Every 4 years something magical happens. Bars become packed at weird hours, people cheer on teams from far off places like Croatia, and pints of beer are clinked over scores like 1-0. I’m talking of course about the World Cup. No other single sport event captivates the entire world as much as the World Cup.
With that said, you’re probably wondering “Well why are you writing about the World Cup” and I’ll tell you. Watching the World Cup in bars is a great way to chat up people in bars. You might not be a soccer fan but hear me out.
The chances are that if you’re reading this you’re an American (at least, that’s what my visitor stats seem to indicate). If you are American, chances are you’re not a big soccer fan. I get it; it’s not as physically violent, high scoring, or as steeped in Americana as some of the other sports you probably like. You don’t have to love the World Cup to go to a bar and watch some matches; in fact, it might work in your favor if you don’t.
The fact is that soccer America is currently undergoing a rise in popularity. With that rise in popularity comes a healthy mix of soccer newbies and pretty knowledgeable fans who want to bring more footie fans into the fold.
So you either fall into the knowledgeable fan or fledgling fan camp, either way, you’ve got a built in icebreaker.
There are two types of Association Football fans: Knowledgeable fans and the Novice fans.
Let’s start with the Knowledgeable fans.
As a Football fan, let’s say you fancy a cute little number at the bar. What do you say before during or after the Belgium versus Algeria match? Well it doesn’t really matter exactly what you say, just that you have an opinion and you can talk about it. Chances are you’ve got an opinion. As a Football fan, the easiest way to start a conversation is to lean on your knowledge and expertise. Tell that total catch of a person all about Belgium’s highs and lows in the last 20 years, or about Algeria’s can do attitude.
By the way, I have no clue about Belgium or Algeria because, yup, I’m a Novice Fan. Which is fine, because I know that if I walk into any bar playing any of the World Cup matches and say to anyone who seems knowledgeable “I’m a fairly new fan, I’m just now getting into it” chances are they’ll most likely be able to speak confidently about the sport. Not only will they have a lot to say, they’ll also want to talk about the sport and evangelize it.
Seriously. Soccer fans are the warmest people when it comes to talking about Soccer, unless you’re rooting against their team of course. What’s great about the World Cup is that the excitement is amplified which only adds to the camaraderie between strangers.
That camaraderie will always lead to a conversation if you put in the effort. Those conversations may not all lead to dates but, when something only happens once every 4 years, who knows where a conversation can lead.
Novices: go to a bar, watch a match, strike up a conversation to learn the sport (and maybe learn a new person’s phone number)
Knowledgeable fans: go to a bar, watch some matches, teach a Novice about the Hand of God, then maybe they’ll let you get handsy.
Good luck out there.
….And go USMNT