Note: I’m not ignoring the political situation in the Ukraine. There has been a lot of discussion about the imprisonment and treatment of Yulia Timoshenko, the former prime minister of the Ukraine. But apart from that, the human rights situation is deplorable as well. There are reports of police brutality and torture. Attention needs to be paid to the situation in the Ukraine not just during spotlight that the Euro 2012 shines on the country, but also beyond. Visit Amnesty International for more information.
Tomorrow is the day! Tomorrow the Euro 2012 starts! The hosts are Poland and Ukraine, and the first game is Poland vs Greece, kicking off at 6pm EST. The Euro Cup ranks just below the FIFA World Cup, at least for me. I foresee lots of soccer watching and neglecting the rest of my life. There’ll be viewing parties, at home or maybe even at work. People will have flags up, people will be wearing team jerseys and face paint, some people even decorate their cars accordingly.
Well, I have to cheer on my favorite team, Germany. It’s been a while since Germany won a Euro championship – the last time was 1996. The last time Germany won the FIFA World Cup was 1990 (Germany still played as West Germany). Which is totally contrary to Gary Lineker‘s quote: “Soccer is a game for 22 people that run around, play the ball, and one referee who makes a slew of mistakes, and in the end Germany always wins.” But Germany and England do have a soccer rivalry – just think of the Wembley goal during the 1966 FIFA World Cup.
I was in Germany during the 2006 world cup, and the atmosphere there was amazing. They had public viewing parties, the weather was awesome, and all in all the mood was great (you’ll always have a few Hooligans and others up for trouble, but all in all it was pretty peaceful). Oh, and in addition to the mood, people were pretty euphoric because Germany was doing really well. Whenever a critical game took place the roads were pretty much deserted during the game. Depending on the results people were driving around, cheering, waving flags and honking like mad. You’ll also get that during games involving Turkey’s team since there are so many Turkish people in Germany. In fact, a lot of Germans cheered for Turkey except for the Euro 2008 semis where Germany played against Turkey. But in 2006, people were so euphoric and so excited by this young team that it ended up being called “ein Sommermärchen” – a summer fairytale. There even was a documentary with that name dealing with that period during that summer.
This time I’ll once again will be in Germany for the Euro tournament. I’m hoping for lots of soccer related parties. And I’ll get the chance to wear my Germany socks (hand-knit of course!). In fact, I still need to knit more Germany socks for friends and family. The munchkins of course need German flag socks. And I know a few other people who’d love German flag colored socks. I may be starting something, though – I think a few people might want socks in the their favorite team’s colors.
Join in, and no matter what time you’re cheering for, I hope you have lots of fun! Yay for 90 minutes (or more) of watching 22 people chasing a black and white ball. Yay for soccer!