I, like most people I know, am watching the World Cup. I try hard to watch all of the matches, but getting up at 6 a.m. to watch South Korea pound Greece is pretty difficult. What makes the Cup so awesome and so popular is that everyone can have a horse in the race. You don’t even have to root for your native country. So how do you decide for whom to root? Well…
Brazil: You like playing it safe and going with the obvious choice. Way to go out on a limb there.
Spain: You like going with the obvious choice, but someone already picked Brazil in your office pool.
England: You may or may not have a Wayne Rooney altar in your sock drawer and you’re also a glutton for punishment. 1966. 1-9-6-6. That’s all.
Italy: You’re still living in 2006. Those guys might as well be hauling oxygen tanks around with them.
United States: You’re American.
France: What do you mean Zidane’s not playing anymore?!
South Africa: You feel compelled to root for the home team. Or you’re not sure how the seeding works.
Germany: I’m in love with you.
The Netherlands: You’ve mistaken Deutsch for Dutch. Luckily the Orangemen are good and won’t embarrass you too much. They might even win!
Mexico: You’re American.
Argentina or Chile: When you want to go South American but also want to avoid a cliche.
Portugal: You woke up and asked yourself, “How can I make myself even more annoying?”
Australia: You just like saying “Socceroos” over and over again.
Ghana: If you’re going to root for an African team, it’s going to be one that can actually advance.
Ivory Coast: See the above.
Cameroon: You read the profile of Samuel Eto’o in Time and now you’re smitten. Who wouldn’t be?
North Korea: You’re worried about what might happen to them if they don’t do well.
Serbia: You’re basing your choice on what team has the most attractive men.
Switzerland: A country wedged between France, Italy and Germany has to be good, right? Right?
Uruguay or Paraguay: The ‘guay’ ending is a dead giveaway that there’s some good footie going on.
Slovenia or Algeria: You just want one or both of them to upset England and/or the United State.
Japan or South Korea: Because an all-Europe/South American knockout round would be so boring.
I’m told that there are 32 teams and not just 26. And I’m sure someone, somewhere, is rooting for the six that I’ve missed. But … eh.