Ten Things Everyone Should Know Heading Into This Year's World Cup Action.
If you've been wondering why there's been an illustration of a green-haired man face-palming himself on the side of your Coca-Cola cans of late, that's because today marks the first day of competition in the 2014 World Cup.
That man, turns out, is the logo for this year's tournament — an event that, for the next month or so, will find wannabe globalists constantly requesting that the bartenders at your favorite watering holes “put the game on.”
To be clear, they're talking about soccer here. Yes, we know it's confusing. But there's no avoiding it, really. So you might as well educate yourself some on what's going on, if only to make sure that you don't come off as a complete ignoramus over these next few weeks.
With that in mind, we've come up with a list of 10 things you must know about the World Cup.
• The World Cup happens every four years. Not every year. Not every two years. Not every three years. Not every five years. It does, however, happen every fourth fifth year, but that's just coincidental, as it happens four times between those instances, too.
• The World Cup is an international soccer competition. Teams from six continents will be represented at this year's World Cup, the 20th since the competition began in 1930. There were no World Cups in 1942 or 1946. Fun fact: No team from Antarctica has ever qualified for competition.
• Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. We're talking NASCAR big.
• In other countries, soccer is called “football.” Except in Canada, where it's still referred to as soccer. Up there, however, “football” means something else entirely, referring to a bastardized game invented to further the career of Doug Flutie.
• They call it “football” because it's a game played with your feet. The name does not refer to the shape of the ball. If you've spent any time on this planet at all, you should know that the word “ball” usually implies a sphere of sorts. If your foot is spherical, please consult a doctor immediately.
• Soccer is a game played with 11 men per side. It is sometimes referred to as “The Beautiful Game.” When Portugal's Christiano Ronaldo is on the field, it's referred to as “The Smoldering, Is-It-Hot-In-Here-Or-Is-It-Just-Him? Game.”
• If you do something wrong in soccer, the referee will pull a “yellow” card on you. If you do something really wrong, the referee will pull a “red” card on you. If you do something super wrong, the “race” card might be pulled out on you, but that really has nothing to do with soccer. You're just a racist.
• The World Cup trophy is not actually a cup. It is not an athletic supporter, either. It is also not the Holy Grail. It is not a lot of things, to be fair.
• This year's games will be held in Brazil. Brazil is a country in South America. You've heard of Buenos Aires, right? Of course you have. But Buenos Aires is actually in Argentina. You're probably thinking of Rio de Janeiro.
• The United States has never won a World Cup. Other things the U.S. has never won include The Existing Before The 1500s Rally, Eurovision and The Vietnam War.