worldcup

The pandemic World Cup Fever

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014 - Last Updated on August 13, 2014
worldcup

worldcupThat’s it. Germany won the 1024 World Cup 1-0 against Argentina. So, what happens next? Would the social media party frenzy about the World Cup ebb slowly?

A day after the championship, most friends all over the world posted things such as ‘what would I do tonight / early morning / midnight when there’s no more World Cup to watch?’ on their Facebook wall.

Not only that, most of the people I met and some of them I overheard during train rides would also lament the same sentiment: “I keep on thinking what game would be on tonight and then I would remember that the World Cup is already finished!”

Other comments include: “‘I didn’t realize how boring life is without the World Cup.” Others have already started a countdown for World Cup 2018 in Russia. Well, I cannot blame them, I can definitely relate.

What was the magic of World Cup 2014 compared to the World Cup 2010 and even World Cup 2006?

I don’t know. On my part, World Cup 2006 was bigger in my memory compared to 2010. Maybe because I was in Germany at that time, and Germany was the host of the 2006 World Cup. It went down in German history as A Summer Tale or Ein Sommermärchen. The German team lost to Italy during the semifinal round, but they were welcomed to the capital city of Berlin like they won the championship. (They were third place). That time, I specifically asked my husband I wanted an official World Cup 2006 ladies t-shirt and I got one. Plus of course, we collected small German flags because most shops were giving them away for free. During World Cup 2010, we were in the Philippines and it passed us like a soft breeze and never left an impression.

And then came World Cup 2014. A few days before the first game started, my girls started bugging me to buy them shirts supporting the German team; not admitting that I already bought World Cup souvenirs from the One Euro shops around our area. What did I get? Flags, shirts, shorts, car accessories, a face paint, even a pair of cute sun glasses in German colors. Of course, there are also those souvenir freebies coming in from chocolate boxes, beer cases, etc.

We were not able to watch the first games because we were out camping. That doesn’t mean we missed it though. The people in the campsite prepared for the World Cup. You could see cases of drinks stocked outside their pitches, there are long tables in front of their television sets (which they placed outside especially for that day), not to mention the colorful buntings and sweets. Of course, most people invited over are wearing their colors, too! When the game started, you could hear their cheers echoing until the wee hours of the morning. Nope, we didn’t complain, it made our camping time more exciting because we became second hand viewers.

Back home, I didn’t realize that the experience in the campsite increased the World Cup fever not only in me, but in the whole family, too. That was before my elderly neighbor knocked on our door and presented us a big package of sweets and wine presumably to tide us over while watching the World Cup games!

Not surprisingly, my interest always would perk up during the games of Germany. Why? Because my girls would be begging to stay up late, they would be gearing up with their German shirts, will have their face painted, even nails, with the German colors; and of course, they would need popcorns! They’re normally allowed to stay up late because their schools became lenient during World Cup.

And I really thought we were the only one getting World Cup insane (aside from our neighbor). I was wrong. Cars and houses already have flags displaying the countries they support; aside from the jerseys proudly being worn by World Cup supporters.

But boy, it was a big surprise to me that most of the updates in Facebook would be about the World Cup, even in Twitter, yes, including in the US and the Philippines! I remember during the Germany vs Brazil game, where Germany would win 7-0 against Brazil.

I am a fan that cannot sit still during a game. During that particular night, I was sitting in front of the computer, reading online updates and chatting on Facebook because I was too tense to concentrate on the game. Though I didn’t really escape the game because most topics concentrate on the World Cup, even from my friends in the Philippines although it was the middle of the night there!

What made that night incredible was that I could hear fireworks exploding one after the other. Most Germans would express their happiness about the goals of their team by fireworks, thus, you could imagine how crazy it went during the first five goals. And the Facebook updates cannot cope up with the overwhelming goals of the German team. Oh, I mean, I was not able to cope because it will remain an unbelievable night for me. I stayed up until 4 in the morning, relieving the highlights of the game on television during the analysis phase and in my laptop, scouring for World Cup news! I only stopped when my husband told me to go to bed!

Of course, the final game between Germany and Argentina was also a blast. A tense and action-packed game that could have gone into a penalty shoot-out if not for Mario Götze’s goal in the extra minutes that sealed the title for the Germans.
For that, I stayed in front of the television on the day they arrived in Berlin to welcome the whole team. I would have loved to be there but hey, watching the program on television, you could already feel the excitement, the World Cup fever is still high that day. As one radio commentator said the second day after the championship, “You know what, we are still the World Cup champion!” And he would continue saying that the whole week.

What made World Cup 2014 memorable in history? Because it broke a lot of records, not only the records of FIFA but also in Twitter and Facebook history. It was social media party frenzy!

Facebook said that 88 million global users made a record 280m interactions – posts, likes and comments – during the World Cup final which broke the previous record held of 245m interactions, set by the Super Bowl in 2013. US, Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Indonesia were the top five countries that participated in the global Facebook buzz.

Meanwhile, there were 10 FIFA records broken during the Germany vs Brazil game as summarized by Emirates 24/7 as follows:

No. 1: Germany’s 7–1 win against Brazil marked the largest ever margin of victory in a FIFA World Cup semi-final.

No. 2: The thumping loss is Brazil’s biggest margin of defeat ever (tied with a 6-0 loss to Uruguay in 1920). The previous record was a 3-goal margin, set thrice before.

No. 3: The 6-goal margin of loss is the worst ever thumping of a host nation in the World Cup in any stage, let alone in the semis.

No. 4: Germany has scored more goals in this World Cup, they now have 223 goals since 1930, three more than Brazil.

No. 5: Germany’s Miroslav Klose scored his 16th World Cup goal to break the tournament’s individual goal-scoring record, one more than Brazilian Ronaldo.

No. 6: It was the fastest four goals scored in World Cup history as Germany scored four (4) in the span of six minutes (from 23 to 29).

No. 7: It was also the first time five goals were scored in a 29-minute period of play.

No. 8: Germany’s Toni Kroos fired in his two goals just 69 seconds apart, the fastest in the tournament’s history.

No. 9: It was Germany’s highest half-time lead in a World Cup match, with their previous best being 4-0 against Saudi Arabia in 2002 (8-0).

No. 10: Germany broke the record for most World Cup final appearances for a total of 8 World Cup Final appearances.

World Cup 2018 is in four years. The flags have been carefully folded and stored, as well as the other accessories, except for those decorating our car. You see, we are going to the Netherlands for a camping trip. We just want to show our true color for a few weeks longer. Yes, the World Cup fever is still high.

Raquel Erhard blogs at Home Worked. She lives in Germany with her German husband and their two daughters.

Raquel Erhard blogs at Home Worked. She lives in Germany with her German husband and their two daughters.

Racquel Erhard (4 Posts)


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