It's hard to explain just why we’re more interested in LeBron’s doings and a pitcher being robbed of a perfect baseball game than the prospect of cheering our own on the world’s playing field.

The last time I broached this subject, I was taken to task by an immigrant who declared that I’m a typically arrogant, know-nothing American.

It’s that time again, when other arrogant, know-nothing Americans such as myself will proceed to ignore the World Cup, the planet's biggest sporting event.

It's hard to explain just why we’re more interested in LeBron’s doings and a pitcher being robbed of a perfect baseball game than the prospect of cheering our own on the world’s playing field.

Not even U2 or cool TV commercials are enough to lure us into the net. Soccer seems to snag our attention only when a stadium is set on fire or some player strips down to her sports bra.

Disconnect

In 2007, it was promised that the splashy American debut of David Beckham, one of the world's most charismatic athletes, finally would bend our attention toward soccer.

But we ended up being more curious about Beckham’s celebrity than his game and spent more time wondering why his wife, Victoria, wore such crazy outfits and never smiled.

When Beckham became injured and returned to Europe, they might just as well have printed his mug on a milk cartoon.

Still, unlike the World Series, the World Cup is a global contest in every sense.

But we can’t deny the disconnect. Americans with children in soccer to have no problem watching their matches, of course, but something gets lost in the translation even for them.

Five reasons

My unofficial, thoroughly unscientific newsroom poll uncovered the top five reasons most Americans won't watch the World Cup:

1. The field is so large, it looks like an ant farm on TV.

2. It’s boring.

3. If I we wanted to see good-looking people running, kicking and crying, we’d just watch Bravo.

4. It's boring.

5. America never wins.

If it's any consolation, auto racing and bullfighting also were listed as sports in which at least one respondent would "rather watch paint dry."

Because most Americans still tend to value stoicism, even in victory, there's something unsettling about the volcanic emotion engendered by soccer matches.

Ben Roethlisberger may well be the biggest jerk ever to strap on an NFL football helmet, but as far as is known, no one has ever peppered a Steelers team bus with bullets because of it.

In other countries, soccer players routinely are threatened or killed simply for losing.

If Americans took winning to that extreme, every sports fan in Northeast Ohio would be sitting in a cell.

Charita Goshay writes for The Repository in Canton, Ohio. Contact her at charita.goshay@cantonrep.com.