On Saturday afternoon, I took my son to get a haircut at a pretty well-known barbershop in Washington, D.C., near Howard University. I had on my Germany away jersey because Germany was playing Sweden, and I love that jersey. Mexico won earlier in the day, making this a must-win for Germany for them to have a chance to make it to the knockout rounds.
If you pay any attention to the World Cup, then you know how that Germany-vs.-Sweden match ended. In the 82nd minute, Jerome Boateng—one of four black players on the German side—was ejected from the game after his second yellow card, leaving Germany with 10 players on the field. At the end of regulation, when five minutes of stoppage time was added, the game was a 1-1 draw.
On a penalty kick at roughly the 95-minute mark, Toni Kroos bent that shit like Beckham for one of the most awesome goals of the World Cup thus far. That shit was beautiful. Even if you hate soccer, you had to be impressed with it. And yes, that’s what she said. And no, that didn’t make any sense.
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While my son’s hair was being cut, as a fan of Germany, I threw my hands up in the air, waved them like I just didn’t care and did the Kid ’n Play by myself. In the barbershop.
And then I ended up having the same conversation that happens every single time somebody finds out that I’m a black man whose rooting interest in the World Cup is home to some of the most professionally exuberant racists in world history:
“Dog ... wait ... you’re rooting for Germany? I need to know why.”
“I grew up in Germany ... I ... I grew up in Germany. Frankfurt is home, fam.”
“It ain’t natural for a black man to be rooting for Germany, moe.”
“I struggle with it, too. But it’s home. School, church, family, life. Outside of D.C., I lived in Germany longer than anywhere else in my life. I mean, it’s ... the home team, even when America is in it.”
“I guess. That’s the only answer you can give that I’ll accept, but it’s still weird, bro. Shit just ain’t natural.”
“They gave us the frankfurter!”
Gonzenheim for life.