2014 World Cup Opening Game Open Thread

The most important non-Olympic sporting event begins today.

SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Preview'

For American media, nothing beats the Super Bowl. And yet it doesn't come close to the global reach of the World Cup.

Here, the NFL as King of All Media (sorry, Howard Stern) grabs upward of 100 million viewers for the Super Bowl and roughly double that worldwide. The World Cup Final? About 25m across the US....and upwards of 750m across the globe.

Put simply, the World Cup is the biggest non-Olympic sporting competition on Earth. It just doesn't feel like it here in the US.

For American soccer fans however, today's one of the great days in sports. Brazil takes on Croatia in a bit, and the tournament hits full swing tomorrow. Checking out the sport seriously for the first time? This SB Nation glossary will help you tremendously. Not interested whatsoever? That's cool. I couldn't care less about NASCAR, but I'm sure there are tons of Rams fans who do.

Need a team to root for? Well let's assign a Ram to represent each team.

Group A

Brazil - WR Tavon Austin. Dynamic, explosive...but unproven.

Cameroon - DC Gregg Williams. A mess of a backstory the last three years. Partially insane.

Croatia - OT Joe Barksdale. Underrated. Pesky. Will have to scrap to succeed, but that's ok because they're scrappy...and useless on defense.

Mexico - RB Daryl Richardson. Lucky to be around. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Group B

Australia - S Rodney McLeod. Likeable. Replaceable, but likeable.

Chile - RB Zac Stacy. Good, but not sure how good. Could be really, really good. Might just be kinda good.

Netherlands - CB Janoris Jenkins. Has all the pieces to be very successful...which makes not being so kinda frustrating.

Spain - DE Robert Quinn. The technical parts of the game are flawless. Nobody wants to face them if you don't have to.

Group C

Colombia - OL Barrett Jones. Thought you were gonna be good, but the injuries were obviously too much.

Greece - Former HC Steve Spagnuolo. Got famous because of that one time they were great organizing a defense. Hasn't done much of anything good since. Seriously, why are you here?

Ivory Coast - MLB James Laurinaitis. Suggested they had the makeup to be top tier. Didn't happen, and now has to settle for just being good.

Japan - OT Greg Robinson. New. Flashy. Want to go all-in...probably best to wait a while.

Group D

Costa Rica - OL Rodger Saffold. Hard worker. Overperformer.

England - TE Jared Cook. Not sure what to do with you, which implies versatility. Sometimes, you look great. Othertimes, you might as well have not even showed up.

Italy - DT Aaron Donald. Just a big ol ball of fun. Impossible to dislike right now. Go be your crazy ass selves.

Uruguay - WR Chris Givens. Capable of offensive explosion...and that's about it.

Group E (ew...)

Ecuador - QB Shaun Hill

France - OLB Alec Ogletree

Honduras - WR Brian Quick

Switzerland - LB Ray Ray Armstrong

Look, we're glad you're all here, but let's honest. Ogletree's the only one worth getting hyped for, and they're still growing up. See you in four years...well, some of you.

Group F

Argentina - DT Michael Brockers. Could be the one.

Bosnia-Herzegovina - RB Tre Mason. You're new here aren't you? Take it easy, slugger.

Iran - WR Kenny Britt. Impossible to like. Not good with PR. Probably going to be glad when you're gone.

Nigeria - CB Trumaine Johnson. Integral team concept on display. Not overwhelmingly talented, but can't afford to overlook them either.

Group G

Germany - OT Jake Long. Big. Strong. Technically sound. Naturally gifted. Do not upset.

Ghana - DE Eugene Sims. Has a knack for playing up for the moment. Plucky. (also, beat Ghana)

Portugal - TE Lance Kendricks. Limited, but pretty good for what they're good at.

USA - QB Sam Bradford. I BELIEVE.

Group H

Algeria - DB Brandon McGee. What are you doing here?

Belgium - CB Lamarcus Joyner. Like you right now, but going to really like you in four years. I'll wait until then.

Russia - WR Stedman Bailey. Not sure what to make of you. You have your spurts. But then you break rules need to be put back in your box. Get your act together, and maybe there's something here.

South Korea - S TJ McDonald. Underrated. Underappreciated. Underdeveloped. Now would be a good time to break out and change all three of those.

Time for some World Cup, kids.

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