This past weekend was the Superbowl of soccer here in Europe. The Champions League Final. I’ve probably learned more than I ever thought I would about soccer since meeting my husband over four years ago but it’s been interesting to see this side of the sport world. The Germans ask me all the time what I really think about soccer here in Germany and I always tell them that it is, without a doubt, better than American football. (Sorry for the football fans but what a waste of time that game is!) The Superbowl in general is (and correct me if I’m wrong) more of a reason for us to drink and eat fatty foods while waiting for the greatest commercial to come on and wardrobe malfunctions to happen. Am I right? Or am I right? The biggest difference is the “entertainment” factor. Here, soccer is all about the sport. There are no half time concerts and no billion dollar 30 second commercials. In the US I feel like football is all about the entertainment and the “show” much like politics are, but what do I know!
This past weekend we had a Champions League Final party. Toblerone’s FAVORITE team, FC Bayern Munich, was playing against Dortmund which is the German rival. Amazingly enough, all the teams in Europe had to fight for the top two positions and somehow two German teams made it. For Germany, this was HUGE. We organized two kegs of the best beer shipped in directly from Munich (3 hours away), we had white wurst with sweet brown mustard and pretzels (typical food from Munich), and salads galore! Toblerone organized a beamer and projector screen to show the game as large as possible right in the middle of our living room. (The things I allow him to do…) It was an event not to miss and my LORD am I thankful FC Bayern won. Otherwise, I think I would have to put my husband into therapy. They take losses so personally here so it was the best for all! Here’s a little glimpse into the weekend! Next time, you are all invited!!
Last night until early this morning, Toblerone and I had a date. A date to the UEFA Champions League game between FC Bayern Munchen (Munich) and Inter-Milan at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. He has belonged to the fan club of FC Bayern for many years so he gets first pick at tickets and the seats are usually pretty amazing. So glad he chose to take me and not a guy friend (Thanks Bubbers!) I’m going to do my best to describe in words what it was like for me. This is not only my first soccer game but my first professional game of any kind. It’s 9 in the morning here and I’m still shaking in my boots from excitement!!
To start, I did what the perfect housefrau would do and I put together a lunch box full of the following…sandwiches, chocolate, and BEER! Indeed, my readers, In this country…we can drink in the car (to an extent — but still!
After 2 hours and 45 minutes we arrive to the arena which is a sea of red and white. I have never seen anything like this where the majority of ticket holders are all cheering for the same team. Granted, there were a small percentage of Italy’s fans but lets just say they would be pummeled in a fight. Toblerone is sooooo giddy! He’s a kid in a candy store and can’t keep his excitement in. Even the smell of food got him going on a big speech about how amazing it all is and I will never have anything like this anywhere!
Not even 2 feet into our walk, he gets a red sausage – aka hotdog….or more like hothorse. This is the biggest hot-anything I’ve ever seen! Seriously, people. See what I mean?!?! The bun doesn’t even fit. But, it was hands down the most amazing thing I’ve ever had in a hotdog bun! 🙂 (Not pictured: The GOBS of mustard we added)
We trekked on and after many pics later (shown in slide show below) I got my first game scarf and two free beers! The scarf phenomenon. I’m not sure I understand what the catch is but everyone was wearing one or many. I, on the other hand, used it to keep warm and to swing around and smack people in the face with when I was angry or Munich scored a goal. Not so happy people around me, oops!
For the sold out game, 66,000 people showed up and took their seats. 66,000 people…yeah…thats quite a bit. The chants were continuous throughout the game. Everyone seemed to know every song they had. Flags were waving like crazy, everyone was screaming…it was like a concert, but better.
My favorite part was the fact that I got to scream every obscenity I’ve ever learned, combining each word into one long sentence. Toblerone laughed at me but everyone else just looked straight ahead as if I never said a word. Talk about a release!! I did record some audio but…due to the many choice words coming from my mouth, I’ve decided not to post them. I don’t want anyone’s ears falling off (that means you, Mom!) Nonetheless, YouTube it to listen to the crowd’s anthems.
It’s hilarious to me that all these older men sit down around me, someone’s grandfather or father. Many other men are dressed like they are going out to a nice dinner rather than a game. As soon as the action starts, these men scream until they run out of air and faces are red. Imagine how it was growing up around men who would yell at the Cowboys or Patriots and then times that by, well, 66,000! Everyone yelling towards the ref, the team, the coach, the ball boy, whoever and not a single person on the field would hear them! I guess its way better than yelling at the tv.
Unfortunately, we are not the champions….Inter-Milan won and they are going on to compete in the Champions League. Toblerone was so upset. When Milan scored their 3rd goal, only a few minutes before the buzzer, the disappointment was genuine on every fan’s face. I’ve never seen grown men almost brought to tears over this. It was so sad to watch. As we left, for whatever reason, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” cover from the original “Carousel” musical played. (Again, if you don’t know this..we’re not friends)
We drove the long drive back home and arrived in the driveway at exactly 1:41am. Had to make one stop to get some caffeine since our eyes were drooping but it was all so worth it. Every second. I had a great time and can’t WAIT to go again!
Enough of my babble…check out the slide show for some great pictures! (Thank GOD for the new camera! woot woot!)