Why I Love the World Cup

Why I love the World Cup

Every four years, right around this time of year, I start getting incredibly excited about what I think is the greatest sporting event of them all: The World Cup.

I know, I know. Americans aren’t known for their love of soccer. But the rest of the world definitely is. Did you know in the last World Cup, in 2010, more than 2.2 billion people all over the world watched the event? Just to give you some perspective, a record 111.5 million people watched this year’s Super Bowl between the Broncos and the Seahawks.

This global obsession is part of why the World Cup is so fascinating to me. Thirty-two countries from around the world will compete to see who is the best at the world’s most popular sport; fans from around the world will descend on Brazil and enjoy a month-long celebration of soccer, diversity, amazing goals, and even more amazing saves.

If you’re really into the World Cup like I am, this is also the perfect time to spend some quality time with your family and friends. And if you’re not a huge fan yet give it a try this year. Here are a few ideas for some things you can do with your kids to make the World Cup a little more fun.

  • Cook a dish from a country of the game you’re watching. How about some Spanish Tortilla when you’re watching Spain. Or have pasta night if you’re watching Italy. With 32 countries to choose from, you have an endless supply of delicious dishes to experiment with.
  • Learn the national anthem of a different country. Have you ever seen players cry while their national anthem plays? It’s a powerful moment for many players as they represent their home country on the world stage. The British National Anthem is an easy place to start. Or if you’re up for a challenge, try something in a different language.  I’m particular to the Costa Rican National Anthem.
  • Talk about diving and injuries. Even if you don’t talk about it, the announcers sure will. Soccer is known for having players fake injuries to get a penalty called against the other team. Talk to your kids about this strategy, while making sure that they realize that if they are hurt in their own game, they should sit out and talk to a parent or coach before playing again. Get all of our sports tips.
  • Dress up. Many kids love dressing up, and during the World Cup adults will definitely dress up to represent their country. If you’re a fan of the United States, pull out some red, white and blue for your kids to wear during the game. You can even paint flags on their cheeks for some extra fun.
  • Practice being a good sport. If you’re like me, it’s easy to get swept up in the momentum of supporting your home team. But only one country will win, which means 31 countries will go home empty handed. Talk to you kids about how to be a good sport and practice good sportsmanship. Hopefully your team goes all the way, but if it doesn’t, pick a new team to follow. How about Bosnia and Herzegovina?  It’s their first time in the World Cup, and who doesn’t love an underdog?

This blog was written by Julie Kenneally.