Trust me, this is part of your education. If you ever do business outside the US, soccer is the one surefire conversation starter. Here’s your pre-game assignment, read/view by Thursday to get full credit:
- Schedule. Joe Foudy says this is the best one. Or just add it to your Google calendar.
- Favorites. Home team Brazil is the fav, with Argentina, Germany, and Spain serious contenders. Belgium is an intriguing long shot. Italy always has a chance. England always thinks it does. The US has no chance, but could be fun to watch. And keep in mind: no European team has ever won in South America.
- Strategy. Find out the difference between a number 10 and a false 9. And check out the Guardian — or pretty much any foreign news site.
- Diving. Luis Cabral contributes the gifs that keep on giving. And here’s Dwayne Wade getting in the spirit.
- Watching. ESPN has arranged for us to be able to watch this anywhere on any device short of a clothes dryer. Or stop by the econ conference room, we plan to stream most of the games.
- Governance. If you want to know how Russia and Qatar got the next two World Cups, check out these three classics from the Footie Professor. Brilliant! Years later, the Western press spots corruption, Stan Zin is shocked, and soccer’s fearless leader warns against dark forces and racism.
- Soccer. Yes, others call it football, but our name for it has a long pedigree.
- Work. If you’re in Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Italy, or Spain, you won’t do any for the next month. Don’t fight it.
Get out your vuvuzelas!
Update (July 1): Great history from Vox.