June 25th, 2010
03:33 PM ET

U.S. finally catches World Cup fever

USA fans in Miami celebrate their team’s World Cup victory against Algeria and further progress in the tournament. (Getty)
USA fans in Miami celebrate their team’s World Cup victory against Algeria and further progress in the tournament. (Getty)

Hartford, Connecticut  - I knew every last American had been touched by the World Cup when my father-in-law told me how much he enjoyed "the first few innings" of the Brazil-Ivory Coast match.

Needless to say, he's just discovering soccer. He still thinks a red card is what communists keep in their wallets. And yet, like so many of his countrymen, he's suddenly been laid low by World Cup fever, whose symptoms include a dull headache and a stiff neck, the result - in my case - of practicing headers in the driveway. ("Practicing them for what?" my wife inquired. But you never know when that call-up will come for the U-50 national team.)

At long last, soccer ignorami in this country are becoming part of the international community. For most of this past week, I (an American citizen) felt schadenfreude (a German word for "joy in the misery of others") at the spectacular implosion of Les Bleus (the French national team, which mutinied against its own coach while crapping out of the tournament).

That's three countries in a single emotion, the kind of geopolitical awakening most of us only get in America when walking into an International House of Pancakes.

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Filed under:  Football
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. ganddd

    I just saw a CNN Sat. reporter say he is "pulling for Ghana" a little. Sure, he has the right to say that but would you say it on live TV if you had any sense???? Makes me wonder about the guy. I'd say, tar and feather him along with the 2 refs that were WRONG. LOL

    June 26, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Reply
  2. walter

    Living in Durban, South Africa, many of us are waiking up to soccer during this time of the world cup. What many new followers of the sport can't believe, is the on field dramatics. Com on Sepp. Its time to step off your throne and learn from 2 other great sports played in this country-rugby and cricket.time to use video technology to eliminate the bad acting performances. What a joke watching some of these countries play for free kicks, penalties, yellow and even red cards.
    I think its a crying shame that a red card waving and sometimes egotistical referee can determine the future of a countries world cup chances.
    Use the tv referee.
    Viva South Africa

    June 26, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  3. Barbara Gouzy

    Farewell to our courageous soccer team. They really have nothing to be ashamed of. Ghana played a dirty game with all intention of injuring players rather then playing soccer – they forgot we play the ball not the man! At any rate as an American abroad I am proud of them all for their tenacity and their honest play. Here in France the French commentators of the match were really all for the US and that was impressive to see. Hey guys, I'll be following you!

    June 26, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Reply
  4. gmani

    barbara are you serious that ghana tried to hurt US players then u watched the wrong US got beat because they got out played not because ghana played dirty

    June 27, 2010 at 2:03 am | Reply
  5. Mandisa

    As a South African who has been looking forward to this world cup for six years i have a few things to say. Firstly Well done to Ghana for making us proud. Barbara Gouzy stop having sour grapes because your team was not good enough to progress further in the world cup. Bow down gracefully. Secondly to all those that doubted us and said we couldn't pull of this world cup i say " eat my shorts" we are doing a brilliant jobs and the atmosphere in the country is just electric. All i can say to the Americans who are still here and those watching from abroad is continue watching and support a country that actually has a chance of taking t he cup.

    June 27, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  6. Rosaly

    To all those whose countries have made it to the World Cup, congratulations!!! I´m a Brazilian and I live here, in Brazil. But I´ve got to say that I was super proud of seeing Ghana going on... We Brazilians, we wanted very much an African country to be there at the quarterfinals. We´d rather have South Africa, our host country, but as it didn´t make it, we´re happy another team from our host continent made it. Congratulations, Ghana!!

    June 29, 2010 at 12:34 am | Reply
  7. Wesley

    The US team inbodies the same great spirit that is the essence of the US itself. I really love their style of play and their pure energy! I was happy that Ghana progressed because this is so essential for African football and I hope they go on to win!

    June 30, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  8. Gurufootball

    Of course, only now Americans are getting interested. Americans only really get interested in any sport whatever it may be when playoffs arrive. The rest of the season is only an excuse to drink a 2/4 during the game.
    Anyway again I reiterate FIFA’s interest in having only the teams that reach the final to maximize profits, and no doubt this year will be Brazil and Spain. That’s how you explain the flagrant missed calls against the USA, England and Mexico.

    June 30, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Reply

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