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U.S. Soccer Captain Praises Party Atmosphere in Germany

The Associated Press describes the World Cup as "a world-class party":
Combine the Super Bowl's hype, the rising cool factor of the NBA finals and the quaint charm of the World Series, and it still wouldn't come close to the World Cup's euphoric atmosphere.  "They're putting on an incredible show for the World Cup," U.S. captain Claudio Reyna said Friday, a day after the Americans were eliminated. "The way the tournament's been run and the games, everything, it's really becoming one of the great World Cups ever, and the German people have been really amazing. You can see that every day is just an amazing party throughout the country," Reyna added. "It's been really a lot of fun for all of us."
Fans fill the streets laughing, singing, whistling and having an infectious good time. People wear their flags and colors with pride, and there's friendly banter between fans from opposing countries. Aside from a few minor incidents, there's been little of the feared hooligan violence so far. Restaurants are hopping, shops are bustling and train stations are party central.
AP continues to quote many American soccer fans, who enjoy the party atmosphere and describe the differences to US sporting events.
And the Chicago Sun Times writes about an American impromptu parade from an Irish pub in Nuremberg to the soccer stadium, where the U.S. then lost against Ghana:
The journey, led by a couple of drummers, will last more than two miles. Traffic stops. Germans pause along the sidewalks and take out their cell phones to snap photos. They salute the Americans, offering a thumbs-up or a smile. Those stuck in their cars while the Americans pass through have varying reactions. Some look frightened; others roll down their windows for handshakes and high-fives. The American fans are now a spectacle. The parade, which started with about 200 fans, reaches about one city block deep. And the Americans don't stop their singing when they enter the subway stations, continuing during the brief train ride to the stadium. (...) Earning one point in the World Cup is anything but impressive. But creating a home-field edge against the Italians and stopping traffic in a metropolitan city is quite a feat for Americans.


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Thomas on :

[url=]So excited to see the World Cup, a 25 year old Boston man checked into his hotel in Germany before racing over to see the big Poland-Costa Rica clash. Afterwards he spent the next six hours wandering around Hanover fruitlessy searching for his hotel because he couldn't remember its name, address or anything else about it. Finally, at 3 a.m., he went to the police and asked for help. All he could remember was paying 10 euros for a taxi ride to the city center and that he went past a park and a Mercedes dealer (which is probably a lot like saying you passed a McDonald's in the U.S.).[/url] I wish we were that affluent.

Thomas on :

Look more at the excitement on other blogs: [url=]But every Cup year, it seems, a favorite activity resurfaces--explaining America's lack of interest in soccer. There are a few common answers, and I'll try to give some of them here: 1) America is ADD. They can't take the sort of concentration needed for watching soccer. Interestingly enough, though, this objection conflicts with the next: 2) Soccer doesn't have enough real action to keep the attention of an average American. [This also goes under the name of "not enough scoring"] If soccer truly doesn't have enough action to keep our attention, then it should fit in perfectly with the ADD tendencies...[/url]

alec on :

Let's not get worried about Americans loving soccer. I'm a homegrown American and I enjoy soccer tremendously. I just wish we had put in a better showing at the Mondiale, but I think it's time for a lot of our veterans to fade to black (and I'm really hoping to see Adu in an American uniform in 2008!) Anyway, I'll add my two cents on why I think American's do not watch soccer: they have too many sports already. Football, basketball, baseball, golf, hockey, NASCAR, reality shows... there are too many consuming events in the American agenda. But I know I and my friends have been enjoying the Cup from across the Atlantic (I'm actually skipping some of work tomorrow to see the Ghana / Brazil game with a few friends at a local bar -- so we mean it!).

Thomas on :

From Economist: The tournament itself was a definite success. All 64 games were sold out, with an average of 51,000 fans attending each one. And the largest public-viewing area, the so-called "Fan Mile" in Berlin, which stretched two kilometres from the Brandenburg Gate to the Siegessäule monument and broadcast the live games on giant screens, was an enormous hit-police estimate that around 1m came to watch the Germany-Sweden match. One of many free official public-viewing areas in Germany, it was extended in time for the final. These zones, not to mention the fine weather, helped Germany to be a warm host. For background see: Let the games begin, June 8th 2006 Crashing the party The festive mood on the Fan Mile was dampened on July 2nd when a car drove through barriers near the Brandenburg Gate at about 50km per hour, injuring over 20 people. The driver and his passenger were taken in for questioning by the police. Witnesses say the crash did not appear to be accidental, but no explosives were found in the vehicle. Thankfully no games were being staged at the time, so the area was relatively empty. Despite worries of terrorist attacks or right-wing extremist violence, the incident was the only big breach in security during the entire World Cup. A record 6,000 police officers were deployed throughout Berlin during the more popular games, with many posted along the Fan Mile. They have been widely praised for being efficient, unobtrusive and-surprisingly for Berlin's usually brusque police force-even friendly.

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