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Soccer in a Sea of 'Schland

Britt Jordan, NU in Berlin, Summer 2014

On Thursday evening, we watched the US-Germany game at the Kulturbrauerei, an entertainment complex in Berlin’s culturally rich Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood. Because we got there a few hours early to secure our seats, we had ample time to scout out the scene and enjoy a bratwurst or two.[1]

As kickoff approached, an expanse of German fans tested our resolve. As the Kulturbrauerei admitted more and more ‘Schland[2] supporters, it became abundantly clear that the cavalry would not be coming: we were virtually on our own.  I now know what it feels like to be deep behind enemy lines.

A brave handful in our group shakily stood for the Star-Spangled Banner and attempted to remain strong among hoots and hollers of derision. For some reason, we couldn’t really place where we were in the song, so our singing was…staggered.[3] We unceremoniously slinked back onto our cold slice of bench and hoped that our players would restore honor to our country.

As the game progressed, the air was a lucid mix of nerves, excitement, and beer stench. It started raining, but our eyes remained glued to the giant monitor ahead. When Germany scored their one winning goal, our hearts collectively sunk like a poached eagle, a ruined apple pie, or the USS Maine. Despite the loss, we left the Kulturbrauerei knowing that there would be much more American Fußball to come.

[1] Or seven. When you find quality bratwurst at €2.50, you don’t play around. It would be fiscally irresponsible NOT to induce a food coma.

[2] A short, but effective abbreviation for Deutschland. You hear this cried by German audiences everywhere along with Übung (“practice”) und unglaublich (“unbelievable”) regularly.

[3] The sad part is we have some real voice performance power in our group. If we had all synched up, we would’ve stricken fear into the hearts of every German in a two-block radius.

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