We're now in the early stages of Round 2 in the FIFA World Cup 2010, and things are more interesting than ever. What with the Jabulani and the vuvuzelas, the Italians and the French, the referree blunders and sore-loser coaches, this World Cup is turning out to be just like a soap opera. And then there are the matches, the nail-biting, nerve-shredding roller-coaster matches that truly showcase the beautiful game at its best. No wonder we can't look away. Here are some signs to show that our family, kids and adults alike, are truly hooked on this World Cup:
10) We've been eating dinner in front of the tv while we watch games that were Tivo'd earlier in the day.
9) We try to sleep early so we can get up in time for the next day's 7:00AM game.
8) 3Po and Jammy no longer play Webkinz Ninja Fighting games with their Webkinz stuffed animals -- they play Webkinz Soccer.
7) Jammy wants to meet Landon Donovan.
6) The Pea gets the off-side rule -- and has been seen screaming at the TV when she thinks there was daylight between the attacker and the defender.
5) 3Po went to bed the other night sobbing, all because USA had lost to Ghana.
4) The kids can recognize the flags of Uruguay, Paraguay, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ghana, South Africa, and other nations that they didn't even know about until this World Cup.
3) The kids can draw the flags of Uruguay, Paraguay, Mexico, Serbia, and all those flags with the complicated crests in the design.
2) The kids can even pronounce Uruguay and Paraguay without missing a beat.
And the number-one sign that we've caught World Cup Fever:
1) We timed our flight to the UK to make sure we wouldn't miss any matches -- we leave for the UK a couple of hours after one quarterfinal (Match 58) and arrive at Heathrow the next day with just enough time to grab our bags, pick up a rental car, drive to Alfie's parents' place, pour out a cup of tea and settle down to watch the next quarterfinal (Match 59).
Viva la beautiful game!