- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 17, 2006

• On the train back from Nuremberg, I met a member of the F5 club. People see them around wearing shirts with F5 on them. F5, as some may know, is the refresh button on the computer. The members of the F5 club, who even have official badges, are those lucky fans who were able to purchase tickets in the lottery on the FIFA ticket Web site by continually pressing the F5 button on their computers.

• Sometimes, I wish I had my own F5 button. After getting into Hanover at 4 a.m. on the train, I could use a little R and R myself. Nobody told me a Marine Basic Training Course was needed to cover this event. Lugging my backpack halfway around Germany is certainly making up for time not spent at the gym. Still the exercise is good, because you should see the size of the sausages and hot dogs here.

• Seems as though many Mexican fans spent the night sleeping in the metro as they waited for yesterday’s game in Hanover with Angola. One jovial, pot-bellied man was trying to get a bench load of dead-tired Germans to chant “Mexico, Mexico” with him. At 4 a.m., he got a blank response.

• While waiting for an hour in the sweltering heat in Nuremberg for the media bus to the stadium, it was a welcome sight when the Red Bull car turned up. A nice German lady handed out the energy drink, and unlike D.C. United’s Alecko Eskandarian, who notoriously spat his Red Bull out in a goal celebration, I gulped my first-ever Red Bull down like Lawrence of Arabia and was buzzing all night.

John Haydon

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