As the world unites to celebrate the biggest sporting extravaganza, here's a quick (and brief) Q&A on how to feign football understanding where none exists otherwise.
Q: Who do you think is winning this year?
A: Brazil! (One just can't go wrong with this answer. No explanations needed, no arguments for or against. This nation is hosting the World Cup and have been the traditional giants. Answer with as much energy as possible.)
Q: Which matches are you going to watch specially?
A: 1) Unfortunately can't follow any. The timings are just too late.
Damn office/boss/school/college/teacher/life. (Cribbing about life is sure to follow)
2) The Brazil matches for sure. And who can miss the England vs Italy match?
(Wee hours of Saturday in India) What about you? (Peg it back on them)
Q: I love Messi (Argentina). What about you?
A: Haha, of course!
Q: I love Neymar. What about you?
A: Haha, of course!
Q: I love Ronaldo. What about you?
A: Haha, of course! ( Agree each time. Avoid if asked in sequence though in which case, stick to the 'first favourite')
Q: I get the feeling one of the dark horses will do exceedingly well. A hunch.
A: Uruguay. My hunch is Uruguay with Suarez. But again, just a hunch. (Avoid opening up to debates by appearing a tad uncertain. Football is unpredictable and everyone knows that).
A: (Memorise the following) You know, I read this story where a study showed going by form, Spain will win it (Don't worry, this was an ACTUAL study). Have no clue what it was based on though.
(Note: Spain go in as defending champions - they won the last time).
Q: England will choke again/ England won't choke this time.
A: I just want Brazil to win. England may or may not do well. (Again, go with favourites and avoid debates)
Q: Group of Death is Killer, isn't it?
A: Totally! (This should suffice. Group of death (Group G) is the toughest group with Germany, Portugal, USA and Ghana in it.)
The above should suffice in casual conversations with friends and acquaintances or with bartenders too busy with football to make a drink. While ardent football followers reading the above may find it quite unconvincing, the unsuspecting enthusiast can be easily 'duped'.
Do also note however that the above will not portray the uninterested as football geniuses. It could though prevent social embarrassments - if the social circle is actually immersed completely into the ongoing football craze.
PS: World Cup ends July 14 - and 'fanatics' are expected to return to normalcy soon after!