Berlin The night host nation Germany was knocked out of the World Cup, Berlin police had to fish German fans wrapped in national flags out of the Spree River. These people hadn’t attempted suicide (a favorite myth of World Cups past speaks of Brazilians who supposedly rain from apartment blocks after their team loses). They were simply still celebrating. The World Cup has introduced the unprecedented notion of soccer as party. To soccer fans, as Nick Hornby wrote in his classic memoir Fever Pitch, fun never used to be the point. A game was tedium interrupted by stress. Fans experienced it as a sort of Ninety Minutes Hate: an Orwellian emotion they directed not only at the opponents but at their own team and even at themselves for being there. The stands at World Cup games would resemble a Hieronymus Bosch painting, with thousands of faces contorted in agony. The word for fan in Italian, the language of the new world champions, says it all: tifoso, translated literally as typhoid victim. The World Cup experience has been made even grimmer in recent years by nationalism and xenophobia. And for Europeans, the tournament gained meaning from memories of World War II….