Here are 20 important things you should know:
1. Like presidential elections and new episodes of Rick and Morty, World Cup happens every four years.
2. Soccer began, some say, when a group of Medieval Brits gathered together around a pig’s bladder to receive endorsements from Nike.
3. Except for boxing, it’s the only other sport that allows you to use your head.
4. FIFA stands for “Football: It’s FOOTBALL, Americans.”
5. Each team has 11 players, unless one of them has a day job and can’t get off work.
6. Follow this easy trick to remember the positions on the field. There’s a goalie, then all the others.
7. A game lasts 90 minutes, made up of two 45 minute halves and a bunch of random extra minutes no one ever tells you about.
8. Apparently, even having LeBron James on your team isn’t enough to insure victory.
9. Like we have fantasy football leagues, other countries have fantasy soccer leagues.
(I don’t actually know if this is true; I’m just assuming it is.)
10. Before World Cup, most Americans knew only two famous soccer players: Pele and David Beckham. Now they know nil more.
11. Oh, and Brandi Chastain.
12. In every other part of the world it’s pronounced “SOCK-er.”
13. Imagine I’m writing this with a British accent; It’ll sound way more authoritative.
14. Soccer is basically lacrosse without sticks, or padding, or helmets, or danger.
15. Names to bring up when you’re trying desperately not to sound like a nitwit at a graduation party: Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Lionel Messi.
Oh, and Brandi Chastain.
16. Vladimir Putin R̶ E̶ D̶ A̶ C̶ T̶ E̶ D̶
17. Even people in Uruguay don’t know where Uruguay is.
18. Most referees are sponsored by Hallmark and often show off their latest line of cards during a match.
19. Zabivaka, the wolf, is the official World Cup mascot. If you think that’s a bit odd, consider the Racing Pierogies during Pittsburgh Pirates games.
20. I couldn’t think of a 20th thing.