Watch it like Frankie; Hejduk helps you maximize your World Cup experience

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From the June 12, 2014 edition

Columbus Crew brand ambassador Frankie Hejduk is our city’s foremost World Cup expert; he played in two of them. Hejduk’s also one of our hardest partiers; his beer-chugging with Crew fans in 2008 is almost as legendary as his goal in that year’s MLS Cup. So you won’t find a better mentor for getting the most out of this summer’s festivities.

Start early. Give yourself a few hours to build up excitement.

Watch with other people. Whether you’re at the bar or at home, gather a bunch of friends and pretend you’re there in Brazil. If you can find a party filled with people of many nationalities, that’s even better.

Eat, drink and be merry. Fill your plate, grab a beer (an American beer, of course) or water, and feast together.

Watch the pregame broadcast. Understanding the storylines will go a long way toward appreciating the action. “There’s so much coverage. Even the non-soccer fan can get a handle on it.”

Be loud. Chanting is mandatory, particularly your basic “USA!” Keep it going during the match. “All that energy is directly forwarded to the players. The players feel it, and it affects them.”

Toast before kickoff. “Cheers to each other, to soccer, to the Cup, to the USA.”

Appreciate the nuances. “Look for the runs off the ball. Think of it as a game of chess, not checkers. If ever there is a tactical time of soccer, it’s the World Cup.

Never give up hope. “Anything can happen. Nobody thought we could beat Portugal in 2002, and we were up 3-0 before halftime.”