And we are live from the ground in K-Town.
Admittedly, most of our party has been here all week, but we finally caught up with them last night. The atmosphere in Kaiserslautern was fantastic last night. Tons of people — locals as well as US and Italian supporters — were on the streets drinking beer, dancing, and eating sausage. (I know it’s been mentioned in other places, but I really can’t stress this enough: there are delicious sausage stands like every three feet over here. I’ll estimate my daily sausage consumption average for this trip is going to be around 1.8 sausages. That’s probably not “good for me.”)
Relations between the USA folks and the tifosi up from Italy were good last night, mostly because I get the sense that they don’t take our team very seriously. Also, most of the tifosi we ran into were about 20 years old.
Some quick hits from last night:
–It turns out that I wasn’t the only one who thought that “America, $%&# Yeah!” would make for a good soccer cheer. Sam’s Army was definitely marching through K-Town shouting it at the top of their lungs. So we got that going for us. Which is nice.
–The locals have come up with a brilliant system to keep their towns relatively tidy (which, with hordes of drunken foreigners roaming the streets, is no small task): one-Euro deposit on all beers. If you bring your cup back, you get a Euro back. It works. No empties on the ground. And it’s environmentally friendly!
–Good for Angola holding on to draw with Mexiko (German TV spells Mexico with a K!). No love lost for the Mexicans. And yes, I remain jealous of their group. That Angola keeper was a complete hero.
–We met these two friendly Italian kids on the train home last night who were just dying to talk to us about WWE. Hearing them say “Do you know…Smackdown?” in their most imploring broken English was one of the highlights of the night.
–I really need to resist the temptation to think I speak German by saying English words with a German accent and adding German-sounding suffixes (-aben, -einen, -meister). It really isn’t polite.
–Jose (+10) and Pedro (+10) are everywhere over here. Luckily, I haven’t gotten tired of them yet. Especially that little Pedro. “Beckenbauer?”
Anyhoo, we have a long one ahead of us. We’re the late game (9 pm start, local time), so we’re going to need to keep our eyes on the prize today. Can’t get ahead of ourselves, otherwise this thing could really get unwieldy. I think the key is going to be “occasionally drinking water.”