1. Country Allegiance--Your country needs you. I don’t care if your country is Algeria, Cameroon, or the United States. These tournaments end up becoming a show of strength in the world. If an underdog country like North Korea (the lowest ranked team in the World Cup) surprises everyone by winning, it’s something that their citizens and supporters will be talking about for the rest of their lives. Also, it’s a matter of national pride. With that said, Go USA!
2. The Vuvuzelas— Much criticism has already been levied at the vuvuzelas in this World Cup. If nothing else, you want something to talk about with other people, right? Between Sad Keanu, the BP Oil Spill, and the vuvuzelas, the internet can’t seem to get its collective head around anything else. I, for one, enjoy the intensity that the vuvuzelas add to each fixture, but that’s an opinion in the scant minority.
3. The Players’ Names— I get a fair bit of enjoyment out of hearing the announcers stumble over some of these ridiculous names. Case in point? Sokratis Papastathpoulos, a defender for Greece. By the time anyone says his name, his involvement with the play is long over. Another name oddity is North Korea having two players named Pak Nam-Chol. One of the announcers commented that it was the moment he had been dreading when both players named Pak Nam-Chol were on the field. Nearly half of the players on the Brazil team go by a one-word name as if they were some sort of deity. I guess soccer has just reached the same importance as religion there.
4. The Suddenness— A lot of people complain about soccer being a boring spot considering scores often end up 1-0. However, the game can shift momentum in a split second. If a player gets a red card, instant game-changer. This isn’t some five-yard holding penalty or two-minute power play. A red card means the player has to leave the field, his team can’t replace him in that match, and the player also serves a two-game suspension. This is the type of punishment that completely redirects a team’s direction in the tournament. A red card also has a great influence in more goals being scored, which the fans always clamor for during the World Cup.
5. Once Every Four Years— Heck, I’ll watch any sporting event that only happens every four years, because the build-up and anticipation is like none other. It’s also a global experience just like the Olympics. Billions of people all over the globe watching one singular sporting event. If that doesn’t make you feel like a global citizen, nothing will.
There you have it. Now watch some soccer!