Ain’t That A Kick

It always amuses me to see the contrived excitement for the World Cup in the weeks that lead up to the biggest sporting event outside of the United States.

“Hey, what do you think about Germany’s chances without their Captain?”

“Will the Americans score against the English in their opening match?”

And then there’s a collection of people who just enjoy saying the name Kaka.

I’m not a huge soccer fan. I follow the game on a very limited basis and genuinely enjoy the World Cup.

But I don’t pretend like I’m the Americanized version of Pele. I’m not — and neither are most of you.

I find it hard to believe that a 30-year-old in South Africa knows Albert Pujols’ current batting average or how many Super Bowl trophies the Baltimore Ravens have collected in their short history as an NFL franchise. When I took a trip to Scotland a decade ago, I found out firsthand how important some sports are in different countries. They hate baseball and don’t understand football. They love golf and appreciate soccer. If Tiger Woods wasn’t on the PGA Tour, would the majority of “golf fans” follow a weekly tournament where Jeff Overton was the biggest name in the field?

Probably not.

All sports, like politics, is local in the long run.

For four weeks this summer we’ll all pretend to be soccer fans. It’s not as bad as it sounds.

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