Every four years, sports talk-radio shows bring up the question: Is America finally taking an interest in soccer? The question is asked as if it’s some vital necessity for us to “catch up” in the world, as if we’ve suddenly decided to switch over to the metric system. The answer is yes and no, and it never changes.
I don’t give a damn about the World Cup. I’m American, and honestly, when was the last time anyone here actually cared about post-high school level soccer? Yes, Americans give a shit about soccer for now. By for now, I mean until July 13th when the games are officially over. After this, I don’t expect to see any news about what the US Men’s Soccer team is up to.
However, for the time being, my Twitter timeline is flooded by friends (none of whom have indicated any interest in international sport in the past) drunkenly live-tweeting games and tweeting their predictions as if they’ve given a shit this entire time. Someone even went so far as to tweet, “IF YOU’RE AN AMERICAN AND YOU CLAIM YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT THE WORLD CUP RIGHT NOW THEN FUCK. YOU.” Fair enough; fuck me, right? But it’s not a claim if it’s true.
I really don’t have any interest in the sport and I’m not going to pretend I do all of a sudden. I’m sure there’s more people out there in both the domestic and international community who agree with me, but they’re probably terrified to speak up.
Does this make me another ignorant American for not caring about games that the rest of the world seems to have a difficult time not starting alcohol-fueled riots over? Probably, but I would say it’s a matter of personal preference. Did you see all the people losing their minds over the U.S.-Ghana game? It’s a sport. Who cares? We have iPads and Chipotle in America, soccer is all they have to hope for; let them have this. How many Americans even know what continent Ghana is on? (Africa is not a country. Horseradish is not an instrument, either.)
Nonetheless, I keep seeing people walking around town sporting their overpriced soccer jerseys, or the cheap, heat-pressed USA pinneys they bought on the New Jersey boardwalk. It seems like the only thing my fourth-generation Italian-American friends know how to tweet about right now is Sunday family dinner, how #tan they’re getting in the #summer, and live-tweeting whenever a game where Italy is playing is on, feigning like they have any goddamn clue what they’re talking about.
The World Cup’s overhyped in this country, in my opinion. If you care about soccer year-round, then more power to you, but most people don’t. I shouldn’t have to turn off GTA V in the middle of a mission because you and your friends decided to hijack the TV to watch Argentina play Iran, especially if you can’t name any other players besides Messi.
I for one can’t wait for the World Cup to be over so everyone can quietly hop off the bandwagon. I’ll pretend like I didn’t notice.