Monday, July 5, 2010

World Cup Fever

Marrying a German I have learned a whole lot about soccer...or what the rest of the world calls "football". I came into the relationship loving sports, but knowing nada about soccer. My first World Cup was just after a few dates in '98.
I have come a long way since then. But, being in Germany this summer during the World Cup has been a cultural experience for me. I grew up in the US, so I remember Olympic players advertised on cereal boxes. But, seriously, I've never seen anything like this.
It reminded me of when the nearby city's high school football team made it to the State Finals. The whole city flared up RED Pride. Business windows shouted out slogans on billboards, red was the fashion, and cars sported phrases on the windows. It was a sense of unity among the community.
Now imagine this hype on a larger scale where the entire country is united in supporting their team. Fashion IS the national shirt. Flags are draped out the front window of most houses. Cars wave the flag from their windows, on their shield guards, and they even have flags that fit over the side mirrors called window bikinis (no joke!). And then, of course, the products advertise not just the World Cup, but the German team or colors.
Need examples?
OK, here they are....
Yes, that would be Black, Red, and Gold M&M's

And, "Pringooooals"

Had to show one house with a flag. I haven't gotten a picture of the cars all decked out, but will try to do that when we get back in a week. I'll post them on here when I get those!

And here is my family getting into the spirit of World Cup Fever. This is the game Germany beat England. We got to watch and celebrate with the whole Maurer Family! What a day!

Got to have face-paint, don't we?

Kids all watching the game. Yes, we had our own vuvuzela in German colors, of course!

Flags were everywhere at this house!

And it's a win! Kids were loving it all!

We are now in England and I haven't seen much of the spirit here. Probably since they are now out, but here is one picture that shows they at least had some. The big thing around Bath, is decorated Lions. They have them everywhere, then at the end of the season they will auction them off for charity. Anyway, here is one lion dressed up in an English National Uniform.
As we sat and watched the final few minutes of last night's game (Germany vs. Spain) it was very clear that we were not going to advance to the Championships. But, some good stories may come out of it.
1. The German team is VERY young with an avg. age of being around 24-25...many playing were in their early 20s. They were not expected to get this far.
2. Klose could tie with Ronaldo as the player with the most goals scored during World Cup games. Wouldn't that be something to see?
3. The Championship game is Holland vs. Spain...neither country has won the Title. This will be a first for one of them. Someone wrote on their FB status, "epic". In the sports world, that is definitely what it epic.

So, have you been following the World Cup? Who will you be cheering for to win the Title?
Me? Holland...for no other reason other then Spain beat Germany. Pathetic, I know...but at least I'm honest.
And speaking of pathetic....I have to admit that I do not know a single player on the US team. A shame, I know....


Heather Hammond said...

Awesome! We caught the fever this year too....our neighbors are from Brazil and he is the coach for the prof football team here in Japan.

Sandra said...

Loved the pringoooooals. That's hilarious. I am sorry Germany didn't win. Canada is ranked something like 60th. I don't normally follow sports either but my dad likes watching so it's fun to join in.

MaDonna Maurer said...

Heather that is SO cool! My niece is in school with one of the kids of a Mexican(I think it was) player...they live in Germany. Love being an expat!

Sandra, you are so cute! Your dad is still there? How has everything been going?

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

What fun! I have watched an occasional part of a game, but over here in America -- you know how it is -- there isn't the hype. And I realize I don't sit down to watch much TV anyway! But I will root for Holland in the finals because one of my best friends growing up is Dutch. Go ORANGE!

P.S. Sounds like you are having quite an international summer. I'm trying not to be envious. ;)

MaDonna Maurer said...

Amy, don't be envious...I just saw your amazing pics from camping. Wowsie! Those made me wish to be there! I've been to WA a couple of times and really like it! Such a fun state to live in!

MaDonna Maurer said...

Must make let everyone know that after about 5-10min. in the game, we all switched to cheering for the Spanish. We just couldn't support the dirty playing or the karate kick...So, Yeah for Spain!

Jenny said...

Well, I can't say I watched a minute of the World Cup...and I had to think for a second about which sport we were talking about here :0 ...but I AM all about celebrating events with flags, face paint, and themed food! Looks fun!

Chrystie said...

Madonna, thank you so much for your comments on my posts both at my blog and at Wendy's blog. I always love meeting new ladies! What a cute post of your family! And, I loved reading your bio about your Fusion family.

Jackee said...

If I ever get into watching professional sports, it will be soccer. It's constant excitement and activity mroe than American football, but I just can't sit still and watch TV that long. What fun you all had though!

Flag colored M&Ms? Fever is right!

So glad I've found your blog! :o)

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