I have lived on both American coasts, have been entrenched in sports hysteria--sometimes by choice and sometimes despite my best efforts to stay away, but I have never known a whole heck of a lot about the World Cup. My closest relationship to it was in 2000 when I happened to be in South Africa when they announced that South Africa had lost the bid to host the 2006 World Cup. I only somewhat understood the resulting mayhem later when reading about the controversy and suspicions of bribery surrounding the vote.
This year, however, I am here in the middle of Europe and am ready to become an expert! Or at least a yes-I-know-how-to-count-points layman.