Monday, February 19, 2007
Ok, I thought I was finished with the World Cup, but there was one day left unaccounted for...so ... What's up America? The last day of our trip--well not counting the next morning we left for the airport-- was allotted for the last first round (and overall) game for the US. They would be playing Ghana in Nuremburg. It's a quaint little town. See (view photos).
Unfortunately, we only had about an hour to explore because we had to leave for the damn Fan Fest. I'm sorry, did I say damn. Anyway...Most, ok all, of this time was spent searching for and then purchasing souvenirs. Since this was the last day, no more room for procrastination.
So we went to Fan Fest and were so underwhelmed that we almost perished before we were able to get through security. We stopped long enough to replenish our life force via some Polish dish and made our way to the stadium for the game. The highlight of that trip would have to be when I looked up and realized we were walking on the infamous Nazi parade stand. Creepy. We arrived at the stadium in anticipation of a great game. Keep in mind that with a U.S. win, the Americans were almost guaranteed to go through to the next round and that the same U.S. team were overwhelming favorites in the game.
So, imagine the feeling when after 22 minutes and a fairly rough tackle/steal of Claudio Reyna the ball hit the net behind Kasey Keller and Reyna's World Cup career ended. O.K. Reyna limped around for about 10 minutes before being substituted out, but you know what I mean. Oddly enough, I think I had said before the game if Ben Olsen ever saw the field during the World Cup that would mean the U.S. was either in big trouble or winning by 4 goals. Guess who substituted for Reyna...yeah. Despite all that, our spirits were quite lifted when Clint Dempsey pounded in the equalizer with just a couple of minutes until half time. Unfortunately, a couple of minutes was more than enough time for the German referee to make one of the worst calls in the history of the sport and screw the entire United States of America. Ironically, I had been happy to hear that the referee was German when he was announced at the beginning of the game. I was not as happy after he awarded one of the worst penalty kicks (that turned into the deciding goal) to Ghana.
I go through all that to let you know that after the game ended I had one more of my soccer hooliganism attacks. Well, maybe not a full out attack, but I was yelling things and wishing evil. I was even mad at the cops. Yeah, I don't know. Let's just say it one of those times I got caught up in the moment.
The other thing from the game I wanted to mention was the seating. Once again, why the heck can't the Germans get this seating organization down? Instead of just having one seat separated from the rest, the Krauts decided to kick it up a notch for our last game. Please note that we had 3 seats in the same section on the same row with consecutive seat numbers (Block: 24 Row:13 Seats: 30-32). OK? Got it? So that would mean the three of would be sitting together, right? Uh...not even close. The picture you see is of Lisa taking a picture from her seat as Bryan and I sit in ours. So in between Bryan and Lisa's seat is an aisle. Between Bryan and myself? That would be the ramp into the stadium. Oh, and there's a aisle right on the other side of my seat just to bring the point home. How much German beer do you have to drink to ever think this would meet with any one's approval?
So we left the game, I had a chocolate croissant and rode the train back to Munich. I had a tense and almost heated confrontation with a German girl who refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of my seat reservation. But who cares about that?
That was it...I hope. And just in case your still wondering, yes, I had a good time.