The world is round and so is a soccer ball.
During the 2010 FIFA World Cup our big-blue ball will turn around a little white ball. From Cape Town to Polokwane, millions will pour into South Africa. Billions more will be glued to their TVs, watching the 19th year of this premier soccer tournament, known as football everywhere but the U.S. ("Soccer" is a corruption of "assoc," from the original term "association football.")
Although China, Greece and Rome have played various forms of soccer for more than 2,000 years, the sport didn't really take off in the U.S. until 11 hardy American girls won the first Women's World Cup in 1991. Interest grew in 1994 when America hosted the cup, bringing such stars as Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer to the United States.
Today, over 18 million Americans play soccer. More than 75 percent are under the age of 18 and 40 percent are females, many of whom will have their TIVOs and DVRs set to record every minute of every game.
Here are six frugal ways to make the most of the World Cup without actually flying to South Africa.
1. Make-Your-Own Ball
Soccer is more than just a sport to South Africa; it's a lifestyle that can't be stopped by poverty or lack of proper equipment. Watch this South African fan demonstrate how to make the world's cheapest soccer ball with a condom, plastic bags and plenty of string.
2. Win an International Pool
Turn the world’s biggest sporting event into a huge payday at Sportsbook.com. Enter the $1 Million World Cup Predictor contest for your chance to win a huge $1 million grand prize and part of $10,000.00 in guaranteed prize money. To be eligible for the cash prizes, entrants must place 10 wagers on group stage games by the end of the games on June 21st.
3. Get World Cup Stuff on Sale
Sports Authority is offering great deals and free shipping on World Cup soccer balls and jerseys from your favorite teams.
4. Bet Early on The Underdog
Bet from your heart and forget the odds. By betting on your favorite team now -- even if they're not the favorite -- you can get a better price then you might by game time.
5. Play From Your Couch
Between the games you can play the game in your living room.
6. See It in 3-D
DIRECTV is launching their 3D service on June 11, including ESPN 3D. So naturally, Best Buy is offering special deals on all the equipment you'll need to experience that little white ball hurtling towards your couch.
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