I don’t know when — or even if — soccer will ever catch on in the United States the way it has in much of the rest of the world.
Indeed, the game we call “soccer” is known as “football” in places like Mexico, Brazil and in most of Europe. The Spanish term for “football,” by the way, is “futbol.” Get it?
The World Cup is over. They’re going nuts throughout France, which defeated Croatia 4-2 in the final game. I’m glad for the French. It’s their second World Cup title.
To be candid, I remain decidedly lukewarm toward soccer. It just doesn’t thrill me the way it would, say, my extended family members in Greece, where soccer is a big deal, too.
I’ve been exposed once in my life to World Cup fanatacism. It happened in June 2006.
My wife and I were in Copenhagen, Denmark. We caught up with some friends from Amarillo, Texas, who were in Copenhagen attending the same Rotary International Conference as my wife and me. We were strolling through the city looking for a place to eat.
We would stick our heads into this or that restaurant. They were full. Everyone was watching TV. Oh, what were they viewing? A soccer match between Denmark and (I believe it was) neighboring Germany.
The Danes were screaming their lungs out at every move their national team made on the field, er, pitch. We could hear them from everyone eating establishment up and down the street.
The four of us had difficulty that evening finding a place to eat. We finally did, though.
My point is that I had never witnessed such soccer/football fervor. It consumes Europe, Latin America, as well as portions of Asia and Africa.
I still get worked up over the Super Bowl and the World Series. The World Cup? Not so much. I’m afraid to tell my soccer-loving friends that at this stage of my life, the World Cup isn’t likely to hook me.