Wow. Auf wiedersehen, Deutschland.
For the first time ever, the Germans failed to make it out of the group stage at the World Cup. To add to the insult, their decisive defeat came at the hands of a South Korean team, known for its organization and stamina, not so much for its footballing brilliance.
No European country has done more to come to terms with its 20th Century experience than the Germans have. Compared with two other teams competing today–Sweden and Switzerland–the Germans are paragons of virtue with respect to this issue. The German government has been a consistent supporter of the State of Israel. From M-48 Patton tanks to the latest Dolphin-class submarines, Germany has contributed directly to the defense of Israel. During the 2012 Euro finals hosted by Poland and the Ukraine, a few German soccer players toured Auschwitz. Therefore, the Zionist fan should have a soft spot for the Mannschaft.
There is a still small voice, though, that says that history does not begin in 1960.
When it comes to rooting for a team of rugged, blonde-haired, blue-eyed players (though not so much in recent years) who stand and sing the words to a national anthem that has the same tune as the one used from 1933 to 1945, then some things cannot be forgotten.
As such, today’s loss to South Korea brought a sense of satisfaction. The clinical, Teutonic efficiency with which the German soccer team has acquitted itself over all of these decades fell apart today. There is no denying it: it felt good.
It is not entirely fair to revel in the failure of this German soccer team, but such is the cunning of history.
The critical game tomorrow is Colombia versus Senegal. The Colombians need a win in order to control their fate. As for the much-anticipated England-Belgium tie, we will give the nod to The Three Lions in return for Prince William’s visit the Holy Land. As Johnny Rotten once said: “‘Cause tourists are money.”
Or something to that effect.