July 2011


Then (2006) and Now (2011)

From my perspective, the lowest moment in my time here in Germany was the summer of 2006 when Germany hosted the World Cup.

From my perspective it was horrid because the entire country became freaked out on football – and they were everywhere.

Even Weimar.

I even remember taking a regional train between Jena and Weimar that was filled with football fans seeking the least expensive way between one game and another – people who didn’t understand that German train etiquette requires you to take your shoes off before putting your feet on an empty seat.

Weimar, itself, was football crazy – almost all of the bars were showing the games and the streets were deafly silent when games were in progress – save for the cheers that erupted whenever Germany scored.

The infestation of football was everywhere: it was my personal hell.

This year Germany is yet again hosting the World Cup, but this time for women. The funny thing is that it is basically a non-event. The only time I’ve heard the subject discussed either its involved ex-pats, or I’ve initiated the conversation.

Oh wait – The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s World at Six has mentioned the Canadian team twice: first that the game was going to be between Canada and Germany in Berlin, and then, later, that the Canadian team went home.

Right now I have the vague impression that Sweden, Australia, Germany, and the United States are still in the tournament.

If I really cared, I could look it up.

But I don’t.

4 comments to Then (2006) and Now (2011)

  • J

    Party pooper.

  • I know how you feel. I would get quite uncomfortable in a similar situation. It must the the awkward wall flower in each of us.

  • I’m not a football fan, but I thought the 2006 World Cup was fascinating from a cultural point of view. The wild enthusiastic abandon and *gulp* patriotism that Germans were expressing was pretty astonishing. And the feeling of community that the Germany games brought out was very special and unusual. Even as a non-fan, I found it a memorable experience.

    I didn’t think of it as just sports, I thought of it as sports-as-cultural-communication.

  • J: Awe… yes, I am.

    Cynical Queer: It’s interesting what environments people feel comfortable in versus the ones they do not. One of the hardest things for anybody to understand is that not everybody is like them and that you need to accept that. (This, by the way, is something that Republicans never understand — they seem to want into my bedroom, even as I don’t care what they do in theirs.)

    Sarah: It is fascinating from a cultural point of view, but… I pretty much feel the same revulsion at massive sporting events in the US — I am, for example, hoping that the coming NFL season is canceled because if I go to the States at the end of January (as I have typically done in recent years), the Super Bowl is supposed to be held in Indianapolis. If it is, it will, automatically, ruin my trip with its crowds and associated chaos.