32 teams, 8 groups, 64 matches, 12 cities, and a shockingly high number of hours watching soccer later, Germany is the winner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup!
Having watched all the other soccer games at home on the comfort of our couch (oh, and the Germany vs. Ghana game at S’s parents’ house), S and I opted to watch the final against Argentina with the rest of soccer-crazed Germany at a public viewing in the city of Würzburg. S was all for it and I was, shall we say, reluctant. Having secondhand experience from the Vancouver Stanley Cup riot in 2011, I was a little anxious about going to a public viewing event for such an important match with such a passionate fan base.
I had no need to worry. S, my brother-in-law, my sister-in-law and I were able to find great seats at a small beer garden with a big screen TV. Alright, it was a medium screen. Basically we couldn’t see the clock or the names of the substitutes, but we could see the players and the ball. We got the idea.
The match was exciting and made all the more fun to watch with the crowd at the beer garden. It was quite the mix of old and young, inebriated and sober-so-as-not-to-miss-a-minute-of-the-action, shouters and intensely quiet observers. The tension was palpable during regular time and reached a breaking point in overtime. When Mario Götze scored the game-winning goal in the 113th minute of play, the crowd erupted in thunderous cheers and applause. Relief rippled through the city when the ball crossed the goal line in the Maracana stadium.
We celebrated after the match by parading through the streets, flags in tow and sporting our Nutella fan face paint. I could try to explain the atmosphere that we experienced, but I think these photos and videos do all the explaining.
*Be forewarned – the two videos below are very loud so you might want to turn down your speakers!*
Thanks Vuvuzela Guy for making our night! (Oh yeah, and the German national team, too)! Go Super Deutschland!
*Edited to add: Thanks to my sister-in-law who pointed out that the videos weren’t working. Hopefully they are working now!*