The last German national soccer game of 2008 was so boring that even Jürgen noticed the advertising around the field. “Hey, we use that company at work.” he said.
In the first half England made a goal. In the second half Germany did. The announcer said “One should always leave open the possibility of a stupid mistake on the part of the English goalie.” I thought that was a fresh statement and said so, but the guys assured me that was pretty much the way Germany wins against England %mdash; when Germany wins against England — which they don’t when the game is in Berlin like it is tonight.
Returning from the halftime dishing up of dinner in the kitchen (curry with chickie, cauliflower, and yummy little baby melanzane), Oliver Kahn is standing on Gunther Netzer’s chalked in footprints to the right side of my television screen. What is he doing there? He is wearing a silver-gray suit and a striped tie and I want to scream. “Ollie? What are you doing? Get back outside where you belong. For heavens sake, stop talking and be useful!”
At the seventy-sixth minute marker Jürgen is bemused - “Hey, they are playing better.”
“Yeah”, I said. “It takes fifteen minutes for the half-time drugs to kick in.”
“Mmhmn, maybe. I don’t know.” he mutters.
He’s not listening to me. I can tell.
England makes a second goal. They need it in order to beat us 2-1. At the precise moment the ball passes into net on the right side, the German goalie is standing at the left post. waving his hand in the air as if to say “No, over here!”
The goalie has an exasperating job.
In England tonight the fans are happy. I hope they are as happy as the German fans were the last time the teams met in England. Germany wins at Wembley, England wins in Berlin. It’s tradition and let’s be honest, don’t we love to see a winning streak continue as much as we love to see it broken? Maybe those nice young men listened when their mothers said “It’s not polite to invite guests over to play at your house and then trounce them roundly, dear.” Bravo!