America loves its football.
The rest of the world loves it futbol, known here as soccer.
I've never been a big fan of the sport, because I really don't understand it.
And I learned a long time ago the more you understand something, the more you will enjoy it.
It's why I love baseball. Every player has a job to do on every pitch and you can observe each one. It's also like chess, where you can think three moves ahead. It's mentally challenging and you can stay in the game from start to finish.
Those who understand soccer do the same thing.
They can watch a game in which nobody scores and come away totally satisfied that they watched a great match.
I watch a game in which nobody scores and I wonder what I'm supposed to write about, because I didn't see anything happen.
Beauty, as they say, is in the eyes of the beholder.
While I don't ever see myself being a soccer fan, obviously I'm a fan of any team representing the United States. So I naturally found myself tuned to the World Cup for the USA's four matches.
I wasn't alone. A nation in which soccer takes a backseat to many other sports seemed mesmerized by the World Cup.
If the American soccer team did nothing else, it brought out our patriotic pride at a time when it seems like that is a necessary commodity.
It introduced some of us to a sport we normally wouldn't watch.
When Landon Donovan scored that late, seemingly impossible goal to beat Algeria and put the USA in the round of 16, we all swelled with pride.
This may not be our sport, but it was our team.
A team that like most athletic teams ended up breaking our hearts.
Saturday's round of 16 match was frustrating. The U.S., as it seemed to do every time it took the field, fell behind early. But when Donovan -who else? -tied the game in the second half, we figured it was just a matter of time before the U.S. pulled off another last-minute miracle.
That didn't happen. Once the match reached overtime, Ghana was the more aggressive team and if there is one thing I've learned about every game from football to poker, it's the one who is most aggressive that is most likely to win. Sure enough, Ghana scored the game-winning goal and the U.S. was out.
While the die-hards will continue to watch the World Cup until a champion is crowned, guys like me will go back to a real American sport -baseball.
But I have to admit that this particular soccer team got me interested in the sport and increased my ever-so-slight knowledge of it.
The U.S. -led by former President Bill Clinton - is trying to convince the rest of the world that the World Cup should come here soon.
Doesn't sound like such a bad idea.
Just make sure they don't move the Super Bowl to Taiwan.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org