Wow. One of the greatest sporting events I have ever been a part of. Great atmosphere, great crowd, inspired play by the shorthanded Americans. Say what you want about the officiating, tonight the US proved they belong on the world football stage, plus we had the crowd to prove it. The US was really unlucky not to score when shorthanded, I really want a replay of the offside US goal. (Brendan, what was the verdict on TV? From our point of view even the Italians were not sure). [The verdict on TV was that the call was correct. The offside player didn’t touch the ball, but he blocked the goalie’s view, and that counts as an “unfair advantage” gained by being offsides. -ed.]
So from my fuzzy math, the US needs to beat Ghana and Italy needs to beat the Czechs in order [for the Americans] to advance. Any other scenario would require a lot of goals and is not likely.
Time for a 5 hour autobahn drive, I will send pictures when stateside.
[Nick sent along these updates via e-mail from his Blackberry. -ed.]
5:57 AM MST (2:57 PM in Germany): I just got in to kaiserslauten. It is a circus. American fans everywhere. I am impressed. Bad seats are going for over 1000 euro each. I was such a luckbox to get the best category seat for face! If you are around I can send some blackberry updates if you want. I will post pictures when I am stateside. That is if I make my plane. Flight at 9 am after 5 hours on the autobahn.
11:16 AM MST (8:16 PM in Germany): Wow. I just sat down in my seat. I am about 10 yards from the center line about 30 rows up. Perfect. The only problem, I think the entire city of milan is sitting around me. Here is hoping we don’t waste what ghana did today!
12:52 PM MST (9:52 PM in Germany): I am not sure if it is coming through on tv or not, but the usa fans are making almost twice as much noise as the italians. I never would have thought it possible.
1-1 at the half. So far very strange so far, no one is happy with the ref, lots of bookings and 2 red cards, including a very strange one on a challenge by the usa. No one here can explain it, but then again they did not show the replay.
45 minutes left and still a chance at 3 points if the us can play as inspired as they did in the first 20 minutes.
So the moment was here, I was able to sit down with a proper German beer in my hand and watch the American boys show the world that we know a thing or two about the game we call soccer. Well, I thought that until about the fifth minute of the game when our hopes of getting out of this group were pretty much crushed.
What was worse than the 3-0 defeat was that every person in the bar was cheering for the Czechs, and no, there was not a tour group from Prague there. I could hear things like, Ã¢â‚¬Å“take that BushÃ¢â‚¬? when the Czechs scored, and no matter what your personal politics are, something tells me Bush had little to do with our boysÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ performance on Monday. It is sad that all anyone seems to know about America here is Bush and Jerry Springer (it is up to BrendanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s readers to decide which of the two they trust more). At least we werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the ones to deify David Hasselhof, right? HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hoping we can take it to the Italians on Saturday and salvage this thing. Although, I can say that the first thing FIFA did right in this whole world cup was to issue me a ticket to the game on the provisional waiting list.
I have the tickets in hand now, and the fun begins on Thursday with Costa Rica/Ecuador.
[Editor’s note: Nick Surmacz, my friend and fellow rising 3L at NDLS, is in Germany for the first portion of this summer. I’ve named him BrendanLoy.com’s World Cup Correspondent, and he will be sending in some reports for the blog as the tournament progresses. He’s going to the Ecuador-Costa Rica game in Hamburg on Thursday, and he plans to send along photos and reports from that. For now, here is his report on Germany’s 4-2 win over Costa Rica on Friday.]
The World Cup started yesterday, and I joined over 50,000 Germans at a public viewing on a big screen in Hamburg. Ironically, they set up the big screen in the courtyard of a WWII bomb shelter, and for the first time in over 50 years, people were flocking to it so they could get a good view of the screen to cheer their beloved Deutschland to a 4-2 win over Costa Rica. Every time Germany scored, I was showered with beer by my newfound German brethren, who accepted me instantly when I spoke a little German to them. Losing a beer by throwing it up in the air after a score is no big deal here, as it is cheaper than coke! ESPN has a great article describing the atmosphere at the Hamburg public viewing here.
After the game, I made my way to the Ã¢â‚¬Å“red light districtÃ¢â‚¬? of Hamburg, known as the Reeperbahn, where the atmosphere was unbelievable. There was singing and dancing in the streets, and seemingly everyone had a German flag. It felt like Germany had won the World Series, Super Bowl, and the Final Four all at once instead of a first round World Cup match.
Today, it was the Argentineans’ turn to party. About 1,000 of them decided to sing and wave flags in the middle of the street in the Hamburg city centre this afternoon, blocking traffic for almost a half hour. The best part of this is that the Argentina game didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t start for 8 more hours. [Argentina won. -ed.]
Well, that is all for now, I will try to get some photos of some good partying and at the game!
And I thought what she did in American Pie was bad.
It seems that Roger Kaplan has decided to let JO play on Christmas against the Pistons. What? You think trouble could break out??
No word on whether or not the Commish will challenge the decision, but I’m guessing he will challenge it in Federal Court for exactly 10 games, making the entire decision moot.