A Non-Soccer Fan’s Take on the World Cup


Football Fever has taken over the entire world as the World Cup continues in Brasil. 32 countries have been facing off in their group for the better part of a week as teams are being whittled down, and we inch closer to the round of 16 starting later this week. As a general sports fan, I’ve never really been in tune with the original brand of football played around the world. I played soccer in 3rd grade, lost every game, and never looked back. While it wasn’t a scarring moment in my soccer life, it didn’t really give me a love for the sport that many others have.

Fast forward about 20 years, and I find myself watching my first full soccer match in my life this past Sunday. As I took in the sounds and action from Sunday’s US/ Portugal matchup, I found myself appreciating the little nuances of the game that a lot of the major sports in America don’t really have. The lack of commercials was quite refreshing, as is the national pride being laid on the field (or pitch I believe) for both squads. Watching one of the world’s best in Cristiano Ronaldo was quite a treat up until the 94th and a half minute, and witnessing the evolution of Soccer in the US as the team fought valiantly from an early 1-0 deficit.

The World Cup has exploded in popularity over the past decade, which I believe is mainly in part due to social media, and #FOMO, but it’s hard to not get excited about an event that puts the entire world on hold for a least a few weeks. While I’m excited for the NBA Draft, NFL Training Camp, and a pretty modest Phillies winning streak, I’ve found myself checking in more and more into a sport I had no desire to watch a few weeks ago. I’ll admit the same happened to me with the Stanley Cup Finals a few weeks back, but most of that had to do with bandwagoning an L.A. team.

So here I am, looking forward to Thursday’s match with genuine interest. I don’t know if this will translate into watching MLS or anything else down the line, I can safely say I gained a lot of respect for the worlds most popular sport, and can understand the craze it commands every 4 years. So with that said, let’s beat those Germans (or tie) on Thursday and shock the world over the next few weeks!


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