Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Germany v. Poland

People tend to be surprised that I am in any way interested in the World Cup, given my dislike of all sport (with the possible exception of slalom kayaking). But, I love a world event. And being able to cheer on one country over another is so much fun for me that I am willing to watch grown men kick a ball around a pitch for an hour and a half.

I have no special insights into the game (although I have noticed that far too much attention is given to ball possession, if anything I'd say teams do better when they have less possession), but I pick my teams based on my feelings about the nation. So, for example, I was cheering for Iran the other day, because I feel nothing for Mexico but have a certain fondness for the Iranian people and have dreams of their victory bringing the mullocracy crumbling down. Angola v. Portugal? Obviously you cheer for the former colony rather than their colonial masters. Argentina v. Cote D'Ivoire? Well, the Ivoirians aren't a bunch of filthy cheats have had a tough time lately and you want good things for them.

But today's Poland v. Germany match is a tough one. If I base it on their histories (from the pre-Napoleonic era to the modern day), I should very clearly be cheering for the Poles. And yet strangely, I find myself supporting the Germans. I can't explain it rationally but I just want them to win. I tell myself that it's because I'll be in Berlin in a few weeks and the Germans will be in such good spirits if they won at home. But I know this can't really be true because: a) Even if they beat the Poles today, their odds of winning the whole thing are still not great and b) I have never in my life cared if other people are in good spirits.

So I have no idea why I feel this way. But go Germany, go!

Update: Germany 1 - 0 Poland.

"German supersub Neuville breaks Poland's hearts in stoppage time". I feel guilty enough already, but they have to rub it in!

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