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Is Twitter responsible for Germany's massive soccer loss?

Before today's Euro 2008 Final, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel was texting her players. They kept winning. But, now, a loss in the Final..

2 min read

Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, really wanted her national soccer team to win the 2008 European Football Championships, which concluded today in Vienna.

Expressing her obviously heartfelt enthusiasm for the German team (and not her need to get re-elected next year), she began to text them.

The texts were not merely expressions of positive fortune and celestial speed.

According to her favorite player, the suspiciously and excessively blond Bastian Schweisteiger, she weighed in with tactical suggestions.

Which, if the evidence of the games is anything to go by, must have gone along the lines of "Kick that Portuguese pillock up the rear end."

Or, perhaps, "We're playing the Turks. Annoy them by telling them about your fabulous Greek holiday."

So, with the moisture from the Chancellor's technological sweet talk still wetting their earlobes, the Germans marched all the way to the Final.

Their opponents were the Spanish, each of whom was a Verne Troyer to the Germans' Dwayne Johnson.

Or, indeed, a Verne Troyer to any of Verne's passionate lovers.

Naturally, the Germans were favorites.

This woman is faking. She is not, however, a politician. Orin Optiglot

Yet, to the surprise of a Chancellor who seemed swollen with a frustration not seen since David Hasselhoff rose to the top of the German recording charts, Germany's game suddenly resembled a cement pancake.

The word spread quickly that in order to get fuller, quicker and more interactive expert instructions to more of the players, the Chancellor had decided to use Twitter rather than ancien regime SMS.

Initially, her instructions were getting through.

The squad's adrenalin was pumping at the suggestion that they should "gore those Spaniards like a rabid bull."

Next, she suggested "Tell Torres he's a girl."

(Fernando Torres, the Spanish striker, tends to wear a rather effeminate headband during games.)

However, the players needed clearer instructions.

They replied such things as: "Rabid bull? Should I drool excessively?"

And "A girl? You sure? Chancellor, you are a girl too."

The Twitter reply facility was, unfortunately, down at these moments.

Then the tracking tool went haywire too.

So the Chancellor could not be sure that her charges, in a state of heightened nervousness, had not succumbed to the delights of Viennese night life and, in their unreplied confusion, tried to gore barhoppers like rabid bulls while calling them girls.

In any case, this was a humungous loss for both Germany and technology.

I know that there were several Heads of State who were looking to the German Chancellor's initiative to help their own countrymen succeed in the forthcoming Olympics.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy to one of his male sprinters, for example: "Imagine you are chasing Carla.."

British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to his 400-meter relay team: "Imagine you are being chased by Margaret Thatcher."

And, of course, George W. Bush to LeBron James: "Imagine you are being chased by Dick with a gun."