June 23, 2014   //   International   //   By Alex Krog


Holy cow what a great soccer game last night, which sets the stage for what could be an epic Germany vs USA game on Thursday, but before I get to that, it’s time for a little story…

I went to a Chicago Cubs game with my cousins Matt and Mike and my Grandpa in 1996, I was seven years old.  We were sitting in the 3rd or 4th row in the balcony on the 1st base side of home plate.  We got there to watch the players warm up and take batting practice two hours before the game.  Mike and I were adamant that we were going to get a baseball player’s attention and have them throw us a ball.  We had our gloves on and we knew that it was going to happen.  Matt was a few years older than us and thought that we were wasting our time.  Suddenly, Ken Caminiti (MVP in ’96) pointed at us and we saw him winding up to toss us the ball.  The next thing I saw was the cement as my older larger cousin had pushed us out of the way to get the ball.  He still has the ball.  We still talk about it.

The game? Nobody remembers.

After the game? We remember.  We waited for the majority of Wrigley to empty before we made our way back to the car as my Grandpa was not keen on standing in line trying to get out of the stadium.  We made our way along the concourse behind home plate to exit out next to the press box on the 3rd base side, when we noticed exiting the press box as we walked around the corner was the legendary Harry Caray.

To say I freaked out would probably be an understatement.  I don’t really remember what anyone else did (probably because I was blacked out from euphoria, I mean look at my picture below (I was an excitable kid), but I took a few steps forward and starting belting out ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’, to the master of it.  We still talk about it.

I love sports as much as the next person, but unless you are watching with someone else they just don’t mean as much.  I can still picture sitting on our old green couch watching MJ run up behind Karl Malone and stealing the ball during the 1998 NBA finals before making the most iconic shot in NBA history.  I yelped in excitement, but it wouldn’t mean as much unless my dad was there.  All of this dawned on me last night at about 4:00 am (the game ended at 2:00 am) that I was so worked up because there was no one else in the room with me who had the same emotional connection and investment in the outcome of game.

Everything changes on Thursday.  My cousin, Brian, and his wonderful wife, Kristin, will be in Munich to watch the match between USA and Germany with me. We will be with my German coworkers who for some reason didn’t find the America game that started at midnight last night as important as I did.  There is little doubt that I will be one of the best dressed people in Munich for the game.  Here is a sneak peak at my outfit; it’s going to be a crazy…

My time in Germany right now is reminiscent of a baseball game’s bottom of the 7th inning, and in just over three weeks’ time I’ll be coming back to America.  For me it might be tough to beat what I’ll get to experience by watching the ballgame on Thursday, however, it won’t be because of the game, it’ll be because of whom I’ll be watching it with.  I’m looking forward to making more memories that will last a lifetime with my friends and family… hopefully I live to tell about it.

Alex Krog, CPA is an Audit Associate and participant in Mueller’s Global Employee Exchange Program