Editor's note: This article appears in the July 17 issue of ESPN The Magazine.
My morning ritual used to go like this: Roll out of bed at 7:15, play with my daughter for a few minutes, suck down 185 ounces of coffee to wake up, then answer e-mails and zoom through Web sites for a couple of hours as "SportsCenter" blares in the background.
Then the World Cup started.
Much to my surprise, the 7:30 a.m. game quickly became part of my routine. Soccer, it turns out, is ...