Monday, June 30, 2008

The horn of loss

Last night a few of us went to the football stadium in Hannover, outside which they'd erected a big screen, to watch the Euro2008 final between Germany and Spain. There was a pretty big crowd of people there (you could hear the general crowd hum from several hundred metres away), a lot of German flags being waved and also painted on peoples faces, and a reasonable, but not that excessive, amount of noise being made. For the first half of the match the crowd were fairly subdued, with one or two groups of people occasionally trying half-heartedly to start a chant of "Super, super Deutchland". In terms of the football the German's got off to a fast paced start in the first 10 minutes, but that was about it from them as Spain took over the match and scored towards the end of the half. The crowd picked up a bit in the second half (maybe created by the DJ during half time trying to gee the fans up a bit with some tunes) despite being a goal down. There was a bit more of a buzz in the air, and hope that Germany could pull it back. However it didn't translate to the match as Spain continued to dominate and quickly closed down any German plays when they were on the ball. Spain were the deserved winners in the end, but surprisingly it didn't put that much of a dampener on the German fan's spirits around Hannover. In fact they seemed more animated and rowdy now that the game was over and they'd lost. On the streets every car was going by with people leaning out the window's waving German flags and beeping their horns. It's quite different to how a similar event (if we ever make a final that is) would be back in England, which would have involved a properly ludicrous level of chanting, singing, shouts of support/abuse/derision during the match, but then a very sober silence when we lost as everyone headed home faces held in hands.