Warning: Watching the World Cup Can Drive You Mad

The Best Case Scenario Is Also the Worst Case Scenario

You know something is wrong because of the nightmares. Ronaldo gives up his seat on the bus to the old lady you ignored. The Mexican team is eating its pre-match meal on a Stars and Stripes tablecloth, toasting America for letting them into the party. You end up sleepwalking, only to have the police find you outside your home, muttering to yourself… Michael Bradley, Michael Bradley, Michael Bradley.

But there are physical signs as well. Your Vitamin D level has dropped to levels common to Icelanders in the middle of winter. Your eyes have gone square from looking at the TV. There’s a hole in the sofa where your ass has been parked for twelve days, a blast zone scorched into the fabric left over from your explosion when Captain America scored against Portugal. The scales whistle—you’ve gained ten pounds in soccer calories—and the empty pizza boxes are stacked like dominos waiting to fall upon you.

Did you really need to watch Nigeria v Bosnia?

And then there are the heart attacks to worry about. The whole country needed the defibrillator after Ronaldo emerged from his coma to deliver his lethal cross, the clot!

After 72 hours in the psychiatric ward, you get home just in time to see Michael Bradley score the winner against Germany, causing a blackout drinking session that lasts for days. You wake up inside a Berlin nightclub wondering how you got there and why your socks don’t match. You are flown back to the U.S. in an air ambulance only to discover that you are bankrupt, your spouse and kids long gone, the utilities turned off and your home days from auction. But it’s all worth it when the U.S. wins the World Cup, prompting America to say, Klinsmann, you were right! Brooks! Yedlin! Wondolowski! How did you know?

Now, before this becomes a reality, may I suggest you take a little walk now and again—preferably now. The World Cup will still be here. Mow the lawn, wash the car, argue with the neighbor, watch a little of that college baseball that comes on after the last game of the day, stand in line at the post office, or honk your horn for no reason at all. For in mid-July, normal service will be resumed, and you’ll want to come down lightly, and go back to supporting Arsenal.

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