Today’s exciting — and at times controversial — game between Brazil and Croatia kicked off what I expect will be an action-packed 2014 World Cup. The ball really starts rolling tomorrow with three (!) games: Mexico–Cameroon, Spain–Netherlands, and Chile–Australia. The US plays its first game on Monday against Ghana, the team that has bounce the Americans out of the last two World Cups.

For a primer on this year’s edition, check out Bobblehead’s World Cup preview on the LV website. (Of course he had to slip an England game into his must-watch list.)

(Was it just me, or did the stadium in São Paulo seem very unbecoming of the seventh largest city in the world? With its massive section of temporary seating, it looked like it would fit right in with the likes of old AFL stadiums.)

There is nothing like the World Cup. (Except, in a literal sense, the ruby World Cup). I love club soccer, but it is an entirely different feel when teams representing the collective hopes and dreams of whole nations walk onto the pitch. The expectations and tensions are unbelievable. Entire countries shut down and huddle around TVs to watch. There is blood, sweat, tears, and grass stains. It is all or nothing. Second place medals are immediately discarded in shame.

It only happens once every four years, so live it up and soak it in! I definitely will. The time difference is not severe and work has entered a slow period, so I will definitely be taking in as many games as possible.

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