13 September 2010

(association) FOOTBALL!

As you may know, I'm a football (soccer) fan. Between June 12 and July 13, I watched close to 60 football matches, mostly in Spanish (on Univision, low-def). I own a jersey for the German national team (2006) and covet a 2010 away jersey in gorgeous black.

The Bundesliga's just starting up again, 3 match days into their 34-match season. I had to decide which team to follow. This was difficult. In years past, it's been more of a peripheral attention I've paid, because US news sites don't really cover German football, and it was hard to keep track. But now there are blogs and livejournal communities and twitterfeeds, and all sorts of things that are made possible with the internet.

Anyway. I don't live in Germany, much to my dismay. If I did, I'd live in Berlin, so picking a Berlin team is only natural, right? Hertha BSC was relegated to the 2nd league after a disastrous 2009/10 season, and who cares about the 2. BuLi, right? But Berlin is the home of my heart, so Hertha is the team of my heart. And they're in 3rd place in the 2nd league right now, having won all three of their games so far (ties in points are decided on goal differential, and they're 3rd on that.) So maybe they'll be back in the 1st league in 2011!

So I looked for a 1. BuLi team. There are some players from the national team whom I really like watching play, so I checked out their teams. Mesut Özil was bought by Real Madrid, so that took away my main reason for interest in Werder Bremen. As much as I like Müller, Klose, Schweinsteiger, et al, there's no way in hell I'm rooting for FC Bayern. It's like rooting for the Yankees (if you're not from New York or don't have a long-standing family tradition).

Then there's the lovely center-back Arne Friedrich, who used to play at Hertha, but moved to Wolfsburg after they were relegated. Then he slipped a disc in practice and had to get surgery, so he *still* hasn't played this season. :P

I don't like deciding on something without seeing how they play, so I watched a few Wolfsburg matches, and I tried watching a Werder match, but I couldn't get into it. And, despite the fact that the Wolves have lost all three of their matches so far (one of which went from a comfortable 3:1 at half time to 3:4 at the end), I still like them. When they actually work together, they look good. And we're doing better than Schalke (though only on goal differential...) The defense keeps falling down on the job, though. (Hopefully that'll change when Arne's deemed fit to play again.)

It's weird to sit down and consciously decide which team to support. It's not like anyone in my family has a favorite team in the German Football League; they're all American Football fans, if they follow sports at all.

I really need to time my next trip to Germany to include a live Bundesliga match. Tickets aren't too unreasonably priced.

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