Fans' View

Fans’ View: What the Euros looked like in Germany

Photo: Staci Klemmer

I’m blessed to have a sister who lives in Germany who likes having visitors. During the 2011 Women’s World Cup, I packed the family up and off we went for a few weeks. Sadly, the only game we got to see live was the US losing to Sweden, but we did get to watch a few wins in the plaza in the center of the town my sister lives in, Monchengladbach, on a giant jumbotron.

This time, we were in Munich during Euro 2016 staying in a tiny one-room flat with no TV, so we had to improvise. For the Italy game, we had reservations in a Spanish tapas restaurant. Evidently, everyone goes out to watch the games, so it was very difficult to find a table. But, the food was good, the company was great and, of course, the beer flowed. They had two projection screen TV’s in the very small restaurant.

In fact, as the week went on and we ate in other restaurants, I found that this was a very common occurrence. Whether it was a large beer garden or a tiny bar, everyone had at least one TV, and often multiple TVs, for patrons to enjoy not just the Germany matches, but all of the Euro matches.

For the Germany-France game, I was very worried because we had no place to go. A friend suggested watching in Olympic Park but 37,000 rabid German fans were a bit much for me. Everywhere we went the day of the game, folks were wearing their Germany jerseys, black, red and gold leis and hats, and we also saw a few painted faces.

Thankfully, near where we were staying, there was a very tiny bar, one with only three tables. My husband and I had watched the Iceland-France game there. Since there wasn’t much space inside, they had taken a TV and put it in the window facing out. There were chairs and tables set outside so we were able to grab a place to sit. The game didn’t go so well — my youngest son was crushed — but again, the beer was good.

What I love about Europe is each country’s passion for their team and the game. Over and over again we saw German flags hanging on balconies and small ones attached to car windows. Bakeries had pastries with the game scores on them in icing or decorated to look like a football pitch with a soccer ball. Shop windows were filled with soccer balls and stuffed teddy bears wearing the German colors. And I mean all kinds of shops, whether it was a pharmacy or a kitchen supply store.

In the grocery store we found Coke cans with the players’ pictures on them and displays with toothbrushes, glasses, and pencil boxes. One grocery store was giving out player cards with every purchase.

Experiencing all of this in Germany, it does make me sad that, while things are improving, we in the US don’t unite around our national team in the same way. There is a true sense of national pride for most other countries for their soccer team. I mean, just look at Iceland. Someone told me there were concerns about the recent presidential elections that were going on during the Euros because 10 percent of the population was in France following the Iceland team. The tiny company that makes their jerseys? Swamped, working 24 hours a day to try and keep up with demand.

On Sunday night I was with my family in Italy watching the final and guess what: Every bar, every restaurant had a TV with the game on — never mind that Italy isn’t playing. It’s the Euros and everyone is watching.

And this time it’s the wine that’s good!

Ciao!

2 Comments

  1. Lucky lucky lucky… sounded like an amazing time to be there. I’m jealous jealous jealous 🙂

  2. I was in 2006 during the WC in Germany and it was fantastic. It was unbelievable that the guy next to me during the Germany – Italy semi-final had also come from Philly (and also had graduated from LMHS!). It is very special to be in Europe during the WC or Euro’s; highly recommended for all who read/contribute to this site. The US still has a long way to go. I watched the France-Germany game at Brauhaus Schmitz on South Str.; was the best place to watch that game with circa 200 others (of which only 2 supported France!).

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