For the last eight days, I have been completely engrossed in the beautiful game. Every four years, the world comes together to watch the World Cup of Soccer. When I say the world comes together, I am not exaggerating...some estimates state the final will be watched live by 25% of the world's population.
Four years ago, being a soccer (football) fan in the United States could be a bit lonely. I have seen some writers say the same thing today and maybe it still is in their city. In Kansas City, I have been amazed at the number of people watching and talking about the Cup. Yes, most of the people I work with could care less and don't understand my obsession, but there are watch parties throughout the city...not only for the United States, but for every game. As I walked through the grocery store in a Brazil jersey yesterday, six people started conversations with me about the Cup.
As with most fans, I have multiple teams I have been cheering on and hoping they do well. Of course I want our US boys to do as well as possible and I truly believe if we could always play like we did in the second half versus Slovenia, we could compete with any team in the world. I am also a huge fan of the African style of play and have been cheering on the likes of the Elephants, the Black Stars, the Super Eagles, the Desert Foxes (especially in their match versus England), the Indomitable Lions, and Bafana Bafana.
I have been lucky enough to get to watch the games with a huge picture thanks to a great overhead projector I picked up during the silent auction at Wayside Waifs Fur Ball. It makes this World Cup all the better. There have been ups and downs, some surprises, some amazing performances, some gaffes, some great goals and a lot of action in these first 24 games. Here's hoping the next 40 are even more exciting.