Saturday, October 20, 2012

This Thing About Soccer

Germans tend to have an obsession about soccer, and the Bundesliga (the national league).  For an American, you tend to notice this after a couple of months.

The truth here?  Out of eighty million Germans....there's probably twelve million (my humble number) that keenly watch the scores, the league, and the games.  

The current league was formed up in the early 1960s, and it basically runs an entire season with eighteen teams.  There's a second league below the big guys....which lesser teams survive, flourish, or get worse.  The thing the end of the season for big league....if you were one of the three worst teams, then you get a ticket down to the second league, and in the second league....the three best teams get promoted up to the big-time.

All of this by day.....and discussed by German men.  Out of a hundred German women....I doubt if more than two of them really watch or care about soccer.  So it's mostly a men's sport.

The survival of the whole thing tied to the TV networks and what they will pay.  Naturally, you need the optimum package to watch every single game of the you pay more.  During the week off free-TV?  You can probably catch three games a week.

Going to a game?  It's not a difficult thing.  You find the nearest team and schedule on the internet.  Stadiums are typically fixed up with public transportation so you get dropped off near the site.  Prices tend to run from forty Euro, on up to one-hundred-fifty Euro.  Prices for 2nd league are usually half that amount.

Problems?  Well....sometimes....Germans get to drinking at these games and start to challenge each other over various issues.  So fights break out.  You tend to see at least hundred cops around the stadiums as a minimum....but there could be 500 cops brought out for intense protect the public.

It is a national topic, and folks do get into this.  Course, ladies tend not to be interested and it's best not to bring up the subject with them.

What an American should take home on this subject is that soccer is about as big as the NFL is in the US.  There's only one national sport in Germany....and this is it.  

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