A piece of advice to all the Tampa Bay gathering holes who have had big upticks in business during the World Cup. Please know what you're doing on Thursday.

USA-Germany is the BIGGIE. But Portugal-Ghana has to be within easy eyesight as well.

I realize most sports fans have the approach of "Let's just take care of OUR business" and what other teams do doesn't matter. Sounds great, but USA is not playing Spoto High School. It's Germany.

Of course if the USA wins or ties we're all happy, and if you want to throw all of your energy into that, go ahead. But as a service, juuuuuuust in case the USA doesn't romp to an easy victory, here's what you need to be watching/rooting for.

Treat the two games as one, and pull for USA and Portugal. And the game will be decided by who scores the first TWO goals.

If both are scored by a country that starts with "G", time to worry.

Should Germany and/or Ghana get the first two goals, we are in what I call the Danger Zone. That's when the next goal scored by the wrong team would put the USA in Trouble, namely Out of the World Cup if the scores hold.

So if the first two goals are scored by a G team, the USA and Portugal must match every G goal the rest of the day.

On the other hand... if the USA or Portugal scores just ONE of the first two goals, we're still at least two goals away from the Danger Zone. That's where you want to be. A 2-goal cushion is a good thing.

If USA and/or Portugal get BOTH of the first two, start celebrating.

And, if you're wondering, who's to say that two goals get scored? Now that would be dandy because, in no way would the Americans be eliminated if the games combined have two goals or less. I could get all convoluted and detailed but, you know what, just concentrate on the first two goals.

Then again if Portugal scores them both, and keeps scoring, and Germany gets ahead.... well, that's just not going to happen is it?

I'll be watching them both. Have a feeling I won't be alone.