The average American switches jobs every four years or so. We find it a startling coincidence that the World Cup also comes once every four years. So this is your time to quit that job, “work from home,” or go on vacation, because starting Thursday, June 12, the World Cup arrives. And it’ll be a 9-to-5 job all by itself.
But don’t worry: Breakfast will be served. And it comes with beer. A host of Portland bars and restaurants will open as early as 7 am to show those morning soccer games (we chronicle 23 of them here). And those places will be packed. In a heartwarming phenomenon completely out of our city’s navel-gazing character, Portland is about to spend 31 days going completely batshit for something that has nothing to do with Portland.
Maybe you noticed this in 2002, when you locked yourself in the Moon and Sixpence until 7 am with six warm Boddingtons ales. Or maybe it was 2010, when you found yourself rooting with a tableful of Africans against your own country’s team, as Ghana showed America what heart looks like.
Or maybe it’s your first World Cup, and you’re just about to find out.
But the World Cup in Portland is amazing. If this year’s Google search stats are any indication, we care more about the World Cup than any other U.S. city. We may not watch soccer when we’re home alone (the stats don’t lie), but we cheer wildly at bars during matches played by Hondurans against Germans, Germans against Australians, and Brazilians against everybody.
Much more than during the Olympics—which, let’s face it, are kind of like a variety show without a celebrity host—Portland takes part in truly global pandemonium during the World Cup.
So here’s your guide to getting up to speed, from a primer on each country’s team and its tenuous connection to our city, to the best places to watch the games, including a pop-up beer garden and a St. Johns dive that’s pairing international beers with contenders.
But take note that we’ll totally trade in our generous world spirit if the Americans manage to escape their ridiculously tough bracket against Germany, Portugal and Ghana. If not, you’ll find us at Bazi Bierbrasserie, cheering on the Belgians with a goofy-looking glass of Kwak. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Balls and Brews for Breakfast: The World Cup 2014 in Portland