Think of the World Cup as a sumptuous feast of athletes, or a great excuse to get together with partisans and frenemies. So, it goes without saying that the first thing you must establish before you proceed is, to "whom" do you belong? In other words, what team (and colors, pues, but not in a gang way) will you be boostering? Because, that may very well determine your World Cup Maniac stamina.
Who you will be boostering determines what group you will big up, so it might be a good idea to acquaint yourself with the groups. This information is easily accessible via the Internet thanks to FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), the governing body which administer the World Cup, among other things.
To establish that vital component (team allegiance), one must eye the roster of sovereigns that are amassing in South Africa as we speak. One's immediate family history must be weighed against competing heritages. For example, my parents are from Argentine, but I am American, and my wife is Chicana (which means she boosters for Mexico). On top of that, I am a dirty rat because I want Argentina, the U.S., and Mexico to fare well.
Therefore, for the duration of the World Cup, we (she is) are allowed to root when Argentina gets scored on, and (I can cheer)when Mexico eventually gets demolished. Now, many people decide to forego all the diplomacy by picking a surrogate team, i.e. the way most people who booster Brazil are not Brazilian, etc. This is also called surrogate-boostering and is perfectly acceptable, as long as adherants don't over-step the parameters of trash-talking and venture into faux cultural competency.
The last thing you should do is construct a program of the matches that you want to see, again information readily available on FIFA's website. For example, you are going to want to catch the World Cup opener which is between the host, South Africa, and Mexico. This game on June 11th at 4 PM will be that global gong that says, Mundial Time!
On that same day, I would also be interested in seeing France vs. Uruguay (still group A), which commences at 8:30. The next day, however, June 12th, is going to be more essential for me because at 4PM on the 12th, Argentina and Nigeria play the first match of the B group. After that match, though, I will be jumping to the C group, which is playing at 8:30, their first match: England vs. U.S.A.
It's not that the adjacent game in the B group, South Korea vs. Greece, will not be vigorously fought and majestically played. It's just that, to me, so much trash-talk has been built around the England vs. U.S. match that it is more interesting to me. Also, the fact that the U.S. beat England in the 1950 World Cup has brainwashed some into thinking that the U.S. might pull off another stunning upset. The moral to take away is that matches are unpredictable, and a lot can happen in 90 minutes.
I guess what I am saying is that you have to choose your battles carefully, and you have to think ahead because once it starts, the World Cup will be flinging matches and highlights at you faster than you can watch them. Get prepared, people, this is the World Cup!
A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.