It has been a while since I have updated my blog, I guess you can say that ever since I have returned from the trip that was “The Normandy Invasion II”, I have been in a funk of sorts. The weather for the last month has absolutely been horrific. OK it hasn’t been that bad, but more along the lines of very unpredictable. We went for 2 solid weeks of San Diegoesque weather and then suddenly it started to rain everyday and, nothing like getting up and trudging to work in the rain and then trudging home especially when you are in Summer mode, you just do not want to do anything. It is just as easy to some home and go straight to bed and not go out and do anything. However, this week the weather has finally gotten better, humid as hell but at least sundresses and mini skirts have reappeared on the streets of Munich. So needless to say that I am in a bit better disposition. It is amazing how the weather can do that to a person.
As I write this we are in the middle of Eurocup2008 (the European Cup Football Championship) since I work in a very internationally diverse office, it seems like every day for the last few weeks, I have been out watching football with the other interns. I am not the biggest fan of football (soccer) but it is hard not to get into it when totally surrounded by fans who’s national pride is at stake. It is a very hard thing to explain, it would be like if your local sports team were to play in the Super Bowl or World Series multiplied by 10,000. That is the level of intensity that these people have for EVERY match. To help put this in perspective, let us imagine that the Padres were in the World Series, let us also assume that all of the approximately 1.2 million residence of San Diego were emotionally invested in the team. Let us also assume that the entire state of California is emotionally invested in the Padres, not because they are all baseball fans but because for arguments sake, the entire Padre team is from California. Now substitute the Padres and baseball for the German National Team and soccer. Imagine 80 million people captivated by every minute of every game, not because they are necessarily fans of the sport, but because of National Pride. As my Itaian friend Pepe always tells me when we watch the Italian team play “Josh, I wish I could be you and actually enjoy watching the matches because you have nothing emotionally invested in it!” It is sort of funny to think of it this way, but the battle fields of Waterloo and the Arden forests have been replaced by the soccer pitch. For instance tomorrow, Germany plays Turkey, and this game has all sorts of social ramification to the outcome. Those of you that have read some of my previous posts might recall the political and social tensions between the Germans and the Turkish immigrants. In my opinion, this match reminds me of the classic 70’s movie “Grid Iron Gang” where with a little imagination, you can imagine the Germans in the role of the police and the Turks in the role as the prisoners. I am not saying that by winning this game, the “Auslander” will gain over night respect or that the Germans must win the game to assert their authority, all I am saying is that I can see the parallels between the movie and tomorrows match. Germany is favored to win because they have a fully healthy team, whereas Turkey only has 15 players available for the match. If Turkey does win, and Russia beats Italy, an interesting question arises. Can you really call the final match the European Championship when both countries that are playing are not considered to be part of Europe politically, geographically, and economically?