Ageism: 47 Mundial years added
Forecast: Sunny and warm
It was all going so well, so perfect, so day-offy.
We were at the Beach Club in Frankfurt’s warehouse district last night, a more charming and compact version of the formula employed by the grim Docks in Toronto: On the north bank of the Main River, the gamut was being run from vigorous activity (beach volleyball, beach badminton, beach table tennis) to sedate contemplation in a lounge chair, nursing a sundowner while the house sound system thumped away.
An oldie had just finished – Eurhythmics’ Sweet Dreams, and it was good, 1983 all over again – and after a late-afternoon-into-early-evening at the racetrack I was lost in a revery, barely noticing the next tune starting up and suddenly my colleague Mr. Brunt, sitting across the way, looked stricken.
“Oh no,” he said.
|Hard not to "Feel the Love" in Germany these days, even at the Reichstag.|
I could’ve gone to an art museum, I suppose, or done some sightseeing, but this was pure relaxation: Watch the horses in the walking ring, walk over to the mutual window across to place a bet, walk to the small grandstand to watch the race, come back via the biergarten for the next, and it all starts over again. The World Cup seemed as far away as the Frankfurt skyline off in the distance. Back at the Beach Club, I wasn’t sure what Brunt was getting at. Then I realized – those chords, that strummy guitar, that whiney, faux-Peter-Frampton voice starting up: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah … Feel the Love Generation,” he sang.
Here we were at the end of a great day, and one of the World Cup’s most inane, officially-licensed pregame assaults was coming on. Every match, you hear this one. Feel the Love Generation – it sounds like Japanglish, something you’d see on a T-shirt in Tokyo. Hear it enough and it becomes this aural tapeworm, looping inside your head as you walk home from the train station, or with the morning coffee – it’s inescapable!
We got up, padding over the trucked-in white sand and out into the parking lot and a waiting taxi. It wasn’t the perfect ending to the day, but it was a perfect escape.
Germany vs Argentina. This is certainly the game of the tournament so far, with a number of great matchups -- Mascherano marking Ballack, Frings on Riquelme, and forwards like Crespo and Klose and Podolski terrorizing defenders. At the bet shop, it’s a pick-em proposition. Ever so slight edge to Argentina, whose coach Pekerman has made all the right moves and has shepherded many of these players through pressure-packed, hostile encounters before. Argentina 3, Germany 2.
Italy vs Ukraine. The teams drew 0-0 in an exhibition game on June 2, Shevchenko missing out with injury in that one. Now he’s back, against Italy team rocked by news that their friend and Juventus caretaker manager Gianluca Pessotto was in hospital after falling from the team’s office building. They’ve managed to pull together here so far. Italy 1, Ukraine 0.