If anyone was following the World Cup games (and who wasn’t), you may have noticed a drastic change in everyday life. Social media feeds were a blaze with updates, images and favorite team members and business was not quite operating in the same way. USA fans made a quantum leap in the support of their teams and life will never quite be the same.
If you work in an office and that office has a video screen, it might as well be the electronic scoreboard at the World Cup games. IT specialists were busy rigging up the best view for the most staff members and conference rooms quickly became sports bars. Snacks, food and drinks were added to former display tables and even the CEO’s were spending way more time viewing the games than doing work.
Restaurants that had outdoor cafes quickly added outdoor video screens and lots of extra tables and chairs. Indoor venues were packed with every manner of World Cup fan, in support of the U.S. teams. If you happened to be walking down a street, window shopping, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear echoes of cheers from all over the town, as the U.S.A. teams made their goals (or not).
While we are used to seeing American flags during some of the holidays, the amount of paraphernalia that donned the red-white-and-blue grew exponentially during the games. World Cup fever had officially taken over and every adult, child and golden retriever was seen wearing a hat, sash, sunglasses, shirts or bandana of the U.S. flag.
The internet made some of the most drastic changes, with direct feeds from the electronic scoreboards of the various stadiums in Brazil and webmasters quickly added customized widgets to their fan sites so that everyone could get up-to-the-minute scores.
The era of the mobile app has come unto its own, as the app stores offered free (and for charge) mobile apps that offered everything you wanted, if you couldn’t be at the World Cup games in person.
Social media made a complete 180 degree turn from the usual posts about family, pictures of food from the foodies and the latest garden vegetable grown. Suddenly the FB pages had a sense of national pride as images of the U.S. teams and the players were presented at every turn. It was said that the World Cup following around the world generated over one billion or more Facebook interactions.
While there was a lot of hype and buildup for the games, it seems that for a short moment, every American forgot that they might have differences in opinion or politics. There was a comradery that no one talked about, it just happened. In an almost mystical way, Americans turned their focus from the daily routines to something that brought excitement and, yes, happiness. There was a common goal, a common theme and a common loyalty to stand behind. It seems, that the World Cup games brought back our American humanity.