July 14, 2014

In Germany, National Sociable-ism.

"On the day of Germany’s historic 7-1 rout of Brazil last week in the semifinals... Twitter experienced a major worldwide surge in references to 'Nazis,' 'Blitzkrieg' and 'Hitler.' The old jibes came even as the Germans seemed to go out of their way last week to avoid gloating after beating Brazil."
“The rejoicing after the game was rather restrained,” said Gunter Gebauer, a professor at Free University Berlin who studies the philosophy of sports. “Of course there was huge excitement. . . . But I think Germans were also a little bit shocked about the success. Because in Germany, like in many other countries in the world, there’s a big admiration for Brazilian football. . . . It would have been better if Germany had won 3-1.”

24 comments:

n.n said...

Inherited sin.

Jane the Actuary said...

Yeah, I wasn't too pleased with the CNN reporting. (http://janetheactuary.blogspot.com/2014/07/you-watched-world-cup-game-last-night.html)

But the real change was in 2006, when Germany hosted the World Cup. This was when we were living in Germany -- lots of excitement and, from what I saw and read, the first time Germans were really comfortable with flag-waving. Prior to that, my husband's statement had always been, and I had experienced, a greater local/regional pride, as a way of expressing "patriotism" that wasn't "tainted" -- people were more likely to fly a Bavarian than a German flag.

Heck, the government even allowed stores to stay open late, and to open on Sundays, for the duration.

surfed said...

Maybe there's admiration in football/soccer for them but in the gentlemanly sport of surfing they are considered almost as pestilence. They over run surf spots en mass, snake waves from others already up and riding, use blocking tactics for their friends, are very vocal and loud in a quiet contemplative sport. I've seen collective groups of surfers from half a dozen different countries all groan audibly and give each other the look when a car full of Brazilians pull up at a surf spot.

Henry said...

Nick Hornsby has been writing astute and often wry World Cup coverage. This is his take on the German squad, before they dismantled Brazil:

"Thank heavens, then, for Germany, as nobody has said very often. They have kept the cheating to a minimum, they have tried to score goals in every game and they have played with panache, even though they are apparently doomed to be described, at least in England, as "ruthless" and "efficient" until the end of time."

Skeptical Voter said...

Hey it's a game. And you take what is on offer. I agree that humiliating the host nation is not a good thing. But it's difficult to turn the switch off on the machine.

William said...

There's quite a lot of bad things to say about Germany in the first half of the 20th century. But at what point do negative comments about Germans become stereotyping? Lots of other countries have had horrendous regimes that endured for a far longer time than that of the Nazis. Is it possible that the Nazi regime was a one off and represented a unique set of circumstances rather than a unique set of German character flaws?

hombre said...

According to reports, Brazilians led the World Cup in diving, a form of cheating that particularly demeans the game. Why feel sympathy for them?

The Germans play relatively clean, highly skilled football. They were the class of the tournament. There was nothing classy about Brazil. That match and the tournament turned out as they should have.

richard mcenroe said...

Nothing unique about Nazism. But the Germans purely managed to distill it.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

None of the German team called Neymar the Justin Bieber of soccer so I think we should all cut them some slack.

Anonymous said...

I'd say the Germans operated like a well-oiled machine on the pitch. I appreciated the ruthlessly self-critical assessment of each players' own skills and performance, yielding only to the beautiful efficiency with which the German side exerted the domination of its will upon opposing teams.

Their class, sportsmanship, organization, and strategy did not belie their underlying raw strength and superior physical conditioning.

Frankly, this German appearance at this World Cup was like a cool breeze at a mountain resort, while below teemed the hot, ceaseless jungles of the New World.

traditionalguy said...

40% of Americans are of German descent. And from Teddy Roosevelt and the Spanish American War days down to FDR's days, the preservation of the white "Teutonic Race" here was a big political cause.

But we did not go all in for murdering off the rest of the world. It took an Occult religion running a failed modern educated state by a military dictatorship intent on murdering non-teutonic races to make the European Germans into monsters.

So there is hope. A more realistic fear post Obama is the Japanese going back to the sun god emperor worship and using nuclear weapons to attack the Chinese.

Alex said...

The stain of the Holocaust will hang over Germany for a 1000 years.

Tibore said...

"The rejoicing after the game was rather restrained..."

CNN had an article some days ago saying that "weeping Brazil fans applauded Germany" (www.cnn.com/2014/07/09/opinion/bass-brazil-germany-rout/). Thing is, from other sites and Twitter, I got the impression that Brazil fans were being ironic and sarcastic in cheering for the opponent, and doing so as a very pointed critique of their home squad. And while the riot pictures on Twitter were misrepresented (they were actually images from prior years riots, not this year's game), there were arrests and disquiet in Brazil.

And now we're seeing someone say Germany was "rather restrained".

Is it just me, or is there a push by some news orgs to minimize the "extracurriculars" surrounding top level futbol? News from prior years described occasional riots and hooliganism. Now I'm not saying that those must be present at games, and it is easily possible for this to be the most violence-free year ever. But that's just possibilities. Most of us in the US are simply not in a position to discern the realities. So is it accurate to say that all in such an emotionally destroying game (Brazil-Germany) and in such a polarizing sport (international futbol itself) is felicity and goodwill now? Or is that an artifact of deliberate spotlighting and shadowing? If it's accurate, great! It's just that news orgs have not been trustworthy in the past where favored narratives are concerned. And I simply do not know enough about top level futbol to know if there's such at play here.

I'm not saying disparage futbol, BTW. I'm saying news organizations have not demonstrated trustworthiness, so I have no way at the moment to gauge the accuracy of these reports.

MadisonMan said...

The stain of the Holocaust will hang over Germany for a 1000 years.

After 1000 years it will become Bush's fault, like everything else.

garage mahal said...

I blame Obama. It's easy!

madAsHell said...

professor at Free University Berlin who studies the philosophy of sports.

What? I think somebody has been had.

Chuck said...

No matter how orderly your socialized society is, once you kill six million Jews and gypsies, they never let you forget about it.

Ipso Fatso said...

"I blame Obama. It's easy!"

I never thought that I would ever agree with garage mahal. I just did. Hell will be freezing over in 10,9,8... (:

southcentralpa said...

Okay, I'll do it: "Germany and Argentina in the World Cup final ... I did Nazi that coming!"

(For those in the younger generations, a lot of prominent National Socialists escaped to South America after Germany's defeat in WWII)

Phil 3:14 said...

Godwin is smiling

Phil 3:14 said...

And where was it that Josef Mengele fled to?

Mark said...

MadisonMan, you must not be getting the mailers i am. Everything in WI is the fault of Jim Doyle's Commerce Secretary of 2 years.
Bush era to blame once again, even by Republicans.

Zach said...

At some point, people are going to have to realize that WWII is over. Today's Germans didn't do any of that stuff, and neither did their parents.

On the other hand, East Germany is still a living memory for college students. Why no Stasi jokes?

This year's German team played hard, with style and panache and good sportsmanship. They played pretty well every single game, and they clearly outplayed every opponent. Leave the Nazi jokes for another time.

Goju said...

So 3 to 1 would have been better. Awww, how sensitive. Maybe they could just eliminate the whole esteem damaging scoring idea all together. Just have everyone run around for 90 minutes working on their skills and relationship building. Take the goals off the pitches so no one feels pressured to perform and everyone can get a participation.
If I wanted to see a bunch of guys run around for 90 minutes trying to score - I'd go to a star Trek convention.