Every four years, soccer-crazed fans in soccer-crazed nations lean in close to television and computer screens to find out which group they’ve drawn for the World Cup. So it was earlier this month when an estimated 200 million people tuned in to learn their Group Stage opponents and their first-round game destinations. For perpetual underachievers, the angst will last the full six months until June’s opening kickoff. For the quadrennial uber-teams, it’s a time for bravata. Still others have trouble deciding how they feel. U.S. soccer fans are among this latter group.

David Stern, the man widely credited with saving the National Basketball Association from also-ran status, has begun his 30th and final season at the helm of one of the nation’s most prosperous sports leagues. But when he approached the lectern at the 2013 draft ceremony held in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center this past June, the crowd offered him the old Bronx cheer. The booing Stern received has become a reflexive tradition in basketball, much like players traveling on nearly every drive to the basket—it’s just accepted.

As a species we benefit from advances that came before us. Take 15th-century blacksmith Johannes Gutenberg, famous for inventing a printing press that used moveable type. The seemingly simple act of reproducing the written word in large volume made access to books common and inevitable. It changed the way we communicate ideas over distance and time, and it paved the way for the Renaissance, Reformation, Age of Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution.