Unless you've been hiding from federales on an island of swamp grass floating deep within the Everglades for the past six months, you're well aware that the World Cup starts this this afternoon.
You should also know that pleading ignorance of the international tournament just won't cut it in modern Miami. Twelve years ago when France won the World Cup, most Miamians were still more interested in pelota than the partying in Paris.
Now that Miami is full of French and Italians, Colombians and Venezuelans, Brazilians and even a few Bosnians, however, ignorance is no longer an excuse. When you saddle up to the bar and the stranger next to you asks you which side you support, silence won't be accepted. So here's a quick guide on how to bullshit your way through the beautiful game.
Bandwagoners should go for Brazil
When in doubt, just take your Dad's first name and add an -inho to the end of it. "That Kerbinho is so hot right now!" Mumble something about how Brazilians are such a joyous people -- never mind the protests raging across the host country -- and how you can see it in the way they play. Don't worry. Just drink your caipirinha. Brazil is going to win -- so hop on board.
Little Havana Is Suddenly A Spanish Stronghold
Ever notice how every Cuban's uncle or grandfather was supposably some Spanish duke? Every four years, Little Havana suddenly becomes 18th century Castile and León. Your abuelita insists you eat her tortilla española and your tío talks to you about the one time he had a layover in Sevilla.
Miami Marlins fans find another lost cause: Australia
Marlins fans are used to rooting for huge underdogs. This year, the World Cup's lovable losers are sure to be the Australians, who must play three top teams in Spain, Holland, and Chile. The Aussies are so unlikely to advance that a betting company has taken to flying a hot air balloon shaped like Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue over Melbourne, telling locals to "keep the faith" in their team. And lose money on them. Just like Marlins fans.
Rick Scott supporters for Luis Suarez
Florida governor Rick Scott is rich, brilliant, and evil. Google those three words + World Cup and up pops a photo of Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan striker is easily the most despised soccer player in the world. He single-handedly cheated his team's way into the semifinals in 2010. Like Scott, he's looking for a repeat four years later.
Miami Bros Root for Ronald-bro
Miami's bro-love for Cristiano Ronaldo is so strong that the last time he was in town, some dude ran onto SunLife Stadium's field to give him a hug. Why? Because the Portuguese superstar is the ultimate South Beach clubber: handsome and tan with a penchant for pairing t-shirts and vests, CR7 is also really, really into himself. When he scored a meaningless goal in the recent Champions League Final, he stripped off his shirt in wild celebration -- supposedly all so that a camera crew could film his hot bod for a documentary called Ronaldo: The Movie. We're positive it will have an uhntz uhntz soundtrack. You may see Miami bros backing Portugal, but they are really just rooting for Ronaldo.
Bosnia & Hipster-govina
Miami hipsters have two options for the World Cup. One is to ironically root for whichever team seems the most popular. "Oh, yeah. I'm totally hoping Brazil wins for like the zillionth time," you say as you sip on your overpriced Bud Lite. Your other option, of course, is to take refuge in esoterica. You're going to have to choose a team that is almost unheard of yet has a chance to win some games. That way you can loft your insider knowledge over your idiot cohorts for a couple of games, but don't run any risk of being called out as a faker in the final. We recommend you go with Bosnia & Herzegovina. Like a good pick-up line, it's bold but dispensable: just enough to get you into the World Cup's panties, but not enough for you to leave your number.
Hialeah is the new heartland: USA all the way
Dog breeders. Flea markets. Illegal butcher shops. Hialeah is unofficially the new American heartland. So it only makes sense that Hialeans side with the stars and stripes. Also, U.S. forward Clint Dempsey is the original Stitches: scruffy, bad at rapping, and covered in questionable tattoos. Can someone please Sharpie an AK-47 onto Dempsey's face before we play Ghana?
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Heat fans feel Spain's attempt to three-peat
If your family's ancestral farmland in Andalucía wasn't reason enough to root for La Furia Roja, the Spanish national team's similarity to the Heat should suffice. Like the Heat, Spain is trying to pull off an impressive three-peat (World Cup '10, Euro 2012, World Cup '14). Fernando Torres is La Furia's Dwyane Wade: an aging superstar who just can't seem to score. And they are up against Holland, who, like the San Antonio Spurs, are a bunch of flop-artists.