Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Euro 2008: Catching the football fever

It started with small flags sticking out of car windows some days ago. Then I found them draped in front of houses. A small flag sits on the table displayed in a furniture shop. The Euro 2008- let the games begin!

Celebration in Escholzplatz in Freiburg after Podolski's first goal...

I don't share the same passion for football like other football-crazy people living in a football crazy-country like Germany. I can only compare it to our passion seeing Manny Pacquiao dance and throw his punches in the boxing ring, yet the similarity is still quite far-fetched. I somehow caught the football spirit after seeing Portugal fans celebrate on the streets while on the tram en route to my dormitory. As the saying goes, if you can't beat them, join them. And join I did in watching the first game of Germany in the Euro 2008 against Poland.

...And the second!

The weather looked foreboding and forbidding a few hours before the game. I felt tentative, just like the weather, if I should go to Escholzplatz where a big screen was put up for public viewing. I went just the same. I knew there were others who would commiserate with me. There was no misery to talk about though. The rain must have washed away the ghost-town feel of Freiburg, or the whole of Germany for that matter, that is typical on Sundays. The tram I took was unusually occupied, albeit not full.Team colors glared at every corner I panned my sight. Flags were donned like capes, leis made from artificial flowers adorned men and women alike. The tricolor German flag is the fashion of the season. A sprinkling of red and white, Poland's colors, was understated. As for me, I subtly showed my support with a red, black, and gold wristband embossed with '2006' and 'Germany.'

The sky started to clear up, and the sun broke out through the clouds like a a divine sign from the heavens of Germany's fate that evening. Horns blared and shouting broke out on my way home in celebration of Germany's first stab on the Euro 2008. Poland's tabloids declared "war," and Germany proved a clean victory.

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