Editor Falk visited Hamburg this friday. Read and enjoy his scribbled-down exceptional experience.
Frightening. That's the perfect word for it. It was one of the most mindblowingly frightening scenes of my football-watching career. I heard "Scheiss SGE" being shouted angrily and looked up. I managed to see a bunch of men with scarves covering their faces. The scarves were obviously of HSV-colours with die Raute on them. I managed to see them running against me and when there were just a few meters left I instinctively jumped away like a frightened bunny on crack (yeah, that's a thing) and that's when I realized these angry HSV-fans were actually screaming and running at a bunch of Frankfurt-fans on the other side of the not too big square not far from Volksparkstadion. I quickly covered my scarf and shirt with my jacket and went to hide among my friends who covered me up and more or less created a wall in front of me while I breathed and calmed myself down. I was quite sure that I was going to be crushed by a few rampant Hamburgers, but luckily I wasn't their target. An experience nonetheless.
It was a day of many emotions. We started off a bit too early because wanted to see and experience Hamburg, but we quickly realized that there wasn't too much to see. Beautiful city and great shopping, but that's basically it. And as we drank a bit too much beer the night before, we weren't in the mood for beer. (German beer is treacherous, it's easy to drink and you feel alright and then BOOM and you lie in the gutter feeling quite horrible. Note that this did not happpen to me, albeit to a few of my friends.) The first emotion of the day was love. I felt a huge amount of love for Germany and the language, which I had sorely missed. This feeling would not fade at all, but it would grow into exceptional proportions come the night. Five hours, two cappuccinos, two Franziskaner and 18 000 steps later, we found ourselves on the metro to Stellingen, the U-Bahnstation of Volksparkstadion. It had started raining and I called my girlfriend while I enjoyed a Warsteiner and some currywurst under a roof. Cold, rainy, but horribly brilliant. This was where I started noticing a few things. My friends had been happy all day long, but now they were visibly excited about the experience that would come. I just hoped I hadn't oversold the experience of Bundesliga.
I did though underestimate my own kind. I had thought that we would sit among Hamburgers and that I would have to act quietly when and if Eintracht scored, but when the game started we had Frankfurt-supporters to the left and right, below us and over us. We sat in the middle of the Frankfurt fan section, which I had not realized before. Now I realized that the experience would be something extraordinary. After having enjoyed quite a few songs and after having taught my absolutely thrilled friends the songs we sang and what they meant, they went full German and began to scream like they had been fans of die Adler all their lives. Fantastic stuff. We screamed "Schwarz-weiss wie Schnee", we danced and jumped to the iconic Pippi Langstrumpf-ish "Hey Eintracht Frankfurt" and we sang along to "Im Herzen von Europa". Then we scored after some fantastic pressing from Kovac' Adlerträger and then halftime. (In which I talked to a lovely German for 15 minutes. Here I realized that I'm actually fluent in German.)
Then came Diekmeier's second yellow card and Frankfurt made it clear that HSV were a beaten team. Tarashaj with his first goal for the club and then Seferovic with the third sealed the game for us as we march on in Bundesliga with our best start in 25 years. During the game I looked around and looked at my friends. This game, this experience was the first live game of football for a few, the first German game for everyone but me and the first game outside of Sweden for a few. It's safe to say they were pleased. because that's what Bundesliga does, it pleases in every way you want. Not only did my team win, we sat among the fans away at one of the biggest and most prominent grounds in Europe. We even got to experience fan violence beforehand, a first for me. After Frankfurt had humbled Gisdol's men, the HSV-fans in the Heimkurve actually started fighting eachother. Never a fun thing to see, but I'm glad the Frankfurt-fans weren't involved in any stuupid activities this time around as we want to keep the fans on the K-block.
The core message of this piece is this: Go. And. Watch. Bundesliga. And. Do. It. Now! I'm going back at leat two times this season to watch Frankfurt. Find a team and watch, Bundesliga never disappoints.
editor, Adler and a man who doesn't underestimate the power of the dark side of the force and neither should you.