Friday, June 23, 2006

Back Link Now Things Get Serious

(collage of preliminary round games, photos from the BBC coverage)

So, the preliminary rounds are over with the soccer World Cup. Now things are going to get serious. And, to be honest, I sort of hope the German soon lose. Not in this next round (it’s called the one-eights, don’t know what the round before the quarterfinals (is that even the word for the round before the semi-finals?) is called in English) against Sweden.

Well, actually, it won’t be so bad if the Germans lose tomorrow from a personal point of view, because I am due to fly up to Sweden next week and if the Swedes lose, there could be a rather cold welcome. My friend, Susanne, who is flying over with me, says she will pretend to be a (half) Canadian and she will line up at the “Others” (i.e. non-EU citizen) custom line-up with me to avoid the frosty looks from the Swedish custom officers… She is married to a Dane and she knows how nationalistic the Scandinavians can be… but that’s another story.

Personally, I would like the Germans to lose in the quarterfinals against Argentina. Argentina is a strong team. The Germans would save face.

Then the Germans could get back to their main duty of the moment: hosting the world’s biggest and best wedding ceremony (the soccer World Cup). The further they get in the series, the more the likelihood the bride and groom are going to get drunk and disorderly and make an absolute ass of themselves before all their guests. Guests, who’ve spent an enormous amount of money and time coming to the party and who, frankly, expect a good return on their investment. You also have to take into account the unruly and socially embarrassing relatives (hooligans), they will only stay locked in the back closet with a case of beer for so long. Once they get out, all mayhem will break out.

Don’t get the wrong impression; I love the fact that the championships are being held here. So far, I think (hope) the Germans have done an absolutely super job of showing the rest of the world what generous, well organised, and graceful hosts they can be.

It is even better than Athens (last) or London (next) hosting the Olympic games. The Olympics take a lot more money, are an organisational nightmare, and they usually end up bankrupting the city hosting the games and doesn’t get half as much publicity as the World Cup. Germany only has to throw a few stadiums together and voila, it’s done. (Slight understatement there.)

So, here’s a prayer that these cup championships continue without averse incident and may the best man (team) win. But, please let it be Brazil or Argentina or someone coming up from behind.

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