What do you do now that the World Cup is over? If you're like most Americans, you just keep living your life, because you are suspicious of soccer. But if you were obsessed? We can help you cope.
The end of the World Cup is a sad event. For a brief period every four years, drinking at odd hours, resorting to cheap national stereotypes, and pretending to know stuff makes you a cultured, international sports fan. Now that the tournament has ended, it just makes you an alcoholic racist blowhard. But it doesn't have to be that way!
Here's your guide to holding on to some of that World Cup magic:
If you actually kind of like soccer: Weirdly enough, soccer is played year-round. In this country, even! The MLS is currently playing through its season, and is not nearly as bad as people say it is. The British Premier League starts up in August, as does Spain's La Liga. The most important thing to know about being a soccer fan is that your team doesn't dive, and never deserves yellow cards, and that the other team is cheating, with the help of the referee.
If you are a rabid nationalist: Do you have a costume, yet? Elvis and Uncle Sam are kind of played out, so you may want to try out a different American icon, like the angel Moroni, or Kim Kardashian, or trans fats. If you want, you can join a U.S. team support group, like Sam's Army or The American Outlaws. The U.S. men's team plays a friendly against Brazil in August, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup (our equivalent of the Euro Cup) comes in June 2011. And don't forget the women's national team (playing a friendly on Tuesday against Sweden), which is genuinely the best in the world, and who are a lot of the time more fun to watch than the men, and certainly less bald.
If you like the man-babes: The important thing to remember is that the players will still be hot after the World Cup. Kickette is a good source for pictures of good-looking soccer players, as is, obviously, Google image-searching "hot soccer players."
If you just like global sporting events: Who doesn't love weird countries you've barely heard of going up against countries you didn't even realize existed anymore, in sports you don't even know the rules of? We're two years off from the Summer Olympics, but next year you can watch the Women's soccer World Cup in Germany (June); the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand (September); the Cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh (February through April); and the Netball World Championships in Singapore (July). Pick your netball team now so you can have cheers planned out!
If you want to hear more vuvuzelas: Fuck you.