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World Cup or no, do we still hate soccer?

I got a teeny glimpse of the passion that fuels soccer fans around the world when we examined the premise: Does soccer ... oh, what's the technical word? Right: Does soccer suck? [Even if you missed the segment, you can listen to it online, and tap out your opinion here.]

Ferocity on both sides, the lovers and the haters. NPR commentator Frank Deford has been vicious in his assessment of soccer being, like swimming, a sport people do, not a sport they watch. A goodly number of you actually agreed, though perhaps not so acidly as Mr. Deford. Every four years, we seem to toy with soccer's affections during the World Cup, and then dump it to go back to our old ''steadies,'' football [American-style] and baseball.

And on that point of nomenclature, football vs. soccer, be sure to read what Landon Donovan told me about it in my recent Times column; he's the So Cal soccer sensation who's saved the U.S.'s bacon in the World Cup already.

TGIF, TGIC - thank goodness it's Cortines, our semi-regular session with the LAUSD superintendent. The summer's just a breather to gear up for the new school year's dispiriting budget news. What else is up in Classroom Chalkland? [Do they even use chalk anymore?]

Los Tigres del Norte, the renowned norteno band [sorry, I don't know how to do tildes in this corner of the blog universe], is playing at Disney Hall on Friday, and sabes que? [again, apologies for no upside-down question mark]: Jorge Hernandez, the band's frontman, tells me what this gig means for the brothers and cousin who are ... Los Tigres!