Dear Friends of German Comedy,
Another appalling month comes to an end.
I am devastated. February went so well that I can hardly think of anything to be angry about.
Last month I played three times at Hackney Empire, recorded an episode for Paramount’s The World Stands Up and performed alongside Otto Kuhnle to sell-out crowds at Hampstead’s New End Theatre.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that the only things that made my blood boil had to do with football, most and foremost AC Milan’s play-acting in Munich. Once the Southerners scored their ludicrous penalty they had never more than three players standing on their feet at any one time. The others were busy rolling round the pitch feigning injuries. It was an utter disgrace!
I don’t know whether I support the various media campaigns against cheating though. It goes without saying that I condemn gamesmanship (unless it wins Germany a penalty in a World Cup final) but I think that media should focus on reporting news instead of creating them and printing “No Diving” posters to be held up at football grounds might be overstepping the mark. What I like about The Times “No Diving” campaign a lot though is that they could have singled out any player but decided to vent the public anger most and foremost at a Dutchman (Arjen Robben). Well done!
Having in mind the high profile of football and the fact that nobody would publicly support diving I am just surprised that New Labour hasn’t hijacked the topic yet.
The latest proof that football is going downhill in this country was that Gary Neville was fined by the English FA for celebrating a last-minute goal against Liverpool in an extrovert manner.
I have got no soft feelings for Manchester United, or any other Premiership side for that matter, but to put a player in the doghouse for being loyal to his club seems absurd. At the same time it doesn’t come as a surprise. There is not a single matchday in English football where not one Chief Superintendent or another speaks words to the effect of “We are mounting a criminal investigation following numerous complaints….”
I always wonder who complains about such a thing as a goal celebration. It can hardly be any of the usual suspects, i.e. old people, teachers and religious hardliners.
Old people are outpriced from attending football matches (then again, who isn’t), teachers have something else to do on a Saturday afternoon such as selling fair-trade coffee for a charity on the High Street and religious hardliners won’t bother with something as profane as a goal celebration. Surely they’ll see the bigger picture and ponder how to blow up the whole ground instead.
Anyway, whoever is responsible should get done for wasting police time.
That’s it for now – have a good month.
Auf geht’s Deutschland!
Posted by Henning Wehn
on Thursday, March 2nd, 2006.