So we know there are still a lot of stragglers around these parts either uninterested by the World Cup or intimidated by their lack of inherent knowledge of the proceedings. That's OK, of course: We are not a nation who grew up gathered around the radio listening to soccer games. We have some catching up to do.
If you're a casual fan who isn't sure where your rooting interests should like — outside of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" — and need a primer of loyalties, new soccer blogger The Reminder maps it out for you. Some highlights:
To Root Against:
• Argentina. "The Argentinians are basically the opposite of Brazil. They play tough and ugly, and have several players with ponytails."
• Italy. "The Italians are the easiest to root against. Why? Italian soccer on a whole is boring. I'm not debating this, it's a fact."
To Root For
• African teams. "They have players you've never heard of, with sometimes hilariously funny names or nicknames (It's a translational thing). This year, the nations are generally small and poor, which makes it the month of a century for these people."
• Iran. "Who doesn't want to see Iran-U.S.? Seriously. (Not going to happen, but hey)."
Confused About Who To Support? [The Reminder]