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Why I have World Cup fever and you should, too

SOCCER-EURO/Every four years around this time, I drape myself in orange and go a little nuts. And I’m not the only one. This year’s World Cup will be watched in over 160 countries, and by four billion fans. Four billion! To put that number into perspective, only 111.5 million people watched this past year’s Super Bowl.

Yet Americans are notoriously meh about soccer ~ known on the rest of the planet as football. Why the disinterest in the world’s greatest game? I can’t understand it, especially when it’s World Cup time, like it is now.

Here are my top five reasons why everyone should find a little World Cup fever.

  1. It’s a worldwide thing.
    Listen up, baseball. Just because you call it a World Series, doesn’t mean it’s a global tournament. The Olympics is the only sporting event that even comes close to the international involvement that the World Cup generates, but as far as I’m concerned, nowhere near the passion. Just look at all those people in orange up there. You’ve got to really love your team to wear that color from head-to-toe.
  2. The fans are freakin’ awesome.
    Okay, so I’ll admit I’m a little biased toward those crazy Dutch, but every country has loud and colorful fans. And what better way to show your support than to don your country’s colors and cheer for world domination? It’s patriotic and it’s fun.
  3. No commercials except at halftime.
    Unlike the American trifecta of national sports, nothing stops the soccer clock for a commercial plug. Not injuries, not time-outs, not even crazy fans streaking naked across the field. Those two forty-five-minute blocks stop for nothing, except maybe a sudden and unexpected natural disaster or a terrorist attack, and then I can pretty much guarantee the networks won’t be cutting to that annoying E-Trade baby.
  4. Oh, the drama!
    Fans fight, host countries cheat, players bite and scream and roll around on the ground. The intrigue around the tournament is more entertaining than a thousand soap operas. Who needs The Housewives when the World Cup is on?
  5. Hot men, duh.
    And I’m not just talking about Ronaldo. There’s Giroud and Pique and Beckerman and a whole crop of sweaty, dirty hotties running up and down a field. And sometimes, if you’re really lucky, they take off their shirts.

What about you? Are you watching? Who are you rooting for this World Cup?

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