For me the World Cup is an Olympic-like experience. It happens once every four years and I'm all-in behind the Americans.
Hey, it's a big-time event. The entire world is watching, with passion.
Big-time events are fun. The Super Bowl. The World Series. The Stanley Cup. Wimbledon. The Masters.
Big-time events that happen once every four years? That is something every sports fan can get behind.
This whole soccer thing, in the last eight years, has become more than a once-every-four-years event. It seems to have become, in the words of Scott Van Pelt, a "movement".
There are passionate fans here in the United States. The twentysomethings who grew up playing the game and understanding the game. It's taken a while for this to come to fruition. But I believe it has arrived.
I know more about soccer than most of my fortysomething peers in West Texas. And that's just because I helped coach my daughter's team when she was eight. You know how it goes, the head coach that actually knows what he's doing needs someone to assist. The parents all check out their shoes at this point. I actually spoke up and said "I know nothing about soccer, but I can be here." Boom. Assistant coach.
I learned a lot in those three years. I can appreciate the game. I actually know things to look for. I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. But I'm kind of invested in the American outcome in this World Cup. And I will also be watching intently when the women play next year.
Just don't ask me to care that much the rest of the time. Hey, it's a start.