Mittwoch, 28. Juni 2006

Topic: football, what else?

So … what can I say? All of Germany is in a football world cup frenzy, basically. I’ve never seen so many German flags before. There are now small flags available which you can put on your car windows and you see loads of them everywhere. It’s a very strange sight for us Germans because the black, red and gold can normally only be seen when a right-wing party or some neo-nazis are having some sort of rally or whatever. Because of our recent history (Hitler, the 2nd world war, the Holocaust) we are normally very careful with any kind of patriotism such as waving our flag, but that has really changed over the past couple of weeks.

I was in Frankfurt on Saturday, which was the day when Germany played Sweden in Munich. As soon as I got on the train I could hear men chanting football songs etc. When I arrived in Frankfurt, it was as if the match was taking place there because of all the noise and the large number of people in football shirts. Most of them went to one of the so-called public viewing areas where huge video walls are set up. I did want to see the match, but not in one of those places. Luckily, me and the friend I was with found a nice bar with not too crazy people and a good view of a TV screen. And a cool drink, which was much-needed because it was very hot that day. The match was decided after 12 minutes (Germany was 2-0 up by then), but it wasn’t too boring to watch the rest of it. Afterwards, everybody was out in the streets and there was what we call “Autocorso”, i.e. cars cruising around the streets and honking like crazy. Thank God it was quiet on the train back home, expect for the last part of my journey. I swear there were the exact same fans chanting as in the morning.

While I’m slightly annoyed with all the hype, I must admit that I’m pleased to see that everything’s peaceful mostly. On the train back, there were a couple of Africans talking about football in French. When 2 Americans and their German relative (as far as I could tell) came to sit next to them, they all started talking to each other about the world cup. It’s really a friendly atmosphere and everybody seems to get on with each other and that’s really good to see. I had expected the Dutch fans to cause some trouble in Nürnberg after losing to Portugal on Sunday, but they must have been too depressed for that.

Anyway, Germany (aka “we”) are playing Argentina on Friday and I think that’s going to be really tough. Can’t say who I expect to win. Germany’s been playing much better than I had expected and I’m almost in last place in our office betting round, so don’t ask me how it’s gonna go down.

Kommentare:

  1. Football fever has hit Britain in a big way, but I can't imagine what it must be like in the host country.

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  2. You know, for a city and a nation that doesn't have a team in the World Cup, London Canada has become a veritable U.N. of football fans. You can't go downtown without seeing cars driving by with large, colourful flags. I think it's great!

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