Monday, 28 June 2010

A football fan is born

I feel like I live in a strange warp of time and activity. My life is so disjointed that it confuses me. Having spent staring at the screen all my working day today, I can't bear to spend any more time than necessary tonight on it.

Yesterday a new football fan was born. Not that I give an awful lot about football, but usually, during the world cup or similar, I kind of get a little bit into it. Not hugely, but I do like to see a nice match and after the last European Championships in Germany, which I witnessed in Cologne, with the whole melange of ethnicities all putting up Germany flags, and an atmosphere of having a party with all your neighbours, I kind of got ever so slightly patriotic and wishing the German team well. And I like to see goals, and they didn't disappoint me in their first match.

So yesterday, we had an interesting set up at home. Mummy, hopeful for a German win, Daddy, hopeful but doubtful for an English win, and both of us competing in jest for Cubling's support. The first rules of football were explained and interestingly she got the concept of yellow cards for foul play pretty straight away, and understood that you should play fair. Cubling was shouting patriotically "Deutschland Deutschland" and cheered wildly for the first two goals (asking "Deutschland now winnen?") while also wanting the red men to win. Maybe the colour was a bit more appealing? I don't think she understood that 90 minutes had to pass, but thought that whoever scores will be the winner. Later on she refused to go to bed because she wanted to see the blue man with the yellow sticker again. I have a feeling she's the only one he's popular with right now (we're talking about the referee here in case you were wondering, the sticker is the yellow card). It was lovely just enjoying the first football game we ever watched as a family with her, patriotism or not. We had fun, and that made even the match destroying ungiven goal kind of ok. I wonder who she will support in future matches, but above all I hope she'll see how relative such identities are.

Four years ago exactly, we watched the world cup in Germany before and after our wedding. Our friends who celebrated our day with us were from all corners of the world, and together we cheered for every conceivable team, often changing allegiance rather frequently in a single match. Because the great thing about football is that it brings people together for a nice party, at least it does so in my experience. Yes, we want our respective team to win, but it's always as much about coming together, enjoying each other's company in front of the big screen and a cool beer. I like that, and as long as we've got this, even if only in miniature in our family and chatting to the neighbours (who supported Germany for all the wrong reasons), it feels good.

Maybe for the next match, there'll be flags to add to the excitement.



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