One thing sports do is serve as a kind of calendar. For example, I remember when it was that we moved into our current house, because the Twins and Cardinals were playing in the World Series while we moved, which means it was 1987.
The World Cup reminds me of living conditions, most specifically, where the teevees have been. My memories of Cups past are connected to the rooms where I watched each of them. In '94 our teevee was in the bedroom in the basement; in '98 it was in the upstairs bedroom. Meanwhile, I can calculate how old my friends Dale and Ginger's daughter Megan is, because her first birthday party took place during England-Cameroon '90. And my sister-in-law Katie got married four years ago, during France '98. This year, there's the big living room teevee and the Wega in the computer room, and I expect both to get a workout as I try to watch all 64 matches.
Meanwhile, I still have a few papers to grade and an essay to finish up (yes Charlie, it's coming). But for now, I should probably go to bed, because I have to get up at 4:30 tomorrow morning for France-Senegal. See you in a month.