It's official. The blog is alive, after a short break to cross the Atlantic, become trapped somewhere between the Matrix and jet lag, a place where cellphones, net cards and REM sleep take forever to materialize, and head out to the lovely town of Wurzburg to check out Dirk Nowitzki's hometown on the eve of the World Cup (and for the petroleum-based version of that, go here).
|Getting into the spirit in Berlin.|
Not so alive is this Mundial, not yet anyway, and certainly not here in Frankfurt am Main. Opening day here is on Saturday, and England vs. Paraguay. This morning, for the first time, this staid city at least seemed to have a pulse, O'Reilly's Irish Pub, right across the road from the train station, well full and roiling by 11 a.m. with Cross of St. George flags unfurled and identifying the clans (Watford, Aston Villa, Spurs).
The plan here is to keep with the odd diary-style entry like this one, but mix in some newsy things and odd bits. Here's some notes and news links off all that and other things:
Sometimes, the day after you write a story, you double take and figure you missed one. So I was feeling this morning anyway, regarding something Dirk's father Jorg Nowitzki said that didn't get in and really should have, except it would have required some massage: "I'm not going to pay much attention to the World Cup. I don't really like soccer. It's a 90-minute" -- and here he feigned taking a nap -- "I prefer 48 minutes of action." Spoken like a true hoops dad, and not exactly the standard Germany line. And btw, Herr Nowitzki likes the Mavs in 5. Off last night's news, he may well be in the ballpark. My Dallas in 6 call may have been giving the Heat too much credit.
Sticker seen on the rear window of an official FIFA sponsor's van: "No tickets inside".
The smiles campaign you may have heard about? It's really working. I'm into my third day here, and the average so far is almost one a day.