The World Cup


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.

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

5 thoughts

  1. One interesting note for TV-less people like me; it’s hard to get the games online in the US. ESPN has the rights, and is offering some free online feeds, but only if your internet service is through a participating provider, which CenturyLink is not. And they’re not giving an option to just straight-up pay to watch games online, at least not as far as I can tell. Crazy. Whereas the BBC is just broadcasting everything online, as long as you have a UK IP address.

    I cannot understand the resistance of sports broadcasters to online viewing. The ads are the same; why is it so bad to let people watch online instead of through their TV? Even though I’m an anomaly, plenty of folks would want to watch somewhere there isn’t a TV (travelling, at work, etc.). Why would you not do everything in your power to make the games as accessible as possible to the widest possible audience, and then sell that benefit to your advertisers?

    Grumpiness aside, I’m hoping to make it to Ragtag for at least a couple games; it’s very cool what they’re offering. If I lived in town I’d be camped out there. June is too busy on the farm to get away with more than a few, though.

  2. FIFA doesn’t stream live, they just have a simulcast of text play-by-play and so on.

    However, thanks to a comment on a Washington Post thread, I’ve discovered that Univision is broadcasting online with no restrictions. It crashes my Mac laptop, but works fine on my PC desktop. And who doesn’t love Spanish-language futbol commentary?

  3. Hey, you know what I said about Uruguay? Forget it. Unwatchable. Forlan was decent, but team is dreadful enough to call everything else I said into question. Ugh.

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