In less than 48 hours, our televisions will be taken over by the biggest sporting event the world has to offer. Your TweetDeck (or whatever Twitter application you use) will be lousy with friends, celebrities, and sportswriters tweeting about it. Your Facebook friends will be centering their status updates about it. And, for the next five weeks, when you walk into your favorite sports bars, as you peer at the flat-screens you’ll notice an increased presence of a game to which you might not be accustomed.
It’s World Cup time.
Like the Olympics and the Fields Medal, this is an every-four-year event. It pits nation against nation in the sport that still stirs up the most passion among its fans on a worldwide scale. Imagine if we only got one NCAA Tournament every four years. Well, this is the one summer in four that soccer (the word we’ll use for this article, though we’re aware that most of the world calls it football) lovers get to enjoy their chance to crown a champion. If you follow RTC on Twitter (if you don’t, shame on you, and go click our logo at right), you’ve probably been impressed by our occasional tweet about other sports or even current events. It’s not exactly a long limb we’d be going out on for us to assume that if you’re a college basketball fan, you’ve probably got an interest in other sports, too — though international soccer might not be one of them.
Worry not, our fellow college hoopheads. We’ve got you covered. We want you to be able to hang in those conversations at those sports pubs. We want you to be able to approach that lovely blonde bespectacled German girl wearing her Deutschland jersey in the supermarket (this actually happened to us a week ago). We want you to impress your friends with your world vision and increased overall sports knowledge. You think those kids in the stands at Duke or Xavier or Utah State are both well-prepared and berserk? Wait until you hear the crowd at a World Cup soccer match. We want you to enjoy that vital aspect of it all, as well. We’re by no means experts on the subject, but to those ends, we give you — trumpet flourish — Rush The Court’s College Basketball Fan’s Guide to Watching the World Cup.
First, let’s list some of the participating teams and define those squads in terms familiar to college hoop fans. As you’ll see, by the way, national soccer teams have some of the best nicknames you’ll ever hear. The best? Cameroon. The Indomitable Lions. I mean, COME ON…