Last night, BV and I were settled in with bratwurst and beer to watch the first German match of this year’s World Cup. As an American who has never really gotten into
soccer, excuse me, football, I’m basically an uneducated philistine around here at the moment. We were talking about some of the players, when I thought it would be funny to ask the following question.
H: “So, how many F.C. Nürnberg players are on the national team this year?”
BV: “Um, 5 or 6. Definitely more than any other German team.”
I gotta give the guy credit on this one, he gave it right back. There was much giggling involved, but I shouldn’t joke. Football is serious business to the average German gentleman, and I should behave myself.
If you’re confused (and I would be), our local team, F.C. Nürnberg, had an absolutely horrible season, and got kicked down to the 2nd league for next season. BV is a fan of Der Club, as are most people in this area. Around here, most people are either for Nürnberg or Fürth, and F.C. Bayern Munich is known as “uuuughhhh, Bayern.”
Of course, F.C. Bayern Munich is the best team in the German league, and so their World Cup team this year is chock-full of Munich players. Seven players come from Munich, four from Borussia Dortmund (2nd place in the Bundesliga this year), and then a handful from other German teams, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Chelsea, and the Italian league.
At the moment though, all regional rivalries are set aside, and everyone is pumped up for the World Cup/Weltmeisterschaft. It’s pretty fun to see everyone displaying their flags, partying at the public viewings, and getting into the spirit. I was still in Prague for the last World Cup, and it was mostly popular among the expat community. The Czechs are more into hockey, so it didn’t seem to be a particularly big deal to a lot of them. It’s been entertaining to be here so far, and after last night’s total domination of Portugal, they are off to a good start. I shall be donning my Americana best on the 26th, mostly to annoy BV, and we already have a bet on the game. I’m fully anticipating to pay up on that one, but who knows, maybe the USMNT will help me out.
I’m hoping to get to a public viewing, but for now, scenes from a bus window in 2010 will have to do.
Are you watching? Who are you rooting for?