Eurocup 2008 ended with a whimper, what should have been an instant classic in the making had all the drama of a 5th grade production of “The Gettysburg Address. After a thriller against Turkey three days before by Germany and a systematic dismantling of Russia by Spain, the stage was set for an epic match up between a youthful and creative Spanish team that played with the fluidity of an ebbing tide and the old German guard who had blitzkrieged through the tournament leaving a path of carnage and destruction in its wake. So what happened? I feel the Germans got complacent and expected to win, they took it for granted that they were playing Spain and were more concerned about the post celebration than the game its self. It pains me to say this because I would have enjoyed experiencing the win by Germany and the atmosphere would have been 1000 times more electric than the feeling in the Olympic Stadium where we watched the Turkey match. However the Football Gods deemed Michael Ballak and supporting cast unworthy. For such a talented player playing on a talented team, he is relegated to now embodying the spirit of the Buffalo Bills of the 1990s. Always the bridesmaid and never the bride. I myself watched the game with a bunch of Spanish people from the office or to be more precise 9 crazy Spanish broads. Why? Do I really have to answer that, it’s me we are talking about…
We watched in a Spanish café sipping Sangria and eating tapas. It was funny because the owners of this place kept playing the unofficial Spanish National anthem which from what I understand is outlawed (sort of like the German National anthem from the 1940s) because it makes references to Franco and his fascist government. I would have never known except that the girls I was with seemed taken aback by it. After getting the explanation, I can understand why although I still find it funny that the Irish can play their rebel Irish IRA music in pubs and what not and people find it adorable. I mean who doesn’t love a song with a chorus of “Go on home British Soldiers, Go on Home. Fuck off home!? (The adorable drunk Irish, we love ‘em no matter what.)
Suddenly the place erupts when Torres juked Lahm out of his jock and shoots the ball while hurdling Lehman attempting to block the goal. Everyone jumps up and starts hugging each other and jumping around, a Spanish guy appears out of the crowd with a guitar and starts to lead a chorus line (where the heck did he get the guitar?). Everyone is in a state of euphoria and that’s when I spot this little German boy with his head in his hands crying because his team is losing. What was he doing there you might ask? Well what I can figure out was that his Mom is German and his Dad is Spanish. I am convinced that being raised in a mixed Football household has got to be worse than growing up with parents who are either Yankees or Red Sox fans. I felt so bad for him except then I thought “you should be at home watching the match and not in a bar with the grown ups”. But that’s just me. There isn’t much left to say about EuroCup 2008 except that it is 2 years until the World Cup and that means two Champions League seasons and two Premiership seasons that Ballak can still loose. Can the Germans win 2010, it is still too early to tell, that would be pretty amazing even though I probably will not be living in Germany. I see a more unlikely story unfolding for the world cup: The Dutch win the World Cup in South Africa, their former colony. How ridiculous would that be??
One last small note, the road trip to Amsterdam commences on Thursday night to celebrate 4 birthdays and the 4th of July its going to be Legend….wait for it…….ary!