On Sunday afternoon, I was speaking with a German journalist and he told me, in a disappointed tone of voice: “You know, practically all of the national teams have a good nickname. Super Eagles, Azzuri, Le Bleus. We don’t. Just Die Mannschaft. Do you have a suggestion?”
At the time, I didn’t come up with any bright ideas, but after watching Germany steamroll over Australia, I have a name that could fit will with this strong, fast and ruthless team – Die Dampflokomotive (The Locomotive).
I know the Socceroos aren’t the strongest team on the planet, and that Tim Cahill was sent off in the second half, but Germany could have scored six or seven goals in Durban on Sunday night.
CNN’s David McKenzie will spend the entire month of the World Cup traveling around South Africa in a Winnebago and taking the pulse of the host country, the first nation on the continent to stage sport’s most illustrious occasion.
Cape Town, South Africa - Chief Petty Officer Dudley Malgas’ job is to tell the time - and he does it using the world’s oldest muzzle-loading cannon still firing. Every working day, the South African navy has fired the noonday gun at exactly midday over Cape Town as it has done for more than 200 years. It is so accurate that people still set their watches by it.
South Africa’s moment as it hosts the first African World Cup isn’t lost on this timekeeper.
“Cape Town is alive,” he says as he stands on the slopes of Signal Hill looking out over the wide vista of Cape Town spread out in front of him, “by hosting the World Cup 2010.”