Sunday, June 11, 2006

Riots at the World Cup?

I was reading with great interest this week a small article in the Toronto Star. The article was so short that I can't find it in the paper's online version.

The article noted that American brewer Budweiser is now the official beer of this year's World Cup of Soccer in Germany. The article interviewed some occupants of some German pubs for their take on the Budweiser sponsorship. Words that compared Budweiser to dish water were bandied about by the coneisseurs of beer found in these pubs.

I thought, at the time, that the riots may ensue over the poor beer quality compared to what they are used to. I remember my first days in New York City drinking Budweiser. After my first sip of Budweiser my taste buds were asking why I would give them water when they were expecting beer.

Germans, being the second largest beer consumers per capita in Europe (just behind the Czechs in case your wondering), I figured might be heavily upset at the thought of removing true German beers in favour of this "American swill."

To make matters worse for World Cup crowds, the offical food vendor for the World Cup events is McDonald's. So gone are the pretzels and other traditional World Cup fan favourites. I figured that this just might be the final straw for Soccer fans who might rebel by showing the American food and beverage companies some true European Soccer rioting. That didn't happen.

World Cup drunken riots are less likely to occur this year. Why? Because, as everyone knows, the alchohol concentration in American beer is so low it would take hours of straight drinking for the Germans and other Europeans to even feel a buzz. By the time the buzz just begins to hit, the soccer games are most likely over. Its a shame really..... It seems the Americanization of the food and beverage will also remove the traditional rioting and hooliganism that is associated with the World Cup events which is truly a European tradition.

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