Gratulieren Deutschaland! Congratulations to Germany for winning the World Cup, 2014. This time, four years ago, in the summer of 2010, I was living in Germany, working as an Au Pair for a family outside of Munich. It was nice living with a local family, because they often directed me to interesting events and gave me ideas of what would be nice to do in my free time. For the World Cup, they suggested a public viewing, which is a big screen set up somewhere local for everyone to watch outside together. Throughout Munich, there were many public viewings, in parks, restaurants, and other outdoor facilities. During the semi-finals (I think) I headed down to the Stadium at the Olympic Park in Munich. Here they had a gigantic screen set up, and thousands of people convened in the stadium, it felt like I was actually at the game! Sadly, Germany lost this game to Spain, and had to wait another 4 years before 2014, where they would finally take the cup!
Before living in Munich, I thought that people in the United States were sports-crazy. But I really had no idea how serious people could get over soccer. In 2010, the World Cup was held in South Africa, meaning a significant time change for those watching the games in Germany. Since some of the games ended up being held in the morning or mid-day, employees in Germany were allowed to clock out of their jobs, enjoy a few beers, watch the game with co-workers, getting back to work after the game. What a luxury!
After watching the game last night four years later, in a relatively quiet setting, I still believe most people outside of the US have more fun when it comes to soccer, but I swear, it’s catching on in the US as well, and there were a good number of fans out to watch the World Cup. Now more than ever, people in the US are following football, as they call it overseas, and the excitement for the World Cup here seems to have grown. Though I, and many others, have concerns with the organization of FIFA, and the resources involved for hosting the World Cup, I still cannot deny that it is a fun sport to watch, especially when you have fun people watching it with you! Plus, sports are a great unifier, and the more interests people in the US can share with the rest of the world, the better, in my opinion.
Here are some photos from the last World Cup in 2010, and the public viewing I attended. Please excuse the photo quality, I was still using a $50 digital camera back then!
What do you think of the World Cup? Are you a fan? Who is your team and why?