Sunday, July 11, 2010

Something Close to Nothing

If three weeks ago you'd have told me my adopted WM football team, Germany, would be in the semi-finals, I'm not sure I'd have believed you. They were close to the youngest team in the tournament, built from the ground up from their very successful under twenty-one team, and they almost pulled off upending Spain to advance to the finals.

But I am so spoiled and jaded , I was disappointed they didn't, though there were a dozen excellent reasons why footballers from around the world were choosing Spain over Germany, most of them having nothing to do with an octopus. Still losing nil to one Wednesday hurt--not a loss like losing the love of your life, more like the heartbreak of psoriasis.

Yesterday afternoon I was joined by our son, Patrick and daughter, Michelle for the third-place game between Germany, 'Schlaaaand as its devoted supporters call it, and Uruguay which is, I think, called Uruguay and nothing else. Mike was a bit delayed in joining us as she, and my wife/her mother, were at a Hallmark ornament premiere event. Hey, my wife doesn't mock (very much, anymore) my devotion to Springsteen (I didn't have to do that; I just wanted to) so I have no opinion on Christmas ornaments in July, especially if I want to keep living here.

The finals, between Spain and the Netherlands, is this afternoon at 2:30 and I will probably watch that, more likely alone since neither of our children were born or spent their childhood in Rotterdam or Barcelona. But it was fun yesterday to be all together, as their mother hovered in the kitchen and the computer room in the back of the house because she could didn't care about the game (she said) but as the three of us in the living room knew, she was following it on line.

Patrick played jugend fussball in Germany and in school, and a traveling team, over here and is a student of European football. Michelle is an enthusiastic and passionate fan even if she's not always clear as to why she's happy something just happened on the pitch (the best critique of cup play I read came from a FBer who dismantled Ghana, even as their victory ousted Team USA. It was hilarious, acerbic and vaguely blue but brilliant). Michelle will, by WM 2014 in Brazil, be working at that level and may well sit where Alexi Lalas was this time around (from my keyboard to God's monitor).

This is a weekend where none of us had anything set in stone and could take a break from the hectic running around (and ludicrous levels of humidity that can turn SE Connecticut into a sauna for days at a time) and be for a moment or so the four people who huddled together late one fall evening a long ago in Philadelphia International Airport as one of us kept observing to one and all that America was 'sehr dunkel'. Somedays, like these days, not so much, at least not for your dad.
-bill kenny

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