Handball Public Viewing - Part 2

So Germany made it to the semi-finals in handball, and the country is beginning to realize that something is happening. The paper noted this morning the Mercedes-Benz would be having a public viewing this afternoon, so I decided to give it another try. I would leave the lab early and hope for a parking space.

Today everyone at least knew why I had black/red/gold on, and wished the team good luck. Or maybe it was because I decided to get decadent and actually hung that German flag on the window of my car. It's not bad, really, I can't see it when I drive :)

There was plenty of parking - I also had the wrong street and had to walk a good ways. The car showroom is very fancy (orchids all over the place), but the screen is very big, there are two levels and there is food and drink to be had. And it is not raining. You have to get a flag crayoned on your face to get in, but otherwise it is free.

And there are more than 9 people here.

Of course, that is because the Berlin handball team, Füchse, are there. Such young, quiet, shy, good-looking, tall guys - not like when they are out on the floor. People actually come streaming in, the place fills, but is not overcrowded.

The game begins, the moderator from the Füchse finally shuts up and turns on the TV sound. People are genteel - these are very refined surroundings. But as the game proceeds, the camera people milling about finally get what they want - fan emotion. In a way the cameras are a nuisance. But then, they will be getting publicity for handball, which is what it really needs right now.

Half-time. Get up, walk around, stand in line for refreshments, take part in the drawing, shake the mascot's paw.

And back to the nail-biting game. It ends, dramatically, in a tie. While the teams rest a few minutes before overtime, the moderator at the public viewing tries to interview people. He shoves a microphone in the face of the Füchse trainer, asking him for his opinion. He tells the moderator to leave him alone, and everyone claps.

As the overtime begins, we are suddenly a crowd of fans - celebrating each and every goal for Germany, groaning and cursing at anything good that happens to the French. Every referee call that the crowd feels is wrong is booed. The TV shows a section at the stadium that gets out flags with the symbol for the blind on them. Everyone has a good laugh at that.

It comes down to the wire, still tied. Marcus Baur gets a 7-meter attempt, I can't look! He sinks it, and everyone goes wild!!!! But now the French have to be blocked for a minute or so. Fritz manages one, the French flub around with suddenly one player too many on the field, but still get to throw the ball those last three seconds - and fail. The crowd erupts - almost wanting to hug each other, but we are refined and genteel and stop just short of falling in each other's arms.

On the way home I am suddenly overtaken by the desire to drive up and down the Ku'damm, hanging flags out the window and honking my horn. Where does this come from???? Well, doing it alone will surely get me some police attention, so we'll wait for Sunday. One more game to win, and then Project Gold has been a success,

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