Europe goes into Suspended Animation

Yup, it's that time again. A major soccer festival - this time the European Soccer Championship, fought out in Austria and Switzerland - will suspend operations throughout much of Europe for the next three weeks. No one will get any work done, as they will be nursing hangovers from the games the night before and talking about the games to come.

The stores have been selling flags and black-red-gold (German) or red-white (Turkish) anything (shirts, skirts, wigs, noisemakers, makeup, underwear, cups, ice cube trays, ... you name it) for weeks. Flags are hanging all over the place, and the horrible American tradition of putting flags out the car windows has been heartily embraced in Berlin. One, two, three German flags; a German and a Turkish flag to show double allegiance; flags for all the games being played today - you name it, it's chugging down the autobahn.

The newspapers have been beating the drums, and making up news if needs be, for some time now. The Springer newspaper in Poland printed a terrible picture of the Polish national soccer trainer holding up the chopped off heads of two of the favorite German players; the Springer newspapers in Germany were shocked and demanded that Something Be Done. Appears to sell newspapers.

Other newspapers print blather they either forgot to check their facts on or that no one really cares about. Germany and Austria's scandalous game was played 1:0 and not 1:1, notes one of my resident soccer experts, as the Berliner Zeitung registers this morning. And we read about all sorts of personal stories about the stars and would-be stars.

ProSieben is showing a new version of Henry VIII with a handsome, well-trained actor playing the part of the young Henry VIII opposite the game this evening. While my men are off in some public viewing area (which is German for watching sports together with strangers outdoors while getting drunk, not viewing the dead in a funeral home - although from the looks of the German team, there is not much difference I suppose), guess what I will be doing this evening!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

1: It was one player and the head coach.
2: There is actually not that much drinking in the open viewing areas