I’m not what you would call a soccer “fan,” in the sense that I’ve never felt compelled (or skilled enough) to compete in the sport, learn its nuances, or even develop an allegiance for a particular club.

But there I am watching the FIFA World Cup…and it’s been wonderful.

And it is only partially for the game on the field.

If you watch any of the pre-game footage, you can’t help but smile. The Olympics take a back seat to the WC when it comes to unbridled patriotism.

EVERY country defies any pre-conceived notion you may have about them in the form of pure fanaticism for their club, and the players on the field reciprocate the love.

Watching the players sing their respective national anthem, is absolutely goose-bump material.

So as we approach the celebration of our own nation’s independence, I’m reminded again that “love of country” is not exclusive to the United States.

And I AM a fan of that.