Friday, June 20, 2014

The Guide to Becoming a World Cup Fan

Have you been keeping up with the World Cup in Brazil?

I've only been able to catch a few matches, but I have to admit that I am pleased with the amount of sportsmanship (and foul play) on display in the tournament.

Countries from all over the world (32, to be exact) are competing for the prized possession of the World Cup and bragging rights to hold for the next four years. And while on their way up, or kicked off, the tournament ladder, these guys do everything it takes to win in their designated groups (aka pools) - whether it's kicking a guy in the face to comical, shoving matches.

Sounds like the Olympics, but for one sport. It's that serious.

Argentina Soccer fan cheers on team.
The World Cup offers everyone the perfect excuse to root for any country based on their desired preference of culture, vacation destination, popular athletes, etc.

So what if you live in the United States and wear a jersey from Italy? Or claim to like football more than "football" (American Football). That's the beauty of the World Cup. You can cheer for whoever...and whenever - just know AT LEAST the star player's last name and number for future conversations.

WARNING: Sports fans can be harsh critics and will attack your argument when you fail to know "enough" about your team.

Well, if you happen (or anticipate) to fall subject to such criticism for insufficient knowledge of your "team" and the World Cup, here's a few guidelines for becoming a natural, World Cup fan:

  • Cheer on your team with pride, but don't over-do it.
The last stigma a fan should want to be labeled is a "superfan." Seriously, it's just a game (no, it's not!).
Soccer is life.
I'm pretty sure people wouldn't want to hear about your allegiance to a certain team during every conversation.
It's good for people to know that you're a dedicated fan, but try not to ruin their "World Cup experience" based on how long you've been following a team and why they are sooooo much better than last season.
  •  Stupid Unnecessary questions are not allowed.
"Why does his hair look like that?"
"Is there a coin flip for who gets the ball first?"
"Why are the penalty cards yellow and red? And why don't they have a green one?"
Instead, ask questions that relate to the substance of the game such as: "Who do you think will win the title this year?". Save questions regarding FIFA rules for later.
And if all else fails, just google your question. I'm sure Wikipedia has some vital information to keep you on top of the game conversations.
  • Finally, being observant really pays off.
So you find yourself itching to ask a question about a player, but fail to know his name? No problem. 
You will easily learn during the match because their names are printed across the back of their shirts. Also, team sponsors can be found on the back of the jerseys, but you should be smart enough to know that there aren’t eleven men all called "Pepsi."
In the remaining three weeks left during the World Cup, I hope you will find this information beneficial when cheering for your team(s).

Just remember, it's not just a game...

It's the World Cup in Brazil, man.

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