Sunday, June 20, 2010

World Cup is Better than War

What can I say that hasn't been said before.  Europe is mad about the World Cup.  Cars, balconies, and restaurants are adorned with national flags.  In England, it's the red cross and white background, in Germany it's the black, red and yellow stripes, and in Glasgow it's the Stars and Stripes (not many English fans here).

Back in Berlin, all the cafes and restaurants in my neighborhood have big screen TVs (inside and outside) for their patrons to watch and enjoy. You can feel the excitement.

The display of national pride is everywhere and if it supplants nationalist tendencies that's a bonus.  I've often thought that our enthusiasm for sport teams was just another form of nationalism.  For example, in Maine, you can't escape the flag of the New England Patriot during football season.  Perhaps, it's a catharsis for our war like ways?

Even now, as I am working on this post from a sidewalk cafe, I can hear the Italy and New Zealand game from the surrounding cafes and windows.  I know this because a guy just shouted from his balcony:  Ciao Italia.  And across the street, there is a group of New Zealand fans shouting and drinking.  Not much love for Italy in Germany. I wonder what this place will be like if Germany wins?

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