Thanks to Tim Howard, flamboyant hairstyles, and the collective enthusiasm of the rest of the world, Americans have finally begun to like soccer. This Sunday, the biggest tournament of the globe’s most popular sport wraps up with the final match between Germany and Argentina.
If you’re lucky enough to be partying in Rio right now, what are you doing wasting your time on the Internet? More pertinently, if you’re in Brazil holding golden tickets for the World Cup 2014 finals, Ibex has a few points of etiquette to ensure your game results in the kumbaya of fandom and not in the ire of Germans or Argentines aimed in your general direction.
These tips work for those of us watching at home on the telly, too. In no particular order…
- Do not refer to the game you are watching as “soccer.” It is football, futball, or futebol. End of story.
- Do not be tempted to blow a vuvuzela. That was so 2010. We think they may have even been outlawed in 98% of the World Cup nations. Even if they are not illegal in and of themselves, it will be incumbent upon a righteous citizen’s brigade to go full vigilante on your ass for vuvuzela-ing.
- Do not paint USA colors on your face for the final match. Yes, American fans earned a following of their own this tourney, but show some respect for the teams still playing.
- Speaking of face paint, do not wear face paint if the forecast calls for rain.
- If you see Gisele in the crowd, do not say hello – beyond a friendly acknowledgement. We hate to break this to you, but you (male or female) will not be the one to turn her away from Tom Brady. Even though he doesn’t play the “right” kind of football, we can promise that this is not your “in.”
- If you don’t have a solid grasp of the offsides rule, do not use the finals as the opportunity to learn about it, complain about it, or otherwise ask “real” soccer fans to explain it to you. Just pipe down and pretend.
- Do not complain about how “slow” or “low-scoring” the game is. Particularly do not do so in front of any Brazilians (see exhibit A of the team’s historic flouncing by Germany).
- Do not yell “goooooooaaaaaalllllllll!!!!!!!!!” along with the announcer. It is undeniably satisfying, but it is a skill best left to the professionals.
- Do not order a caipirinha – the national drink of Brazil – unless you are either: a) in Brazil, or b) in a U.S. bar that is running a special on caipirinhas in honor of the World Cup. To do so is akin to ordering a Malibu rum, basil-infused, frozen strawberry daiquiri in a dive bar. World Cup fever does not cover this faux pas.
- Do not talk about Manchester United or other Premier Soccer League teams during the finals. You’re either with die-hard fans who are currently bleeding World Cup colors, or rainy day soccer fans who have been swept up in the excitement of the moment. Bad form to press either too hard, my friend. Bad form.
- Do not, under any circumstances, tell people around you to “quiet down.” This ain’t golf, buddy. This is the mother-freaking World Cup! This is football, and this is our time, as Americans to celebrate life and sport as freely and jubilantly as the rest of the uninhibited world. One look at the fans in the stadium and you know: This is not the time to worry about being reserved or cool. Let your flags fly, my friend. Have some fun.