Real Housewives of Cologne, Episode 16

16 06 2021

“PUTTING THE MANN IN MANNSCHAFT”

Cologne, we have a problem.

***

Yesterday began what is ordinarily a biannual ritual for Germans, during the summer of even numbered years. The ritual involves Good Germans outsourcing their patriotism to a bunch of guys kicking a ball around.

The last time this happened was the World Cup in 2018. As you may remember, I was just a mere tourist in this and a few surrounding countries when the WC was going on, and we were able to watch Germany’s first pool game while we were in Wittenberg and its third in Ingolstadt. The second game, we were in the Czech Republic. At the time, Germany was the defending WC champions from 2014, so there were high hopes for 2018. But, they flopped. Yet and still, it was a sight to behold, this “outsourcing,” first hand.

After I later learned I was going to come back for different reasons, and then after actually doing that, also as you might remember, I went to a regular season game of the German domestic league, Bremen at D’dorf, November 2018, to see a fellow native St. Louisan, one Josh Sargent. I really lucked out, because it was the game where he logged his first playing time in the Bundesliga and his first goal. You may remember that’s the game I bought my St. Louis flag, and when I saw Sargent being inserted into the game, I waved it and yelled, “YO JOSH.” All for naught, because it was nothing but noise the whole game, the only variance is whether it was really loud or ear-deafening loud. And remember, this was just a garden variety domestic league game between at the time a mid-standings team (Bremen) playing at the basement dwellers (D’Dorf). Side note: Bremen got relegated after this just finished Bundesliga season to the second league. They were having money problems anyway, and relegation certainly isn’t going to make them any better. Odds are they’re probably going to move Sargent out in a fire sale, and one of the talked about destinations is right next door to me in Leverkusen.

Anyway, we’re now on Euro 2020 season, it like the Tokyo Olympics delayed a year because of Covid. The World Cup is held the summer of midterm election years in America, while the Euro and all the other regional mini-WCs are held during the summer of Presidential election years, usually. Euro is probably the world’s second most anticipated national team soccer tournament behind only the WC itself, though the WC in 2018, with four UEFA teams in the final four, got the snarky nickname Euro 2018.

Germany’s first pool game in Euro 2020 was last night in Munich versus France, who you will remember won the 2018 WC, and, as it’s mostly the same team as then, is a favorite to win this Euro. All three of Germany’s pool games will be in Munich, and yes, that’s the stadium that changes exterior colors.

***

The good news is that Germany scored the only goal of the game. The bad news? Well, I’m sure it’s run its course in the international news cycle by now. Also, some eco nut parachuted in on a yellow parachute. I figured when I saw it happen out of the corner of my eye (see below) it had to be some kind of left wing kook.

***

The better half and I watched it from the parents-in-law along with my sister-in-law. The soyboy-in-law had other commitments and had to leave after dinner. But even if he had been here, it wouldn’t have made a difference, because none of us would have watched it that closely, as the five of us grown folk that were there had other things to do, and the sixth not there would have done other things if he was. Since the game started at 9, the better half and I plus our two bundles of joy left not long after the start of the second half, because it was already past 10.

But, like I said, while we were all there, and we had it on the TV, nobody was really watching it.

With one big exception.

Or, to be more accurate, two big exceptions.

Or, to be even more accurate, two little exceptions.

I think you can figure it out by now.

From what I saw, they were glued to this game, and unusually so for something that happens this late in the evening by their increasingly regular daily awake-asleep cycle. They paid attention to it more intensely than they have anything in their almost six months of life. The better half, who observed them more than I did during the time before we left and the game was on, noticed the same thing even more starkly.

Uh oh.

I can already see where this is going.

Oh well, at least it’s not that expensive. And it’s good exercise; Especially since I know which two people with their weight problems they are descended from by one generation. Though I have to digress for a moment, most of this will be for another time: The better half is maintaining a much healthier weight post-birth than she did before she started in being in the family way, which is very atypical for mid-30s women who do that. Only wish some of that being able to keep weight off would spill over on me, though I’ve lost a few pounds overall since the end of rehab, and I should concede that at my age, any weight loss in a situation where one needs to lose weight should be appreciated.

And they are little German boys, after all. This was kinda inevitable. I can’t throw stones; After all, their Papi was once a little St. Louis boy, and little St. Louis boys almost inevitably get the baseball dream. A dream that, as you know, I substantively knew wasn’t in the Cards (pun intended) when I was eleven, and I hung up my cleats at seventeen. Though I will say that, as you might guess, Germans are so cold at soccer development that, once they get to around age twelve, the old grown folks around them will know whether they have any chance of a future in this business or nah, if nah, then that’s when they’ll be hanging up their own cleats. Simply because there won’t be any school teams for them to continue playing even past the realization that they won’t be making a living out of this, if that’s what winds up happening. Remember, Germans and Europeans don’t do school sports in the way that Americans do.

***

So, that’s it. I now know that I have a mid-term future as a soccer dad.

You know, I was expecting these two to save our civilization, not score goals for Die Mannschaft in the 2046 World Cup.


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5 responses

16 06 2021
countenance

Today this parachuter dominated the German news cycle. To me, it’s not that big of a deal. But I can understand why Germans are that obsessed over it, for two reasons:

(1) Just on GP, Germans don’t like it when you get so out of line or out of sorts

(2) While this was your random Greenpeace kook, there is the fear of “what if this was AQ or ISIS.” This was a mass attendance event, after all, even though Covid meant the stadium was not as packed as it would or could have been.

16 06 2021
Alright Dan

Got all that from just them watching a soccer game? Maybe it’s just because it’s their first time seeing one, and it was all new to them.

16 06 2021
Alex the Goon

I can already see where this is going
First word: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

19 06 2021
countenance

This evening was the acid test.

My wife, my father-in-law and the soyboy-in-law all had short roadtrips this weekend, to different places. My mother-in-law went with my father-in-law, and my sister-in-law with the soyboy-in-law, so that they could get out of town for a bit. So it’s just been my two best friends and I all by ourselves this weekend.

I’ve had the game on that just ended, on our TV. And I watched their reaction. That being Germany’s second pool game, and they beat Portugal 4-2.

If it was just a matter of Tuesday night being merely something new, then they probably wouldn’t have paid as close attention this evening as they did on Tuesday night.

But they actually paid closer attention this evening.

That settles it. Now I know for sure what’s coming.

Maybe I should just go on ahead and buy the cleats now.

29 06 2021
countenance

Early this evening, in fact, within four hours, is Germany’s first knockout stage (playoff) game in Euro 2020, against England in London. Die Mannschaft is going to kneel for Black Lives Messer, so we’re not even going to watch one second of it, and we will not have it on the TV.

It's your dime, spill it. And also...NO TROLLS ALLOWED~!

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