With the exception of my Portuguese friend, most of my girlfriends are completely clueless when it comes to the World Cup.
Sadly, as Americans, our country has failed to encourage us to cheer for one of the coolest cultural sporting events, next to the Olympics.
Despite previously studying abroad in Spain, I too am guilty of knowing next to nothing about the World Cup (other than I like to see Xabi Alonso sweaty, and soccer players have the best asses to grace this earth).
Of course there are exceptions; some girls know a great deal about soccer.
For example, my friend from Lisbon has spent the majority of the games yelling on the phone in Portuguese and racking up an ungodly international phone bill talking to her grandma about Ronaldo's right (and left) foot.
Some American girls are fairly educated on the matter, as well. Maybe studying abroad sparked their interest, or perhaps it's just the fact that there is an exceptional amount of hot Europeans at the bar on weeknights during the World Cup.
To get a sense of where other American girls’ heads were at, I asked a few what they knew about this year's World Cup:
“The World Cup is a prime example of why soccer is the greatest sport in the world. Every game has been full of unpredictable surprises.” (This answer came from one of my more informed interviewees).
"Tight shorts. Tight asses."
"I guess some guy keeps biting people."
“It's funny how soccer is so boring and just when you think it couldn't get more boring, it ends in a tie.”
“England is out so I care a lot less now.”
“My dad told me that a player from Uruguay bit another guy in a game.”
"I saw a tweet of a bunch of donkeys standing in a field, comparing it to Spain's defense. So, either Spain's defense sucks or they are really bad looking."
"To be honest, I just realized this year that FIFA is more than just a video game my boyfriend plays."
"The USA is doing well. So maybe if they win, our country will become one big bandwagon fan for the sport of soccer, or fútbol, whatever."
"Ronaldo's teeth used to be really bad before he got braces."
Obviously these quotes reflect a very narrow range of girls in the United States. However, it is interesting that our country has essentially overlooked one of the world’s largest sporting events.
We know they’re hot -- a lot hotter than baseball players -- so why don’t we start paying attention?
The Olympics are some of my favorite events to watch, primarily because it is incredibly interesting to watch such a wide range of cultures and people come together and compete against each other.
We should use the World Cup as more than just opportunity to look at hot, steamy men; it is also a global lesson on other cultures and their citizens.
I went to a bar on Monday during the Mexico game and was jealous of the two Mexican fans watching the game. They were cheering, high fiving, chest pumping and completely enthralled with the game.
I remember during my time in Madrid, whenever a fútbol game was on, you could hear the cheers in the streets. It brought everyone together, and rather than celebrating by throwing cars and burning buildings (shout out to UConn), they came together in the city square in peaceful celebration.
We could take a lesson from these Europeans in many ways; for starters, let’s start calling it fútbol (logistically it makes a hell of a lot more sense, anyway).
For all those girls out there who are actual fans and don't do the quick Google search so they can say something relevant to that hot guy at the bar, I apologize.
For the rest of the American girls out there, enjoy the rest of the World Cup; may it be filled with wonderful bums, beautiful foreigners and Mats Hummels' perfectly tousled hair.
Photo via We Heart It