Monday, July 21, 2014


I picked up a new word today. The word is Portuguese, and funnily enough there is no translation for it in any other language. This word is also proof that words are not enough to express whatever it is we are feeling because I am feeling "Saudade" and there isn't a word in a language I speak that could describe what that means. However much I want to express myself in words all the time some things can neither be expressed just as much as they can't be explained. Translating "Saudade" might not be possible, but explaining it can be. As far as I understood "Saudade" is a feeling of deep nostaligia and reminiscence of someone or something that can never be recaptured. As it turns out "Saudade" is therefore a huge extension in my dictionary because I have felt it millions of times in my life but never had a word to express it with. Just because there is no word for it doesn't mean it doesn't exists though. Being a writer should have taught me that.

There are three kinds of people: those that live in the past, in the present or in the future. Throughout my life I have struggled to live in the present although I want nothing more than to belong to that group of people. While my past wasn't that extensive I was largely living in the future, always having dreams and using the present merely to make them come true. Now that life has struck and most of these dreams haven't come true and I can no longer use the present to make them happen because the past is what defines the future I am more and more becoming a person that looks back and remembers the time when things were still possible. On top of that the past has a tendency of reminding one of the good things rather than the bad so that it is easier to love the life of the past retrospectively than it was when the past was still the present. Consequently, looking back can hurt sometimes.

That might exactly be what "Saudade" is. It's hard for me to imagine that I will never be able to recapture the moments that have passed. I have never been a person that took "You can't do this" easily. I always thought I can do anything if I tried hard enough. Unfortunately, that is not the case! It outright blows that in seven years I will have spent half of my life without my father and I will never see him again although he's the reason I exist. However much I want to see him again I will never succeed. But even with far less dramatic and melodramatic ambitions I might not be successful because of the past I have lived. The best years of my life were in Dundee which I know now but failed to realize sometimes while I was still living them because someone was bullying me or because I got a C. Thinking that I will never be able to relive the love I had for that time is heartbreaking although I wouldn't want to be there now.

So I wouldn't actually switch the present for the past. I am glad I'm evolving and that new things happen. If I was still as old as I am now and still in the same place I was four years ago I'd be very unhappy. However, the memory is painful and not altogether pleasant. I'd certainly do a few things differently but that has nothing to do with "Saudade". I don't want the past to be my present or future but the fact it is gone forever is a harsh reality. As my present right now is nothing to be desired I have to focus on the future. In order for a future to happen I will have to use my present more wisely though. Because that is very hard to do "Saudade" overcomes me sometimes. The only feeling that overcomes me even more often than "Saudade" is its antithesis: anticipation of the future. I am more excited about what is to come than I am reminiscent of what has passed. I can only consider it pure luck that it is that way...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Being the #1 in the World makes ya feel alright

I have been unable to think about anything but football for five weeks now. Needless to say, I feel like my life has changed drastically since the end of the best tournament in the world on Sunday. And indeed it has changed... for the better! I'm still just as confused about life as I was six weeks ago with a huge difference: I am now a world champion! I don't consider myself a champion because I'm a fan but because I have waited for this title longer than most guys on that team. If I could have done anything to contribute I would have. I expressed my support with massive confidence in my betting game and meditations in which I tried to contact Philipp Lahm's spirit. Since I can't be a professional football player even if I tried that's all I could have done. And now it finally payed off.

All those years I imagined what it would feel like to see my all-time favorite player Miroslav Klose lift the Cup, and now that I know I can assess that it's better than I actually hoped for. It was exstatic, a rush going through my entire body full of pride and joy. If this was an effect drugs had I'd consider becoming an addict. I don't know what drugs do but it couldn't be better than what I felt on Sunday Night, 23.48 when Mario Götze ended 113 minutes of a pulse exceeding 140. I basically ran to Paris and back, measured by my heart rate. There is rather embarrassing photographic proof of me genuinely going insane. And that without a drop of alcohol. Or drugs. Or anything. Just one goal that made my dreams come true.

Over the past six years I was convinced the FIFA World Ranking was going to be owned by my country again. Every tournament I bet money, and favors, and meals on my team only to get kicked out by lucky Italians who had a ucky shot. That's part of the game and that's alright I guess. However, winning in Brazil after playing a tournament like that made all the years of waiting worth it. Pretty much the entire world was behind us because we deserved this trophy if there could ever be such a thing as "deserving" it. An amazing team on and off the field, playing against just about every hard opponent in the entire tournament and missing out so marginally on the honor in the last 12 years made people even outside of this country celebrate Germany winning the title. What an achievement...

I have warm feelings for everyone on that team. I even love Ginter, Großkreutz and Durm. There's no "I" in T.E.A.M, right? But seriously, some of these guys stand out. Bastian Schweinsteiger, what a beast. That guy epitomized what it means to fight for something you really want. How can this guy even still want it? So many setbacks in the quest for a title in international football and now he's freaking immortal. Way to go, man! Mario Götze, with the luckiest shot I've ever seen him make. No doubt, this guy is exceptional but he doesn't usually get a shot like that. And you know why he did now? Because he knew he had to. We had to win it. These boys are modest to the core for absolutely no reason but they always knew they'd take it, and I don't think you could play a tournament like that without thinking you're an absolute animal. Great job, boys!

I've never met anyone involved in this win and just like everybody else in this country I probably have an amount of love for them only topped by the love I have for my mother. I love them! They have given me more joy than anyone else has ever given me which probably derives from my unhealthy obsession with becoming the World Champion. I always knew they could do it but tried their apporach this year of avoiding to boast. When the media critisized them for making fun of the Argentinians that one time I got mad as hell because they were so down-to-earth the entire time, patting a crying David Luiz on the back, calling the Algerians "a team not to be underestimated" (which even turned out to be true) and finishing the game against Brazil, they deserve to celebrate themselves like the kings they are. I'm looking forward to a 70-year-old Thomas Müller reminisce about this.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Why is being intelligent better than being beautiful?

I just had an epitome while watching the latest press conference of my German football heroes. Football players are universally known for not being the brightest cookie in the jar, and how could they be considering that in order to become a professional football player they abandon what we call "an education" no later than age 15 in order to become a physical machine. That means focusing on becoming smart is not only irrelevant for a football player, because why the hell would you need brains on a field, but also slightly impossible. At the same time I don't see why this is even a problem because as long as these guys are fit who cares if they speak English or win money at charity trivia events. Yet everyone seems to feel entitled to talk down these hot, athletic poster boys for lack of brains. This has made me realize that intelligence is the currency in which we feel we can justly judge people. And I hate it!

I would say that out of all compliments I ever got my favorites have been the times people called me smart. On the other side of the coin I don't enjoy being called beautiful unless it's the man of my dreams saying it. Why? Because I inherently think that the latter is a superficial compliment. But why should my supposed intelligence define me more than my supposed beauty? It doesn't really make sense. Maybe I feel that beauty is something that can be amended while intelligence is a trait I was born with but that isn't even true. I became smart as a consequence to the life I lived. The amount of talent involved in becoming smart is no bigger than the genetic component of what people call beauty. Reading countless books has been to my inteligence what lipstick and mascara is to my beauty; one is no better than the other.

People talk down beautiful people for having less intelligence because intelligent people tend to have less beauty. While being beautiful is definitely what most people notice about someone more intelligence is what everybody claims they're looking for in potential partners. Who is everybody kidding? It's funny such an argument would start with mentioning football players because when's the last time these apparent ping pong balls married someone ugly. Not only are they mostly gorgeous but they have a reputation for being just as stupid as their husbands. And that's my epitome: intelligence is the currency they all want to pay with, however, usually beauty is the only one accepted. The only reason why one is better than the other is that one is volatile, the other isn't.

That makes intelligence no better than beauty. For a football player, however, intelligence is just not necessary while for an academic like me beauty isn't even remotely part of the deal. 99% of people outside of university that have ever read my stuff have never seen my face or the size of my tush (or, since nobody knows, my incredibly flat stomach). For me it's undoubtedly more important to be considered for brain power than for nice teeth or big boobs. To discard that football players unjustly make as much money as they do because they're stupid is a huge mistake. These guys have shaped their bodies in ways I could only hope to shape my brain. More time has gone into making them machines than in making me a writer. Thus far, I'm having it because I'm making zero dollar with it while RVP makes millions. And it's fair because he owns his trade more than I do mine and brings in millions to the club he's playing at while nobody is willing to let me make them money (as of yet). I think we have a winner!

So I might be brighter than Lukas Podolski but it doesn't pay the bills at all. Why intelligence is what they're all defining people with is beyond me. Both beauty and intelligence are completely irrelevant to knowing a person. Of course that offers a starting point to defining attraction but one is just as superficial as the other. My dream man is obviously hot, beautiful, intelligent and sporty at the same time, yet I have been with exactly zero guys who have fit this description. Worse, I have been with ugly, fat and stupid guys and they were still lovely. My bottom line is that defining people by intelligence might not be as superficial as defining them by beauty but it's just as pointless. And a football player applying the only rules he knows to finding a spouse makes perfect sense. No wonder they're all ridiculous bimbos. It's a hot and hollow boy these girls have to stand next to, and that works perfectly without a brain.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ode to German Legends!

I am genuinely speechless... and I'm a writer! In fact, a writer being speechless means that there are too many things to be said at the same time one can't decide on what to say first. I do not know where to start in summarizing a day I will never forget in my entire life. I am a huge football fan and I am German so I'm sure nobody would be surprised to hear that I would call it the most beautiful night ever. I am convinced I will talk about yesterday when I'm 90, when I tell my grandkids about the times before Thomas Müller was the best player on Earth. I woke up covered in goosebumps this morning although saying "morning" would be a stretch. Expressing what I feel about our historic 7-1 win last night won't be a breeze. Because words can't do it justice.

Being on the internet last night and this morning has been the best experience I've had with new media so far. I'm a general enthusiast of social media but I never experienced me and my 1,000 facebook friends and all of twitter having a global conversation about one and the same thing. I didn't know which of the countless memes I wanted to share. All I wanted to do was shout out to the world how amazing this game was, and Social Media gave me that chance. In return I was repeatedly crying because people from all over the world sent me pictures, videos and congratulations. I felt like it was my birthday, only I didn't even get old. I feel like a million dollars now...

To think back now and remember how I celebrated the first goal seems a little silly. And even today I still can't fully comprehend what happened. Maybe that's because I didn't see it all happen properly. After Miroslav Klose scored his 16th goal at a World Cup, I was on the floor, crying my eyes out. When I got up two more goals had been scored, and we were ahead 4-0. At that stage everybody was in absolute exstasy already. The fourth goal was very obviously not a recap, yet everyone in the room couldn't believe it was happening again. Of course, the game had been decided but it was the way in which it happened that saw people watch the screen in shock. Every other goal just made it more unbelievable. Heads were shaking in disbelief.

Four goals in five minutes? That's incredible, I can't believe it's real. There was no time for celebration because the next goal was already in the making. The Brazilians were paralyzed. It wasn't a superior German team that pulled that off. I remember this stage 8 years ago when the Italian goal against Germany in extra time was followed by a second one in seconds because it was over and the Germans couldn't move anymore. As an appreciator of Brazilian football I almost feel bad. Yes, they were never good enough to justify their favorite status but a humiliation like this at home is a real shame. Ronaldo was having a nightmare as Miro beat his record and the Mannschaft his team.

I also can't help but to go into more detail about the best moment in football history for me. When I was 13 years old my school decided to make us go to PE class instead of allowing us to see the game against Cameroon. One of the teachers came running to the gym and shouted "Tor durch Kopfball-Klose!" ("Goal by Header-Klose"). From this day on Miroslav Klose has been my favorite player. I admire his game and the person he is. What a contrast he is to Ronaldo who is undoubtedly a legend but he indulges in it. Klose scored his record-breaking 16th goal last night and quietly wept a tear. Four year of waiting to get a chance to do it and then he suceeds. What a moment! He only went to Lazio so he would have the chance to become the best scorer of World Cup history, and yesterday the most humble man in football did it. If we win the World Cup now I vowed to get a tattoo in his honor...

One more game, entering as the clear favorite which can't hurt. However, the only team that's possibly as hungry as we are is the Dutch one because they still don't have a single star. I will not sleep until Sunday because I'm too nervous. This means so much to me that Sunday could wipe out the desperation of this year so far and instantly make it the summer of my life. My sister changed her ticket to come home to watch the final here, and it would be one of my biggest dreams come true to see Miro lift that cup. 90 minutes will make the difference between the happiest Sina ever or devastation. May the football gods be with us...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Germany, champions!

It's been tough blogging while the best tournament in the history of sport has been on. I just can't help but to watch almost every game because you just couldn't be too sure this time. Despite my exact picks for the semi-finals coming through (wasn't too sure whether it was going to be Spain or the Netherlands but guess my picks did turn out) I was not sure I'd be right all the time. Not even with my own team. So in 24 hours my hopes could be crushed and my team's would be playing for third place AGAIN. In football you just never know, even if you're the best team in the world. Hence my dilemma...

There shouldn't really be a contest. Brazil is never a crap team but they are not the favorites, I'm so confused as to why they're always being called that. The only huge advantage they have in my eyes is a supportive crowd. Who was even talking about Brazil being a favorite before winning the Confed Cup last year against Spain. Sure, back in the day beating Spain was still a big deal, ever since this tournament it's pretty obvious what most people saw coming for a while: You don't have to be an exceptional team to beat the Spanish. But no, ever since the Maradonnas and Beckenbauers of this world were sure Brazil would take this title.

The last time Germany played Brazil we won 3:2 with an overall better performance. And that wasn't at a tournament. Clearly, we should be confident. The only World Cup game we ever lost to them was the 2002 final in which our captain wasn't playing (ironic, isn't it, Neymar) and Brazil was equipped with legends. Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, who would forget these guys? They were epic! And now? Am I supposed to be scared of Hulk? I might regret saying this tomorrow because obviously there is a pretty good chance this guy will destroy my dreams tomorrow but I just can't be scared of him. Not after everything I've seen in the past month. From nobody in that team...

I don't actually think Neymar's absence will make a difference. Yes, that kid is a menace on the field but when is the last time an individual won a World Cup? You see it in Portugal where arguably the best player in the world right now wasn't even allowed to score until his final seconds at the tournament. however, hopefully it will give our defense some confidence. Thiago Silva not blocking the goal is probably a much bigger advantage. They just can't be scared, then it usually works out alright. This is really the biggest challenge psychologically in a long time because this tournament beforehand was all about Brazil, just as our opponent Spain was the talk of the town at that stage four years ago, and I painfully remember how that went...

So I genuinely believe that Germany should win this game, and the tournament on Sunday and that rationally that would make a lot of sense. The last few years I couldn't see anyone but Germany winning and it still feels foreign to me now. This time it's different and I'm just hoping that's a good thing. Unfortunately it could go as badly as Algeria almost kicking us out in the Group of 16 which could have happened if the Gods were as against us as at this stage 8 years ago when utter luck put Italy in the final and not Germany. I sincerely hope these Gods spare me another of these horrible experiences and I'll be able to sleep easily tomorrow night. And celebrate like crazy on Sunday...

Oh Lord, please!