Monday, June 14, 2010

Randomness-Why Do We Love It?

So, there has not been much sewing going on here since the family has invaded.  We were fortunate to have my parents down over Memorial Day for Sophia's dance recital.  Talk about a whole lot of stress that resulted in a whole lot of entertainment and fun.  I still haven't decided if it is worth it for a four year old, but I am definitely happy we did it this year.

After oma and opa left, Tante Sonja, Eli, and Ella came down.  They are still here and Sophia and Amelia are enjoying their cousins a lot!  Eric, Sonja and I are just trying to get by.  None of us are used to four kids.  It can be a handful at times!!  

But Friday the World Cup started, so now Eric and I have something to enjoy for the next month.  Yay!  We watched the US tie England and enjoyed it.  But yesterday we got to watch Germany win over Australia 4-0 and we loved every minute.   

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As I was sitting there watching, several thoughts kept running through my head. The first was the normal: Why do we care so much?  I don't understand how sports can get us.  The emotion involved can be incredible: heartbreaking or ecstatic.  It is amazing to me because only international soccer has gotten me like that.  Before my first WM (weltmeisterschaft), I truly did not understand how men could get so worked up over college or professional sports. Now, I have at least gotten a taste.  My question, though, is: Do my emotions run high because of the memory, the spirit, the experience that I associate with it?

You see, my first WM was the summer after I moved to Germany.  I was a bit lonely without friends, family, or job.  So, when the WM started coming on, one game each day (we only had basic cable) it gave me something to connect to.

But actually, the whole love for soccer started before that.  In May 2002, Eric and I were fortunate enough to be in Madrid, Spain when Real Madrid was playing Bayer Leverkusen for the Champions League Finale.  Even though we were sort of rooting for Leverkusen, being newly expatriated to Germany, we were thrilled when Real Madrid won because the city went berserk in a very happy, fun-loving way!  The next day the joy continued as the team toured the city stopping at different squares to wave to fans.  They ended in a church to say mass. I loved the otherness of it all.  The players, many of them millionaires, all wore the same suit.  They all wore ties. It was just different than American football.

That otherness continued through the WM.  I loved how they have the kids walk out for the national anthems.  I found it inspiring how the players were so international even when playing on their national teams.  I mean, the German coach, Rudi Voeller, who is German gave interviews to the Italian reporters in Italian since he had spent much of his professional career in Italy.  The same was true for foreign players who played or had played in Germany.  They would give interviews in German to the German reporters.  As someone struggling to learn that language, I was impressed.  In the US, we (or maybe just me) are pretty quick to pigeon hole people and one of our favorites is "dumb jock."  Well, these guys, who do not go through a college system to play professionally or internationally were doing a fine job being informed about the places and people they encountered.

I really can not pin point why I fell in love with it all, but I did.  The memories of that WM after which I wanted, to the horror of Eric, to name our first born son Oli or the one in 2006 which was in Germany  (we never got tickets) and inspired two of my favorite German songs, Dieser Weg 

and Was Wir Alleine Nicht Schaffen,

must have caused my tears on Sunday. I love that place and that time.  I miss it lots even though I am so fortunate to have wonderful friends here.  We feel so connected to Germany and its team even though we have no right to.  It makes no sense, but life and love are often like that.  Hell, sports are often like that.  All I can say is, "GO DEUTSCHLAND!!" and I hope you all enjoy the 2010 World Cup.  We will be watching!
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