As a side note, because the thought just occurred to me, I have another reason for why I think there is an anti-soccer conspiracy. Soccer refuses to stop for commercials. Without those random breaks, how do I get that useful information on what sports drink and financial planning service I will purchase?
Soccer is played by a set of laws, yet each law is open to interpretation, by the ref, on a moment to moment basis. The ref can base decision on his interpretation of the spirit of the law as well as the flow of the game. Soccer refs can overlook small offenses if the offending team gains no advantage. Even fouls that are called are usually quickly dispersed with at the player's discretion. Soccer is not a game that can be divided into segments allowing for advertising optimization. At most, an advertiser buys time in which his logo is placed next to the score and time in a corner of the screen.
Okay, there is the side rant stuffed into what was originally going to be a post about me not wanting to wait for the games to begin. I made it into a nice little box to set it apart from the real meat of this post.
Germany and Costa Rica kick off the world's greatest month, tomorrow at noon if you live in the EST part of the US. If you go to the official FIFA World Cup site schedule, you can click on the time next to each game and get a box that converts game time to your time. I know, that's not as cool as I think, but I do think it's really, really cool. I'm always amazed at the little tricks people can make websites do.
Frank Deford has an interesting piece at SI.com about American soccer. He suggests that American disinterest in soccer will allow the US team to be more relaxed and possibly perform better in the tournament. Because the rest of the world takes soccer so much more seriously than we do, they hold their players and teams to a much higher standard. Outside of the US, soccer players are the idols for the kids, and they are heroes or villains based on their performance on the pitch. Mr. Deford goes on to say that, if the US does happen to win the World Cup, we will be that much more hated by the world. Our asinine foreign affairs will suddenly pale in the light of the US beating the world at a game they don't think we get.