Stinkefinger or Glory

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The British Foreign Office will not be responsible for whatever mayhem English football fans visit upon Germany come June's World Cup.

The government is mounting a full-pitch press to ensure that the Englanders who do make it to the Continent do not wreck themselves or the countryside. The Foreign Office has even cranked out a handy glossary for St. George's followers:

[Phrases] include Randalierer (hooligan), krawalle (rioting), schlagstock (truncheon), randalieren (go on the rampage), schlaegerei (brawl), raedelsfuehrer (ring-leader), polizeibekannt (known to police) and stinkefinger (middle-finger salute).

Football bodies are also keen to deter travelling England fans from singing the chant "10 German Bombers" and any other anti-German songs for fear of antagonising locals.

That is a reference to the 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall-style chant beloved of the Englanders:

There were 10 german bombers in the air
there were 10 german
there were 10 german
there were 10 german bombers in the air

and the RAF from england shot em down!
and the RAF from england shot em down!
and the RAF from england
the RAF from england
the RAF from england shot em down!

You can pretty much see how this is not going to end well.

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  1. If anybody does the goose step a la John Cleese in Fawlty Towers, they get thrown in jail. Actually, now that I think about it, I’ve got to ask, did I read that here?

  2. English fans are down right polite compared to Italian ‘ultras’ or violent Poland supporters. The real scare is not violence at games but at town squares where games will be shown on big screens throughout Europe and lots of fans staying in Poland because of the significantly lower cost and getting caught in violence there.

    Having said that:

    “If I had the wings of a sparrow,
    And the dirty arse of a crow,
    I’d fly over Germany tomorrow,
    And shit on the bastards below, (below!),
    Shit on, shit on, shit on the bastards below (below!),
    Shit on, shit on, shit on the bastards below (below!).”

  3. Here ya go.

    Apparently, these guys are actually Germans rooting for Britain and against Deutschland; but that part’s a long story…

  4. Football bodies are also keen to deter travelling England fans from singing the chant “10 German Bombers” and any other anti-German songs for fear of antagonising locals.

    One downside of having your native tongue spoken by people everywhere, I guess. Unless they sing it in German, that is.

  5. That song is just too funny.

    I can see a bunch of young Germans beating the crap out of an Englander who sings it though, or if they sing it in a group (more likely), then perhaps a riot starting.

    I second the notion that violence in stadiums is unlikely. Who wants to get kicked out? But in a bar or after games? Hmmmm…….

  6. My Marine Corps drill instructors taught me many useful life lessons.
    One was naming my fingers. What I had heretofore called my forefinger or pointer finger is now known as my trigger finger.
    My middle finger is my social finger.
    Having studied German, I’m wondering if there is a relation between social and “stinke,” and also whether the spelling is correct.
    It’s been a while, but I would have guessed, “schtinke.”
    Get back to me on that.

  7. spur — i’ve seen that as the song Scunthorpe supporters sing to their hated Grimsby Town rivals. Except the arse of the crow flies over Blundell Park, Grimsby instead.

    Is it adapted for other purposes? Hadnt’ seen a variant of it before, but that wouldn’t really be all that surprising.

  8. If anybody does the goose step a la John Cleese in Fawlty Towers, they get thrown in jail. Actually, now that I think about it, I’ve got to ask, did I read that here?

    You did.

  9. Just so long as they don’t break out this one:

    “Wenn ist das Nunstruck git und Slotermeyer? Ja!… Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!”

    Could be dangerous.

    (Don’t blame me if it’s not transcribed right. Source at http://www.jumpstation.ca/recroom/comedy/python/joke.html)

  10. Then there’s always this to the tune of ‘Colonel Bogey’

    Hitler, has only got one ball,
    Goring has two, but they’re very small,
    Himmler, has something sim’ler,
    And Goebbels, has no balls, at all.

  11. Worm, the “arse of a crow” song is used throughout MLS in various forms. We’ve got nothing original, so we have to make do by copying everyone else.

    In Columbus, we use it most often for Chicago (we also adapt “In Your Liverpool Slums” for those fuckers) and DC.

  12. Also, I second the comment that the English are downright polite compared to Eastern Europeans or the Italians. The English have done a ridiculous amount of work ensuring that they try to get rid of the reputation built in the 80’s.

    Not many known hoolies make it out of the country. 4 years ago, there was nary a whisper from the Japanese authorities about the English.

    All that said, most of the truly despicable human beings in said countries reserve their racisims and violence for club matches. The international travelling supporters tend to be a lot mellower. For example, contrast the behavior of the Ajax and Feyenoord supporters around one of those matches with the merry, orange-clad band of horn players that travels with Holland internationally.

    I do worry that it’s far too easy for thugs from Poland or the Czech Republic (or Holland, even) to go to the German venues, however.

  13. Did Jeff Taylor set out to make all his Hit and Run posts puns on Clash songs, or did it just happen that way?

  14. Yes, joe, next up is Lost in a Harris Teeter.

  15. “Don’t mention the war”

  16. joe,

    Which song in this thread? My fave Clash songs are “Should I stay or should I go”, “London Calling”, and “Rock the Kasbah”. Those are the only ones I know. I know lots and lotsa Ramones and Pistols songs. Do you think that any other Clash tunes are as good as those?

  17. Painfully obvious answer, but quiz question anyway: What was the first song played by US Armed Forces Radio (or whatever it is called, my apologies for my ignorance) from Operation Desert Shield in 1990?

  18. Do you think that any other Clash tunes are as good as those?

    “Lost in the Supermarket”, “Train in Vain”, “Clampdown”, “The Magnificent Seven”, “Straight to Hell”, “The Guns of Brixton”…

    It’s been a while, but I would have guessed, “schtinke.”

    Nope, “st” is always pronounced “scht” at the beginning of a word. And “Stink” means exactly what it means in English. “Social” is “sozial”.

  19. rhywun,

    Thanks for the Clash songs list.

  20. There’s also “Radio Clash” (Jesse Walker’s favorite, I’m sure),”Safe European Home”, “Spanish Bombs”, and – I’m amazed this was left out of the discussion – “White Riot”.

    I was in London while the 2002 World Cup was going on. From what I saw, the Brits hate Germany, or at least they hate the German football team. When the US played Germany in the Quarterfinals(?), some people were waving American flags in the street. Everyone I talked to wanted the US to beat Germany, and they were pretty disappointed when we didn’t.

    Timon’s point about the club matches is well taken. I’d thought about going to a local club match when I was there, but thought better of it – especially after seeing TV footage of rioting that occured in Milwall earlier that year.

  21. Painfully obvious answer, but quiz question anyway: What was the first song played by US Armed Forces Radio (or whatever it is called, my apologies for my ignorance) from Operation Desert Shield in 1990?

    If the answer’s what I think it is, methinks there’s a bit of irony to it, given that war was basically executed out of Wahhabi Arabia, and that the fears of Westernization brought about by the conflict led the royal family to give more power to religious reactionaries.

  22. Just so long as they don’t break out this one:

    “Wenn ist das Nunstruck git und Slotermeyer? Ja!… Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!”

    Could be dangerous.

    HAHAHAHA — *GASP* *THUD*

  23. Ruthless,

    Yep Stinkefinger is indeed correct if you write it, your version if you speak it.
    BTW, it’s a recent import from the US. In my time there you could get sued if you repeatedly tapped your temple with your index finger aimed at the guy in the other car.

  24. One of my moments of glory is that I got backstage passes many years ago at a Big Audio Dynamite show, and met Mick Jones.

    He was stoned to bejezus.

  25. Are all you Americans excited about Freddy Adu?

    Frreeeedddddyyyy AAAdddduuuuuu!!

    Or is it, indeed, Much Adu about nothing?

    I can’t wait for the World Cup. June 9th people, June 9th. My money’s on Italy. Luca Toni is awesome.

  26. Dang, someone beat me to the Python reference.

    And congratulations to Mark on the 1,000,000th “Much Adu” reference recorded to date.

  27. And congratulations to Mark on the 1,000,000th “Much Adu” reference recorded to date.

    Thank you. Thank you.

  28. Basil Fawlty: Is something wrong?
    German Guest: Will you please stop talking about the war?
    Basil Fawlty: Me? You started it.
    German Guest: We did not!
    Basil Fawlty: Yes, you did – you invaded Poland.

  29. If the answer’s what I think it is, methinks there’s a bit of irony to it, given that war was basically executed out of Wahhabi Arabia, and that the fears of Westernization brought about by the conflict led the royal family to give more power to religious reactionaries.

    Yeah, the answer is what you think. And there is more irony than that, the leader we were fighting against was totally secular, and indeed not just non-religious, but against Islam.

    But it was basically the most fitting song they could come up with I reckon. The rest of their playlist after that was just ordinary stuff you’d hear normally.

  30. “Timon’s point about the club matches is well taken. I’d thought about going to a local club match when I was there, but thought better of it – especially after seeing TV footage of rioting that occured in Milwall earlier that year.”

    Violence at english club matches has almost entirely disapeared — Millwall is one of the exceptions. go to a match, its fun.

    As for the Italian WC squad — a lot of italian americans are going to go to germany and sit in the italian section, meet actualy italian fans and realize why their relatives fled that wretched place a 100 years ago…go US.

  31. Adu ain’t going. He’s simply not even close to ready, and Bruce isn’t a dumbshit.

    It downright pisses me off when full-fledged, multi-generation-removed, American immigrants refuse to support the US, especially at the World Cup.

    It’s going to be an even tougher road this year. Talk about Group of Death. If the April FIFA rankings are any indication (and really they’re not), our group has #2 (Czechs), #4 (US – more on that later), #14 (Italy), and #50 (Ghana).

    Of course the US is NOT the 4th best team in the world, but we are solidly in the range of 5-15, where any of those teams can beat the other about half the time. Realistically, any of the top 50 can beat any of the other top 50 in a tournament like this on their day.

    Rankings like this are pure garbage, only good for winding up the Europeans and South Americans who we’re ranked above. They get absolutely apoplectic. FIFA’s formula is deeply flawed.

  32. our group has #2 (Czechs), #4 (US – more on that later), #14 (Italy), and #50 (Ghana)

    Uh oh. My sister in law is from Ghana. Well, she better understand who I’m rooting for.

    Rankings like this are pure garbage, only good for winding up the Europeans and South Americans who we’re ranked above. They get absolutely apoplectic. FIFA’s formula is deeply flawed.

    Indeed. The only thing this will do is provide (more) motivation for those teams to beat us. Italy is a tough team at it’s weakest, and the Czechs have been playing great for the past two years. The sad thing is, we’ve played so terribly on the international level, it’s not like anyone should need a leg up. We just got whacked by Germany allegedly #19 in the world.

    According to William Hill (British bookie, which explains England’s odds to some extent), here are the odds on winning the World Cup:

    Brazil 11/4
    England 11/2
    Italy 15/2
    Germany 8/1
    Argentina 8/1
    France 10/1
    Spain 12/1
    Holland 14/1
    Portugal 20/1
    Czech Rep 25/1
    Sweden 28/1
    Mexico 40/1
    Ukraine 50/1
    Ivory Coast 50/1
    Croatia 50/1
    Poland 80/1
    Australia 80/1
    U S A 100/1
    Switzerland 100/1
    Serbia – Montenegro 100/1
    Paraguay 150/1
    Japan 150/1
    Korea Republic 200/1
    Ghana 250/1
    Ecuador 250/1
    Tunisia 300/1
    Togo 400/1
    Angola 400/1
    Iran 500/1
    Costa Rica 500/1
    Saudi Arabia 750/1
    Trinidad & Tobago 1000/1

  33. …Germany (allegedly #19 in the world)…

  34. I saw Trinidad & Tobago beat Mexico just a short time ago.

    THe Mexican team sucks compared to any one of about 10 teams of the Liga Mexicano. Too many chefs, I guess.

  35. Hang on there, Penguin. The only evidence that we’ve “played so terribly on the international level” recently was that whacking by Germany. That and the recent draw with Jamaica.

    HOWEVER, the whacking by Germany was really anything but if you examine the circumstances. Germany was under tremendous pressure after being absolutely demolished by Italy their previous friendly. Thus, the Bundesliga agreed to allow Klinsmann to select whoever he wanted even as that date was not a FIFA-international date. As a consequence, Arena could NOT get the release of nearly all the European-based Americans who make up at least half of the first-choice XI.

    As a result, we started with about a 5th-choice midfield (injuries compounded the selection problem) and otherwise had about a B- team out there to Germany’s A team. Even then, the match was amazingly close until an 11-minute episode in the mid 2nd half where the backline completely lost it and gave up 3 in succession. We were a whisker away from drawing level around the 60th minute when Kahn made one of his impossible saves on a sure goal by Johnson. Shortly thereafter was the 11 minute stretch of brain-fart.

    Basically, the Germans and their experience took advantage of a bout of confusion among an experimental squad that pushed them for all they were worth for 70 minutes or so. Add to it the fact that the fans put pressure on Germany to win and that it was IN Gelsenkirchen, and it’s amazing that we did so well. The score did not reflect the play very well at all.

    The week prior, we beat Poland in a 2nd-half snowstorm in their backyard (Germany). So aside from the Germany result and the B-team v. B-team Jamaica sleepwalk, the US has been nothing short of stellar so far this year with largely experimental squads. The Norway 5-0 win employed nothing close to our first choice team, for example.

    Really, the US has been pretty close to spectacular, dating all the way back to the Quarterfinals in ’02 where we SHOULD have beaten Germany (by many of their players’ own admissions). We did have a really weak Gold Cup in ’03, though.

    It’s not like we don’t deserve to be very highly rated. I think that a lot of objective observers also thought we might have been robbed in getting snubbed out of one of the 8 seeds while Mexico got one. They’ve been our bitches for quite some time now.

    Germany is rated so low because as host, they didn’t have to go through qualifying, and therefore earn big points.

    And the odds the oddsmakers put out are almost as worthless as the FIFA rankings. They put out what will make them the most money in wagers placed vs. payout. It has a lot less to do with how likely a team is to win it.

  36. Timon, You’ve been following it more closely than I have recently (I wasn’t aware of the ‘A team vs B team’ issue at Germany), although that makes me wonder if Norway had their A team in for the 5-0 pasting.

    I think you’re thinking of the Confederations Cup in ’03 – where we lost to Brazil & Turkey, and then drew with Cameroon. It reminded me of the ’98 World Cup performance. Although we did lose again to Brazil in the GC ’03, we won most of the Gold Cup matches that year.

    The odds are probably a better judge of who will win than the rankings, with the notable exception of England’s 11/2 – but as I explained, it’s a Brit bookie, so there will be some patriotic bets skewing that number.

    You’re point about Mexico is well taken, especially since whether we play them in the US or Mexico, it’s a home game for Mexico. I can understand how some of the Europeans feel when they slam their neighbors – I would like to see the Mexican team get bitch slapped in Germany. By anyone.

    Having said all that, the tournament’s the thing.
    Most of the teams we’ve beaten in the past three years have been local yokels. This is what I was able to find for 2004 & 2005 for teams appearing in the WC:

    Oct 08 05 L 0-3 Costa Rica
    Sep 03 05 W 2-0 Mexico
    Aug 17 05 W 1-0 Trinidad & Tobago
    Jul 12 05 D 0-0 Costa Rica
    Jun 04 05 W 3-0 Costa Rica
    May 28 05 L 1-2 England
    Mar 27 05 L 1-2 Mexico
    Feb 09 05 W 2-1 Trinidad & Tobago
    Jul 11 04 D 1-1 Poland
    Apr 28 04 W 1-0 Mexico
    Mar 31 04 W 4-0 Poland
    Feb 18 04 L 0-1 Netherlands

    W-D-L
    6-2-4

    Not bad, but take away the 2 wins against T & T, and we’re at .500. I hope you’re right about our strength, but I fear you’re a bit too optimistic.

  37. Considering I just passed off the FIFA rankings as a joke a couple of posts back, I don’t think I’m overly optimistic ๐Ÿ™‚

    The trouble with the US is that we can only play who is available, and we’re in a weak confederation. We have a hard time convincing top class Euro teams to play friendlies with us unless they come here on a summer holiday. We really need to play more games IN Europe, but again… Similar with the big South American teams.

    All that said, the US is deeper than ever before and truly can hang with the best. We saw a wretched midfield, an experimental backline and no striking pair to speak of hang with and scare Germany in their house for most of a game. We’ve historically done pretty well against Brazil, believe it or not, even if we’ve only won once.

    I think we play better against Western Hemisphere styles than the Old World, especially Northern and Western Europe. I think that our style is more suited to playing Brazil or Mexico than Germany or France. Then again, we pretty much ran riot over Germany in ’02 and were robbed an equalizer…

    Now, I’d be a complete fool to not acknowledge that we have a good chance of playing three and going home. It’s legitimately The Group of Death. Italy are always formidable (last time we played them, before ’02’s Cup in Italy, we hung very tight and had our chances before David Regis got stripped of the ball and his chance at a World Cup for being a lazy dumbass).

    Last point: there is ONE place where the US is truly at home vs. Mexico : Columbus, Ohio. I was at both qualifiers there and it was unlike any sporting event I’ve ever witnessed, both times. Truly amazing, truly home-field. It was all the better as it’s where my “home” team, the Crew, plays. I regularly make the trip from Akron, OH.

    Do you have an MLS team near you, Penguin?

  38. I wouldn’t put anything into the last Costa Rica result either. Hell, I blocked it out completely ๐Ÿ™‚

    Fact was, we had just qualified by virtue of bitch-slapping Mexico yet again and we always have trouble in Costa Rica, especially with B-team material. As I remember, CR still had something to play for at that point.

    Lineup from that day (not as lowly as I thought, but not full squad at all):
    Howard
    Onyewu
    Pope
    Bocanegra (Martino, 75)
    Albright (Quaranta, 63)
    Mastroeni
    Lewis (Capt.)
    Beasley
    Convey
    Twellman
    Ching

    Twellman and Ching as a pairing are a disaster.

    BTW, you left a bunch of ’05 games out, including some qualifiers. Full ’05 results:

    2-1 W Trinidad & Tobago (Qual.) (away)
    3-0 W Colombia (home)
    1-0 W Honduras (home)
    1-2 L Mexico (Qual.) (away)
    2-0 W Guatemala (Qual.) (home)
    1-2 L England (home)
    3-0 W Costa Rica (Qual.) (home)
    3-0 W Panama (Qual.) (away)
    4-1 W Cuba (GC) (home)
    2-0 W Canada (GC) (Seattle)
    0-0 D Costa Rica (GC) (home)
    3-1 W Jamaica (GC) (home)
    2-1 W Honduras (GC) (home)
    0-0 D Panama (Win on PKs, GC Final) (home)
    1-0 W Trinidad & Tobago (Qual.) (home)
    2-0 W Mexico (Qual.) (home, clinched qualification)
    0-0 D Guatemala (Qual.) (away)
    0-3 L Costa Rica (Qual.) (away)
    2-0 W Panama (Qual.) (home)
    1-1 D Scotland (away)

    That’s 13-4-3 for the year.

    Not too shabby with a continental tournament and the final round of qualification going on.

  39. Not since Tampa lost theirs – I live in Orlando. Now I root for the NE Revolution (I was born in NH), although without cable, it’s not easy to do anything other than look at the scores on the Internet. I’ve only watched a couple games on TV in the past two years.

    I do try to make it to a bar when the US plays, but the only one around me that shows soccer also allows smoking (despite my pen name, I quit a few years ago). I’m sure that will change for the WC, and even if it doesn’t, I’ll be willing to drive a ways for that.

    Glad to hear there’s one venue we could play where it’s a real home game. I didn’t know what the US Soccer Foundation was thinking by scheduling in Dallas, Houston or LA. Why not just schedule in Mexico City and ask for half the proceeds?

    It might be good that we’re playing Italy 2nd instead of 3rd. If Italy beats Ghana, they may fall back into their habit of conservative, defensive football, and we could come out of that match with a draw (or a win, FTM). Of course, the Czechs have been playing very well since Euro ’04 – I think they only lost twice last year – to the Netherlands and to Norway. Maybe they’ll slouch at just the right time.

    The bad thing is, if we come in second in the group, the very next match will be against the group F winner, almost certainly Brazil. I still don’t think we can beat them unless they beat themselves (which they are very capable of doing).

  40. Timon – I took out all of the results from non-WC teams, since it seemed somewhat better from a predictive standpoint.

  41. I see. But there were some traditionally pretty solid teams that didn’t qualify this time around, and leaving out a continental competition kind of undercuts the “performance in a real tournament” angle.

    That sucks about the Mutant Bats. Apparently, MLSNet offers streaming video of the matches (though I don’t think it’s live) for a reasonable fee. Digital cable takes care of my fix pretty well, if expensively.

  42. SmokingPenguin:

    I’m amazed this was left out of the discussion – “White Riot”.

    Oh yeah, I forgot. That’s the fourth Clash song that I listen to. I also have a vid of em playing it in a park in France.

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