Pre-World Cup

This is a cross-post from my guest blogging over at Young Germany.

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Tomorrow, it’s finally happening. So much anticipation and build up, I don’t even know what to do with myself. I can remember jumping up and down on the 1-year countdown, and even more on the 100-day countdown. Now we’re just ONE day away from the opening kick, and I feel like it hasn’t even sunk in yet.

I have mixed emotions about the Cup this year, and a big part of this comes from the fact that this will be my first World Cup as a workingman. Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. I love my new job, and can’t complain about the hours, but… This is different. If you’re at all into soccer, I’m sure you can sympathize with me here. How do I watch every minute of football for the next month? Do I take longer lunch breaks, or come in to work earlier so I can leave earlier? Do I stream the games on my laptop at work? Do I record the games and hope that nobody tells me the results? Am I going to miss the best goals and upsets?

This is the problem millions of Americans will be facing every day for the next month. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to be in the same time zone as a majority of the games, but sometimes I think I would rather stay up for the next month straight than miss out on priceless soccer. Somebody just come take my job for the next month!!!

Anyways, with the Cup kicking off tomorrow, America is busy prepping for (what I believe will be) the greatest soccer-takeover our country has ever experienced. A month filled with games everyday and media coverage everywhere. Even for the anti-soccer Americans, they are bound to see coverage on CNN and other news outlets as they relay messages of the tournament’s popularity and happenings. It’s already all over television and newspapers in the form of advertisements, and this trend will only increase as we see brands jumping on the bandwagon to gain some more “fans.”

Besides the month long March Madness NCAA basketball tournament, there really is no comparative tournament of the World Cup’s duration and sustained interest levels. On a side note, I thought it was humorous to see that there are now “World Cup bracket challenges” where you can win upwards of $1,000,000 for determining the correct result for every single game. I don’t remember this from 2006 or 2010, but that could be because I was backpacking Europe at the time. Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t believe this is something seen around the world; I see it as an American cultural phenomenon. People go crazy filling out their brackets! I did, however, fill out a couple brackets in hopes of becoming a millionaire :-)

In conclusion, I would like to extend myself to all of you. If you have any questions about America, American soccer, World Cup in America, and so on, I would love to answer them for you. Also if there’s anything in particular you’d like for me to blog about, I’d be happy to. Please feel free to comment on this page, or reach out to me on Twitter (@steffanpedersen)! I would love to hear from you, and hear about your World Cup experiences.

And finally, now that there are no more pre-World Cup posts to write, I can promise a lot more exciting content in my next posts.

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