. Qasim Zaib of TechEclipse displayed the result of such an error in a series of tweets he made regarding hashflags.

The code #BEH did not trigger a hashflag. The hashflag code for Belgium (missing nation in Group H) is #BEL.

This is far from the only example of a wrong hashtag. More than a week into the World Cup, social media users are unknowingly leaving themselves empty-handed.

Belgium is not one of the common hashflags mistaken. According to Twitter data published on The Wall Street Journal, Cameroon is the most commonly missed hashflag, with 13.8 percent of hashtag attempters punching in the wrong hashtag. While the correct hashtag is #CMR, the most common wrong hashtag is #CAM.

Following Cameroon is Nigeria (#NGA) with 7.2 percent using the incorrect hashtag #NIG. Bosnia and Herzegovina (#BIH) is a near third with 6.3 percent going with #BOS.

Rounding out the top seven missed hashflags are Japan/#JPN (incorrect: #JAP, 4.6 percent), Spain/#ESP (incorrect: #SPA, 4.3 percent), Iran/#IRN (incorrect: #IRA, 3.5 percent) and Switzerland/#SUI (incorrect: #SWI, 3.2 percent).

If it is any consolation prize for Spain getting eliminated from the World Cup, the incorrect hashtag percentage should lower. This summer may feel a little different than the two Euro Championships and One World Cup Championship won in the past six years.

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College football traditionalists are known to blab about how there are too many modern bowls. In the 2014-15 season, there will be 39 FBS bowls. That means 78 of the 125 full FBS members will get a lick of the postseason.

On Wednesday, one of those bowls changed its name to something unique. Previously sponsored by magicJack (2008) and Beef O'Brady's (2009-2013), the St. Petersburg Bowl officially changed its name to the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. Bitcoin, the digital currency payment system, has never hosted a college football game since the company's introduction in 2009. The inaugural Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl will be played Dec. 26 at Tropicana Field between ACC and American Athletic Conference teams.


There is some obvious skepticism over a bowl that features a dollar sign-type logo.


And of course, that was just the start of the fun:




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