The World Cup is once more about to commence.

During the 1998 World Cup in France, we were in Europe, and the Europeans take their football very seriously. Buildings in the Netherlands are covered with the orange. No matter where you are and who is playing, 30 minutes after a match is over you will hear people driving around honking their horns and waving flags (well, that part you see rather than hear) in celebration. And it's common to see the police in riot gear in preparation.

During the time that was there, we watch 30 some games of soccer. Which seems a bit excessive, but it's so rare to see good soccer in the US, and to be able to contrast the attacking style of the Europeans vs the more possession-oriented game of South America.

It can be confusing, however, to watch European TV, especially since the broadcasts were from various countries. In the US, we learn the names of countries, but we don't learn the names in other languages (except, perhaps the home language of the country).

For example, in the US is would be Germany. In Germany, it would be Deutschland. But there's also:

Duitsland (Netherlands)
L'Allemagne (French)
La Germania (Italy)
Alemania (Spain)

So, when you see a three letter code, it may take you a bit of time to figure out who you are really watching. They may use the standard euro codings for country names, but I don't really know those.

And, the US may show up differently. USA (Germany), Etats-Unis (France), Estados Unidos (Spain)

US Television looks pretty good, with HD broadcasts of all 64 games.

Finally, go watch this cool Nike Video...