The World Cup starts in two days and most of the world is obsessed with the month-long event. In the U.S. though, interest is not as high. More Americans do follow the World Cup and ratings increase every four years (it's great that every game is now televised), but the game is still not a passion in the U.S.
The last soccer game I watched in any length was the World Cup final in 2006 and I suspect that's typical of most Americans. I enjoy the World Cup, but like many Olympic sports, my interest in soccer will stop shortly after the Cup final on July 11 and go into a four-year hibernation.
American fans can be just as tribal as any nation's, but our passions here are much more regional and sport-specific -- college football or NFL fans, baseball fans or college basketball fans. Elsewhere, soccer is king and the success or failure of their national team rivets entire nations (I will love reading the English press should England lose to the U.S. on Saturday). The same can't be said for the U.S. World Cup team. People will be happy if they do well, but not crushed should they fail to advance out of the round-robin.
None of this is a good or a bad thing. It just is. To me, baseball is much more boring than soccer, but I know more about the former because it's been marinating in my blood since birth and has a constant media presence.
For the next month, I will watch World Cup games with regularity (from a hotness standpoint, a Denmark-Spain final would be awesome), but also be thankful that when it ends, it means NFL training camps will be about ready to start.
I am curious as to how others see the World Cup. Do you care? Is it like the Olympics, where you get involved for the duration? Are you a fan of any country? Or will you skip it altogether?