Thursday, June 24, 2010

44 years of hurt...and with any luck, four more

Quite apart from the sporting relevance of Sunday's England-Germany match, I'm really looking forward to the next few days of commentary from the English tabloid press and from English fans.

Matches involving ze Germans have always tended to bring out their best instincts.

If nothing else, it gives them an opportunity to try out the dimly remembered pidgin German they learned from endless reading and re-reading of black-and-white war comics.

Earlier this month, a Sun article (otherwise full of praise for the German team) responded to Franz Beckenbauer's criticism of England's performance hitherto in the World Cup by referring to him '[putting] the jackboot in'.


Not that one need be overly sensitive about this stuff, but still: how ridiculous does this verbal goosestepping become when most of those on the German side, with an average age of under 25, would struggle to remember the Cold War let alone the one with Britain's finest hour or two?

With that background in mind, I found this advert from South African telecommunications company MTN as good a comment as any:

As to what might happen a few days hence in Bloemfontein, I have no idea. But I'm cultivating a Teutonic Zweckpessimismus and expecting a Zitterpartie.

But I believe it was an Englander who said, 'Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win.'


[UPDATE]: An explanation of the above video for non-Germans.


Frau Mahlzahn said...

*lol* -- it used to be really tense about thirty, twenty years ago (remember the match Germany-Netherlands 1990, when Tante Käthe saw red for Rijkjaard having spit at him?), but I always thought that war related tensions on the soccer field decreased a bit over the last years.

I think the commercial is funny though.

So long,

The Wife said...

What the hell was I doing during that 1990 match? Somehow in them days I looked down upon football (and anything German).

The nice thing about getting old: You begin to allow yourself weaknesses like (mild forms of) patriotism and banal collective extasies.

We have a flag and I'll damn well wave it should Sunday's match turn out to be a success.

Frau Mahlzahn said...

Actually, yes, I was wondering about what the wife had to say about all this, *ggg*... I do remember that we used to think differently about that, ;-).

So long,