Chris Erskine's World Cup reflections head into extra time

Soccer fans

Soccer fans in Long Beach react while watching the U.S. play Belgium in the World Cup on Tuesday. Perhaps the World Cup should be an annual event instead of being held every four years. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / July 1, 2014)

Random thoughts while waiting for FIFA to hand out Oscars for best actor, best flop:

Soccer needs a World Cup every year....

For a few weeks, the American team brought fans together in the way only football usually does, with beer, chicken wings, camaraderie....

There's something to be said for a sport with no timeouts....

On the plus side, Belgium has never won a World Series....

Weird Americanism of the week: Waffle House tweet "We don't believe in Belgium waffles." Or Belgian waffles, probably....

The U.S. could've been vaporized were it not for Spider-Man (Tim Howard) and a gritty, never-say-die work ethic....

Probably the most troubling stat: U.S. 317 million, Belgium 11 million (total population)....

I keep waiting for ESPN to interview the Girl From Ipanema....

TV announcers and execs need to realize that the audience changes during major events, and that newcomers need a little help with the little stuff like overtime rules and sliding tackles....

Alexi Lalas gets this. He's even better on camera than on the pitch....

Great to see the American Outlaws in action, a pro-U.S. soccer fan club as multiflavored as L.A. itself....

If the U.S. had taken along Landon Donovan, they'd still be playing....

Does Jozy Altidore think pulling a hamstring is bad? Ancient knights disabled foes by slicing their swords across the back of the thigh. And no one got a red card....

Didn't hurt World Cup ratings that this summer's movies are such duds....

Germany vs. France. Sauerkraut vs. champagne....

Nominees to the Hair Hall of Fame: Argentina's Rodrigo Palacio, France's Paul Pogba....

How do you run out of Dodger Dogs after the first inning? That's what happened Monday night at the field-level snack stand near Section 12. And souvenir stands were out of programs....

Dodgers feature best left-hander since Sandy Koufax, and seven of 10 TV viewers still can't watch him. "Who goes to jail?" asks reader Ken Newman....

Time Warner Cable is the main culprit in this festering TV standoff, but the Dodgers are also on the wrong side of history....

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