Monday, July 10, 2006

The World's Game: Finale

Last Tuesday I was enjoying the bliss of cheering on the Fatherland against Italy in the World Cup. It was another nil - nil game, and it was headed to overtime. My fellow Kraut Darlene had invited me and my girlfriend over for a Fourth of July grilling event, which had me cut the game short, but thanks to DVR, I was able to pause it and return to the game after a bit of sangria and some burgers. I thoroughly enjoyed the grub, and I returned to watch 27 or so minutes of scoreless overtime (after 90 minutes of scoreless regulation time) until the Italians (at the time I was more likely to use an ethnic slur) scored--twice. My heart was broken, the master race had fallen, and the Italians were going to the finals while the losing krauts had to settle for the consolation game. It couldn't get any worse.

Well, looking back to 1998, it was worse. The World Cup was in France; the French were unbeatable, and I had to listen to Chumbawamba's Tubthumping every time I played World Cup 98 on my PC "I get knocked down! But I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down" Let me tell you that goddamn song is a cancer than grows in your mind and drives you crazy "He drinks a whisky drink, he drinks a vodka drink, he drinks a lager drink, he drinks a cider drink..."--almost as crazy as watching those godforsaken frogs win "Pissing the night away". Now this past Wednesday the French played the weak-ass wussy Portuguese, who dive and pretend to be hurt, and I had no choice but to cheer the Portuguese. Growing up German, the only thing as fun as watching the Germans succeed was watching the French lose. Well Wednesday the Goddamn French won. I was in hell--it WAS worse!

Yesterday it was Italy vs Germany. My disgruntled anger towards the Italians had to wane, as nothing could stop me from hating the French. I initially avoided the game, but alas while shopping at the local Italian market, I saw the game was not only on, but all of the Italian workers and patrons were watching intently, feeling an innate bond with their brethren across the pond. I couldn't help but be swept up in their enthusiasm, mostly because they too were rooting for the French to lose. When I got home, I put the game on, and kept watching the tie game, trying to will a goal for my swarthy Italian brothers. The goal never happened, but as the game ended in a tie, even after an overtime, there were penalty kicks. Italy is notoriously bad in penalty kicks (which is why I was so devastated when they scored minutes before meeting such a circumstance against my beloved krauts, who are invincible on penalty kicks), but I knew they would win. God doesn't hate me that much, and in the end the French choked, and my Italian homies won. I smiled, and all was Ok--not good, but OK.

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