Thursday, June 19, 2014

I Heart Soccer



























Before Wahlmünchnerin was even a twinkle in my eye, I kept a little blog to keep friends back home abreast of life in my adopted country.

I started this post with a deep sigh, thinking about how I would explain all my feelings about the World Cup.  Luckily I was able to dig up a post from waaay back in 2006, when the Weltmeisterschaft was in Germany and I caught my first ever case of Fussballfieber.

I'm re-posting  it here for your reading pleasure, Enjoy.

Well it's finally here.  The 2006 World Cup, in Germany. We knew for years, months that this was going to happen. I would see the progress of the new Allianz arena as I would make my weekly trek to Düsseldorf, It didn't really hit me though until right before the first game. Suddenly the entire WORLD is here - in a good way. I was riding my bike through Marienplatz when I heard someone yell 'Pinche Borachos!' Suddenly confused and feeling like I had been teleported back to L.A., I turned to see a large group of Mexicans, draped in full Mexican regalia and taking pictures with (of course) their massive Bier Glasses. 

Everywhere you turn, there are Croats, Australians, Brazilians, Hollanders, Ghanaians, Americans, Koreans, you name it, in a good natured national frenzy. 
 
After each game there is a street party - the size of which depends on the teams playing. The opening game in Munich between Germany and Costa Rica (Germany won) literally resulted in people pouring into the streets and stopping traffic and the city (and country - unlike the Olympics, the World Cup takes place all over the country in various cities) just didn't sleep at ALL that night.



For the first time since any of my Germans friends have lived, Germans are going nuts waving the German flag around (with no disturbing undertones), happy to play host to the world and determined to get it right this time - no disasters ala the 1972 Olympics. Proper Police are everywhere although the mood has been nothing but festive and friendly with everyone on GREAT behavior. Flags, German tri-color mohawk wigs, bracelets, T-shirts and all kinds of other WM (Weltmeisterschaft = World Championship=World Cup) paraphernalia are in evidence everywhere. I knew things were getting out oh hand when I bought a head of lettuce and the cellophane it was wrapped in was printed like a soccer ball.

Basically it's a party every day. You can't go anywhere without a flat screen TV or giant projection of some soccer game being shown. The weather immediately got it's act together on June 9 (day of the first game) and got warm and sunny, so everyone could rush to the Biergarten to while away the days watching the various games drinking Bier and eating their picnics (We are still trying to master the art of home office in the Biergarten – laptop battery life remains to be the main issue – many Biergartens have WLAN/WiFi). 

I know this is not even a blip on the radar screen at home, not even a sub-blip, however words aren't enough to explain how fun and exciting this is. It's a very universal event where everyone gets to identify with their tribe on the world stage, while at the same time feeling part of the global whole. I even made myself a USA/Flag tattoo so as not to be confused for a Brazilian during the blow out Brazil-Australian game and subsequent street party yesterday. Partly for identification purposes, and partly because I was bustin’ with pride by how the US played the night before.

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