The first losers
Surely the Euro 2008 hosts would go into hiding, fall into a collective depression, or at the very least have a decent sulk about it all? Editor Anna Tuson learns more about the national mentality of her host country...
Just over a week into it and Switzerland is already out. OK, no-one ever really thought they would make it all the way, but to be the first to go, and to get the boot so lickety-split – ouch, right?
Coming from a place where the national economy actually suffers when the country's sporting pride and joy fail to do good in an international clash, I expected the after-effects of such a defeat to be fairly apparent.
Surely the Euro 2008 hosts would go into hiding, fall into a collective depression, or at the very least have a decent sulk about it all?
Let's be honest, as a non-football fan (besides the fact it's a great excuse for a solid diet of beer and bratwurst) that was really what I was hoping for: Let's just pretend it never happened, get on with our lives, and leave the rest of them to it in the stadiums – maybe we can do something other than seek out the nearest wide screen every night and sing “ole ole ole ole...”
However, unfortunately – but I must say, admirably – the Swiss have been pretty good sports about it all, and have not lost the spirit of the occasion.
As a friend of mine put it, “Now we can enjoy the games, without having to get stressed about it.”
The fans still turned out on Sunday night to see the final Swiss game against Portugal. And even though it would not count for anything in the competition, they still took joy and pride in their win, although the atmosphere had certainly cooled down a few notches in comparison to the first tussle with Turkey.
Certainly lovers of the game itself, most of the natives seem to have just moved on to support their second choice. (And this nomination, apparently, can be based on any reason from the nationality of your girlfriend's mother, or an undefined claim to partial heritage, the ability to speak a few key words in the tongue of the nominated team (viva espana!), or, my favourite, the attractiveness of the goalie). They are determined to make the most of the buzz and the party atmosphere reverberating around their own back yards, and good on them. Another few weeks of beer and bratwurst it is.
Anna Tuson - Expatica 2008
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