If you live in the USA you might not have noticed that the World Cup is happening in Russia right now. For that, I'm sorry. If you live anywhere else in the entire world, you cannot escape it even if you could care less about football. Evidence of this tournament is everywhere and unavoidable. As a football fan, I find this fact absolutely spectacular. Every restaurant, cafe, bar, and beer garden has a screen up showing the games. It's amazing and I'm so thrilled to be on this continent during this tournament.
I was also very excited to be in Germany for the tournament seeing as how they were the champions of last World Cup in 2014. But, shockingly and much to the entire country's chagrin, Germany did not make it out of the group stages. This was a major blow to the team and the feeling in the air last Wednesday when their fate was sealed in a 2-0 loss to South Korea (cue face palm) was heavy. There has been much talk and speculation about why this happened; maybe it's the management or the team's cocky attitude going into the tournament. I even spoke to a German yesterday that told me they lost because of the hotel they were staying in. Whatever the case may be, it's clear no one in this country was expecting that. The clearest evidence of this is the amount of advertisements and commercial campaigns still running around the city and on the television featuring the colors of the German flag, German players, and their coach, despite the country's elimination. These contracts were made months or years ago and it's clear those involved expected a far more favorable outcome for Germany. You can't help but feel bad seeing the team coach Joachim Löw in this Nivea ad, or the whole team in this CommerzBank ad or this Coca-Cola commercial:
They are a constant reminder of how poorly the German team did and how, as the former world champions, they and the advertisers did not see this coming. And even back at home, here in our very apartment, sitting in our tiny European-sized refrigerator, a container of patriotic yogurt reminds us of the epic failure that was the German National Team of 2018. If anything could best depict the feeling of utter loss and sadness about this outcome, it would be this pathetic bucket of German 'Fussball Fan Edition' yogurt. You have to be sympathetic to the country that was so hopeful and enthusiastic about their national team they took a totally boring aspect of the German home, draped it in their country's flag, and marketed it towards the World Cup fans. Unfortunately, the yogurt couldn't help them. Thanks for the effort Deutschland and better luck in 2022.