I'm getting back into soccer/football myself; I played as a kid in Southern California and Northern Virginia, but drifted away from the game. I wasn't that good, but I had fun with it. I also had family members and other people around me who enjoyed the game, and were good at it. (Other sports, too. One uncle was part of a college championship baseball squad; a cousin was on a high school basketball team that won state.)
My first real exposure to the World Cup was in 1990. It helped that family was visiting with an exchange student, Roscindo, who they were hosting. Roscindo was (presumably still is) from Argentina. We watched the games on the Spanish-language channels in deference to him, because as he pointed out, the English-language broadcasters just weren't as interesting in their comments as the Spanish-language broadcasters.
I'm paying more attention to soccer, with Portland about to become a major-league soccer town. I've learned how many soccer/football fans I know. I've been more and more impressed with the level of play you're capable of getting in this game. It also hits me: there's no "trash time" in soccer. As much as I like American football, the tension can slacken like deflated balls at the end of games. Basketball, too. Soccer's more likely to have drama take place in the last minute than in almost any other game...especially since with the referee's time-tracking that's required due to game delays, the 90-minute mark doesn't necessarily mean the game is finished, so the players have to keep hustling. They run miles in each game, literally. How many miles will players run in the next month?
It's World Cup time. Play well, young men.
And even if you don't appreciate soccer/football, you may appreciate this:
Later: More World Cup-related ad goodness, this time Terry Gilliam's 2002 Nike ad that was a BIG reason Elvis's "A Little Less Conversation" got cultural currency again: