Tag Archives: Czech republic

Gelsenkirchen: Pre-Game

So it’s before the game and we’re all pretty much walking on air (and beer & brats, natch!). It’s an hour before my first World Cup match and I feel good. Even Czech Man couldn’t bring me down.
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At every stadium and Fan Fest, outside the security gates, was a poster which listed all the items and behavior that was prohibited inside.
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Apparently in addition to weapons, drugs and bull horns, also on the prohibited list are toilet paper, luggage, dogs, martinis and ninjas. The last one is just plain weird.

World Cup Entry #1: Some Thoughts On The Cup

“Major Strosser has been shot……Round up the usual suspects.”

“Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

These two lines are the last two in a long list of sublimely quotable ones in a film that might just have more classic (and misquoted) lines in film history. What does this have to do with the title of this entry? Well, as I wrote these words, I was on my way to Dusseldorf, Germany (by way of London, Brussels and Cologne…don’t ask) to attend the World Cup. Upon boarding my overstuffed American Airlines flight and checking the schedule of the films on offer, I noticed that they had wisely added a classics channel and guess what was playing… Yup. Casablanca. On my way back, it’s The Maltese Falcon. How cool is that?
The thing is, I’m not on my way to a film festival which is where most of you are used to seeing me or reading me. This is a much more exciting trip than your garden variety film festival or even Cannes, Sundance or Berlin, to be honest. This is the World Cup. The granddaddy of all world sporting events. Simply put, the FIFA World Cup is the biggest, most exciting and most important sporting event in the world. It’s undoubtedly the world’s most important sporting and cultural gathering and it’s about the US got on board.
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Above: The author (center) surrounded by friends Matt Bourke and Leo Simmons in Gelsenkirchen before the Czech Republic ripped us a new one.

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