Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on June 29, 2012 in News & Opinion |

Football isn’t really my thing, not American nor European. I’d rather sit on the sidelines and enjoy a good book until the cheerleaders dance in front of me and just leave it at that. Even so, over the last weeks, I’ve been caught up in the European football frenzy to a certain extent; to be honest, it is difficult not to be caught up, since it is absolutely everywhere!

Flags flying from rooftops and along normal streets, fixed to cars, painted on children’s faces. The German flag is not normally displayed quite so prominently here, it doesn’t have quite the same value as our American flag in daily life and, as we all know, whenever the German’s come out with a little bit of flag waving and patriotism there are those who condemn them and claim that this isn’t what we fought two world wars for. Yes, I know when the second one ended and, yes, there are still people who do it even though they, and possibly their parents, weren’t even alive at the time.

This morning, on the day after the day before, most of the flags have gone. So proudly displayed right up until the last moment, the feelings of joy and sport-induced patriotism have faded and vanished from sight. I’ve seen a few flags set at half-mast, but the bulk have been removed, packed away until next time.

And now the stories of how people are going to get their revenge! Apparently someone threw spaghetti over an Italian in Berlin – whether this is true or not I cannot say – and I caught part of a conversation this morning where a young boy said his family wouldn’t be eating pizza any more.

I had to laugh over the last one: there are few if any Italian pizzas in Germany, the bulk are homemade. And in Italy itself roughly eighty percent (if not more) of all frozen pizzas sold are made by Dr Oetker, a German company, and imported. Still, if that is the ‘revenge’ people need following a simple sport event…

And some have obviously not accepted the loss yet:

this message came through today, which I shall happily translate for you.

  • Vodafone: Support the German football team with Vodafone! …
  • Me: You know that Germany lost yesterday, don’t you?
  • Vodafone: The command ‘You know that Germany lost yesterday, don’t you?’ is not recognized…

Some things are harder to accept than others….

Love & Kisses, Viki.

Image: Viktoria Michaelis.

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  • Francois says:

    Firstly, may I wish you a very happy twentieth birthday? With health, wealth, prosperity and posterity!

    It is also Canada Day. Do not read too much into it: you are not boring…

    Finally: I follow football. Or to be more accurate, football is following me. I live in between the fan zone and the stadium in Kyiv. I occasionally watch a match (however with less interest since France took Ukraine out of the competition.)Having been raised on ice, I could not explain football to an alien beyond “it is good for half of them when the sphere goes into the fishnet”

    Tonight is the final, life may go back to normal tomorrow but I will miss the atmosphere. There was a free concert last night with Elton John, no less, to raise funds to fight AIDS and the crowd on the street was estimated at one million. Ok, so probably half a million.

    Total number of casualties since the tournament began: 20 (alcohol overdoses).

    Total number of people who have a very different image of Ukraine now, I don’t know.

    Total number of Ukrainians who now have a very different image of their country and themselves, uncountable. Will see in the next legislative election this autumn.

    Get away from your computer or phone and go celebrate your birthday!

  • Chris says:


    First of all belated, but heartfelt birthday greetings on your “round” birthday, as they say here.


    sometimes you have a remarkably apt turn of phrase: “sphere” and “fishnet” indeed!

    Although I am from the UK I am not particularly interested in association football.

    My main objection is that it dominates sport programmes and headlines, although its classification as sport is surely debatable, being more big business than sport.

    The German football players who reached the semi-final, returned home after losing to Italy, and were each given one hundred thousand Euros for achieving that much.

    What the Spanish players received for winning, I do not know, but Spain can afford it anyway, can’t it??

    Perhaps we should change the category for football to $port!

  • Francois says:


    Panem et circenses: there always was $ports.

    If you want to sell a media, any media, what do you publish or air? Weather, horoscopes, sports. Otherwise you do not have a business. Ask your local media baron.

    Then, depending on whether you want to target people who need to blame someone else or people who want to feel their lives are not as bad as they thought, you will add either politics or true stories of human misery.

    Some notable exceptions: The National Geographic and Le Monde Diplomatique. However, evolution willing, we will have wars between giraffes and wildebeests in the future and exceptions will disappear. I suspect giraffes are secretly into horoscopes: a business waiting to happen.

    “Professional sports” is an oxymoron. Whatever they do, the verb is to play and any nurse deserves much more respect (and tangible rewards). Regrettably, such is not the way of The People.

    I wonder how fast Pierre de Coubertin will be spinning this year.

  • Francois says:

    got lost somewhere after “to play”

  • Francois says:

    Viki, give yourself an editor as a birthday present… TinyMCE

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