Even if you’d rather be learning the arcane points of major college conference law or the NBA Finals, the world’s greatest sporting spectacle is upon us. Nearly a billion people will watch the final in July (75 million watch the Super Bowl). Our nation continues taking baby steps towards becoming a global powerhouse on the pitch (ranked 14th in the world) and taking it seriously on the t.v. (ESPN paid $100 million to broadcast the games and has 300 staff in South Africa), but if you don’t quite get it, here are some tips. Join the biggest party in the world.
- Pick a team. Sure you should root for the U.S. squad. They have speed, athleticism and the wickedly creative Clint Dempsey (video above). And Tim Howard’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Pick another team and follow them; watch their games. Nominees: Spain, because they’ll win it all. Uruguay, because they have a dynamic forward. Ivory Coast, because Didier Drogba broke his arm last week and WILL PROBABLY STILL PLAY (at least a little).
- Pick a player. This can be as much fun as picking a team. Nominees: Lionel Messi (Argentina), because he’s the best in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), because he’s eye-candy in more ways than one. Franck Ribery (France), because there are few more creative players in the world.
- Watch the games. Ragtag will be showing them. Paddy Malone’s in Jeff City’s a good bet. So is any sports bar. Or invite some people over and watch at home. Cook something spicy and slow. Drink beer. It’s the World-freaking-Cup. Party.