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The Hater's Guide To The 2018 World Cup

Normal man.
Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno (Getty Images)

The World Cup: truly a tradition unlike any other, except I guess for the Olympics which it is kind of like in the sense that a bunch of people who only care about a thing every four years suddenly care about it so much. Most of the world, of course, cares about soccer a great deal all the time, but the two people that do this podcast every week mostly care about soccer a little bit some of the time. We are also total dopes. If this seems like a problem, then you honestly need to get yourself into The World Cup Mindset post-haste. The event kicks off on Thursday, and while it is as corrupt and compromised and manifestly fucked as always, it is big and cool and weird and worldwide and fun, and also honestly the alternative is regular-season baseball.

Just because Drew and I don’t know a blessed thing about the World Cup doesn’t mean that we’re going to sit this thing out. The World Cup is good as hell and we are not going to just sit here and let our idiocy deprive us of a cool sports experience. There are only so many excuses to watch sports and drink beer in the late morning on a weekday and suddenly develop intensely immediate connections with countries you’ve visited or otherwise just kind of thought were cool. With that in mind, we asked resident soccer-knower Billy Haisley to coach us up, tell us what is going on with this whole [waves hands around] thing and which teams are cool and/or fun. Most importantly, he told us who to hate.

There’s more, of course—thumbnail characterizations of various national characters, some abrupt and expert dismissals of entire countries’ sporting dreams, completely unwarranted slander of various nations’ affordable varieties of white wine, a wary appreciation of Mexico’s collection of tough guys, Drew singing a Van Halen chorus with admirable enthusiasm, me briefly mentioning genocide, and all of us making a hard-won peace with the USMNT somehow not even making it into the field. And of course we stare into the depths of the Funbag, where we consider some soaring existential issues such as what it would like to be a taco and whether Drew would have fun being an airplane. We also return to the question of whether Donald Trump knows how to tie his shoes.


All of which is to say that it is extremely normal except for the fact one of the coolest things in sports is about to happen. Focus on that part. The dumb stuff will still be here once the cool shit is done.

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About the author

David Roth

David Roth is an editor at Deadspin.