22.04.2009 20 °C
When I first started talking to a few people here in Germany (Kornwestheim office), this is one of the statements that was told to me. About how European's love soccer and their is great rivalry between the countries and who think they can play the sport better. Before all this, I did know about soccers great following but never really paid much attention to it. I don't hate the sport but...meh, I just don't follow it. Well, I think that might all change after my short stint in this great country.
The first week here I was witness to some of my colleagues and their friends having a very rough game of soccer at a soccer camp outside of Kornwestheim. After work I piled into the car with 2 of my friends and we took off to this game. Before actually getting there we made a short detour to Hofen (where one of my friends grew up). From what I saw, the town was so pretty and small.
When I expressed this, my friends didn't see the beauty but that's okay, I did. I actually saw a girl riding a horse in the middle of the street! My friend Bernd looked at me and said, "Yeah, that's normal here." I almost fell over. You damn right is it only normal in Hofen, as I have yet to see another person riding horses in the middle of a street during the week like she was riding a bike, anywhere else!
After Hofen we went to the camp where I was witness to one of the most brutal soccer matches I have ever seen.
These boys are hardcore. I heard a lot of shouts, and grunts, saw the ball make hard and brutal contact to any manner of these men's body parts. One guy actually bowed out at half time, I guess it was too much for him (I think). Thank goodness I was just commissioned as the cheerleader! However, as cheerleader and a temporary European, I had to chose a side to cheer for and cheer hard! I screamed and shouted and cheered for my team at this game. It was great fun.
After this game, it was onto watching soccer on screne. It was funny as hell to see my friends and their friends come out of the shower rooms, all clean and smelling nice, but looking worst for wear. They were so sore. I just laughed as they made it gingerly to their respective cars. We drove to Stuttgart to some bar at the stadium to watch the match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
All I have to say is that Bayern needs to keep quiet and please not brag anymore about how fantastic they are as Barcelona KICKED THEIR ASS!!!!!!! (4-0) I was actually in complete shock and kind of embarrassed at how crappy they did. I was given instructions all day at work and during the ride over that normally, noone in the south of Germany likes or cheers for Beyern Munich but because they were playing Spain tonight, myself and others in Germany, were obligated to cheer them on...but just for tonight. I jumped on that band wagon and cheered for Bayern. I didn't jump and scream like at my friends game, I was too embarrassed for Munich, but I did join in the moaning and head shaking. It was a great lark and novelty for me but I just imagined that it was the Toronto Maple Leafs kicking the Ottawa Senators butt and I was fine.
It was a losing battle from the very beginning but....the company that night was great along with the beer! Yes, I actually liked the beer. Maybe because it was not the vile yet wildly popular concoction, Stuttgarter Hofbräu, but yummier Dinkelacker Pils which actually tasted good and had a mild scent. Thanks Bernd for choosing such a good one that night.
Me and a colleague, Marcus