Wednesday, June 25, 2014

FIFA Faux Fan or Case of 'the Cup'?

Dear Ann Abler,
I'm not sure what’s happening to me, but I think I’m becoming a soccer fan. The USA v. Portugal game on Sunday wasn’t even on my radar, but when it came on at the restaurant where I was eating (beers, mostly), I got hooked! That one goal was magic – it went outside the goal, but then went INSIDE the goal! I’ve never talked about a goal before. Who am I? Last time I realized there was a World Cup it was because Ricky Martin was singing about it. Now I want to paint my face red, white, and blue and start drinking at 9 am on Thursday to cheer on our guys against the Germans. Am I a fake? What’s happening to me?
- FIFA Faux fan
USA! USA! Image from

Dear FIFA faux fan,

You're not a fake, but it does sound like you’ve got a classic case of ‘The Cup’. It’s time to face el fútbol and embrace this new (and very possibly temporary) condition. What else would you expect your dear Ann Abler to tell you? To be sensible and stand down? That’s no fun! Break out the flags and face paint and LEAN IN! 

Below are 10 symptoms typical of one with a case of ‘The Cup’:
1.     A sudden, unnerving interest in un-American activities and people other than Kimye.
2.      Disturbing feelings of indignation at that call the Ref just made (while asking the person next to you, “he’s offside of what?”).
3.      Increased knowledge of world geography, which can be unsettling for many Americans.
4.      Heightened yearning for more miraculous goals, aka “jonesin’ for a Jones”.
Some soccer players have super levitating powers
5.      Embarrassing - or hopefully endearing (?) - pronunciation of foreign names.
6.      Gradual realization of the high levels of hotness of soccer players:
Here's a story of some men named Hottie. Image courtesy of
7.   Disappointment in the lack of melody and je ne sais quoi in this year's World Cup song, accompanied by a lingering let down ever since Ricky Martin's magical performances of La Copa de la Vida.
Ricky Martin circa '99 and circa my heart
8.   Growing desire to don the flag and paint oneself head to toe.
9.   Slow acceptance of the whistle as a musical instrument, and jumping as dancing.
10. Slight chill around neck area that can only be warmed by your team scarf. Did I say team? I mean "club". I also mean "pitch" instead of "field", "match" instead of "game", and "Goooooooooooooaaaaallll!!!" instead of "goal". 

It looks like you have three or more of these symptoms. The good news is that you’re in good company with many other Americans right now, especially those who like to drink, shout at televisions, and high-five each other. So why not join in the festivities and forget your worries for a while? Don’t let people bash you for being a Janie-come-lately, because it’s better to be a Janie-come-lately than a Janie-doesn’t-come-at-all.

Your Ann Abler

P.P.S. People needn't know all the rules to root for their team, or trash-talk the other guys, so help me think of some good taunts to throw at zee Germans and I will live tweet tomorrow’s game in honor of all the fickle FIFA faux fans out there. 

Follow @DearAnnAbler on Twitter and Dear Ann Abler on Facebook now, and stay tuned for the onslaught of insights during the game.

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