Posted: 6/30/2006
Title: THREE BEARS AND WORLD CUP WILLIE

Blog:                                                                                                                         

  Well, Another day at the WeltMeisterschaft.
Now in Hamburg Hbf after the boring UKR-ITA  at the AOL Arena in the suburbs of Hamburg after spending the late afternoon and early evening at the REEPERBAHN, the famous 'entertainment' and red light district. We spent 7 hours on the ICE train from Munchen and went directly to the fan zone next to St Pauli Stadium, but with 50,000 singing Germans it was too hot, so to a bar, one of about 500 bars in the Reeperbahn-called SOUNDGARDEN No 9 on Friedrichstrasse. Someone brought in a boombox it the place resonated  WE WILL ROCK YOU, then YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE. Well, you all know the result by now, and Germany NEVER loses on penalty kicks!!. Everyone took to the streets and the police closed them down. Just time to get the S bahn to the stadium as the national anthems were playing. A full house but still a bunch of fans trying to unload tickets. They didn't have much luck. Here with Ryan and Georg from Hohensteigers, Georg's first WC tickets                    Anyway, about the Lions, First there is BRUNO, the wild lion that was prowling about Bayern and some hunters shot it. Then  there is GOLEO the WC Mascot who only wears a shirt and no shorts and is so unpopular that the company that makes them went must. Everyone thinks its  stupid. The third bear is of course the beloved Beriner bear , the symbol of Berlin, which is very popular in the capital. World Cup Willie was the first WC mascot in England '66 and the most successful. Tip and Tap in West Germany 1974, Gauchito in Argentina 78 and a stupid orange in Spain 1982 are some others that I remember. The most inovative mascot was the red, white and green stick man mascot of Italia 90, which when you pulled it apart it spelled out ITALIA !!        

 The referee at GER-ARG was Lucas Mikel of Slovakia, by far the oustanding ref I have seen so far, and I hope he gets the final. Ever so often in the UKR-ITA boring match, the German fans stood up and sang 'Stand up if you are German', to the FIFA anthem  'Go West' by the Pet Shop Boys. ANYWAY, a couple of days ago I was in TheCzech Republic, and then took the train the VIENNA, Austria for a meeting with Tomi Saric, a former pro who, with his family runs Cafe Anzengruber THE BEST cafe in Vienna. Then caught the ORIENT EXPRESS on the way from Budapest to Paris and dropped off in Rosenheim at 2.00am. And so it goes, on and on. Now for the 1.40 a.m ICE from Hamburg to Munchen, See ya later. IF YOU DON'T WANT to get this  almost daily blog, please let me know-I wont mind but thanks for all the positive comments. sorry about the spelling. Ron

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