This article is from the archive of our partner .

AUTHOR: Jim Geraghty

LENGTH: 274 words

THESIS: Americans have "World Cup fever," but only when we do well.

TERM BY WHICH GERAGHTY INDIRECTLY REFERS TO SOCCER: "The International Tiddlywinks Championship Final... USA vs Russia"

AMERICA'S SECRET WEAPONS: "some corn-fed tall kid from Iowa and a scrappy kid from Brooklyn"

RUSSIA'S SECRET WEAPONS: "a pair of the finest genetically-engineered mutants that former Soviet bioweapons labs can produce"

WHY A POST-CHAMPIONSHIP PROFESSIONAL 'TIDDLYWINKS' (AKA SOCCER) LEAGUE WILL FAIL: "No one at the bar cared about the sport, we care about watching Americans beat other countries with everything on the line."

THE LAST WORD: "If Team America is good, like in 2002, Americans will tune in and watch. (Tying England seems like a good start.) If they’re bad or ‘meh,’ like in 2006, the interest will die down quick."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.