Soccer is on

A few weeks ago the Germany-Argentina game was nuts -- 90 minutes plus overtime plus shoot-out. Germany pulled, which was a surprise to many. I ended up in Kaiserslautern to watch the game on one of several big-screens set out around the city. Because I had a tiny glass jar of horse radish in my bag, I wasn't allowed to enter the area of the screen (unless I threw the stuff away, but I had just bought it that morning and needed it for that evening and wouldn't be going back to the grocery store, so screw that) so we found another screen with a patch of grass not far away. Everyone else who had drinks and horse radish sat on this patch of grass. The screen was in good view, unless there were four cocky, jerk people standing in the way who thought that they had more right than the 40+ people sitting down (like polite society will do) to watch the game. Don't dwell on it too much. They copped attitudes. The best thing was to watch the reactions of the Germany fans during and after the shoot-out, not to mention when it was official that Germany had won the game. I got a few video clips, which I may or may not try to post here. I first have to remember how to post video files. I can make do with some pictures, though.

And no, that kid is not sitting on the head of a real person.

Then came the Germany-Italy game. Almost 120 minutes of intense, no-results game. Then, literally, in the last two minutes of the game, Italy scores. We are surprised and upset, because we thought it would come down to another shoot-out. I darkly say, "Wouldn't it be crazy if they got another one?" And then Italy scores again. 2:0 Italy, in the last two minutes of the game. UnbeLIEVable. Everything was quiet at the Wohnheim (our student dorms). All was quiet in the city center. People who were watching there went quietly home, not saying anything or much of anything. It was unreal, like it didn't even happen. I even didn't believe it -- it happened so fast... I was also, however, honestly concerned that the ice-cream cafés would be boycotted or burned down by the next morning. Thankfully they weren't.

Last night Germany played Portugal for 3rd place; Germany won, of course. I thought it would come to another shoot-out, but by 75 minutes in the game Germany was suddenly up 3:0, and it was over. Portugal ended up scoring one goal (which I hoped they would, because it was Figo's last game and I felt sorry for him), but it was, as mentioned, OVER. Then I went with the Tutoring Family for several laps around the city in the car, honking the horn, waving flags, and shouting "DEUTSCHLAND DEUTSCHLAND!!!" It was great because it was like Germany had won WM. That's one good thing -- the patriotism here is constant; every day is a reason to be happy to be a German, and WM is just a reason to take it to a whole new crazy level.

Tonight is the France-Italy game. I asked Tutoring Family mother last night who she would cheer for, and she looked at me and said, "France." Which, at first, surprised me, because I know she loves Italy, and that she had an Italian boyfriend at one time, and generally loves Italy. But then she added "They threw us out", meaning that Italy pushed Germany out of the running for WM. Which is true, and which makes it a bit easier to know who to cheer for tonight. Chances are that most of Germany will be cheering for France. YAAAAAAY FRANCE!!!

Keeping fingers crossed...