Flip Flop Flying

3,318: Fußball in Berlin, supplementary game No. 9

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Something that was enjoyable when I was having a drink with some Tennis Borussia fans after a game a couple of weeks ago, was how, when discussion turned to away games, they talked about it in the same way they discussed home games. Like it was no big deal to travel to go see their team. There is a slight caveat: this fifth tier of German football is regional. There are 12 parallel divisions around the country at this level. The NOFV-Oberliga Nord, Tennis Borussia’s current division, covers the northern part of the former East Germany (inc. the former West Berlin). Of the other 15 teams in the Oberliga Nord, six of them are accessible on the Berlin S-Bahn system. Only three of them are over 200km, and none more than 250km away. It’s still time, money, effort, and dedication, of course.

I’d seen the last one, two, three, four Tennis Borussia games, so when asked if I was gonna go to the away game in Frankfurt an der Oder*, I was like, sure, why not? I was already thinking about it, to be honest.

*Frankfurt an der Oder, by the way, isn’t the Frankfurt. That one’s full name is Frankfurt am Main. The Oder and Main in the names are the local rivers. The river in this case is a natural border between Germany and Poland, just over 100km east of Berlin.

Sunday morning meeting point for the travelling TeBe fans was at Ostkreuz, a biggish station which as the translated name (East Cross) suggests, is a station where one can get trains that go north, south, east, and west. There were about 30-ish people. Lots of purple scarves, shirts, hoodies. And lots of bottles of beer in hands.

We took the S-Bahn to Erkner, the terminus of the S3 line, just outside of the southeast of the city. Some people grabbed some more beers from the shop, and some had a smoke while we waited the few minutes before getting on the Deutsche Bahn Regio service to Frankfurt an der Oder, which was a smidge over half an hour away. The train company does a group ticket thing where five people can travel for what works out at less than six euros, a journey cheaper than a day card for the Berlin subway.

Chatting with someone as we pulled into the station, I was told there had been trouble at this away game in the past. There were, apparently, a bunch of right-wing people in this town that fancied having a pop at the lefties. Oh good. Just outside the station, there were four police cars around the place. A couple of middle-aged coppers came over and said they’d escort us to the stadium. They were incredibly friendly. Very good policing, in fact. Those two walked with us for the kilometre or so from the station to stadium, while a couple of the other cars were there, close enough if needed.

The stadium, like several other stadiums in the former East Germany, is called Stadion der Freundschaft (Stadium of Friendship). It opened in 1953. According to Wikipedia, its opening game had the highest attendance of 25,000. At yesterday’s game, the attendance was 230. Beyond the trees behind the stadium was the river and Poland.

Tickets were five euros. Beer two euros. The cheapest game I’ve been to on both counts. One end of the ground, where the gästeblock for the visiting fans is, has its own beer and food stall thingy. Some TeBe fans kept on walking to the side of the pitch for a better view of the game. The rest of us seemed to make a collective, almost unspoken, decision to just stand there, near where the beer was.

Again, it was a game that had no real meaning for Tennis Borussia. TeBe are in the upper half of the table with no chance of promotion. For 1. FC Frankfurt, though, there’s still a chance they could escape relegation. Before the game they had 8 points from 25 games. They would need to win all their games and hope the team who are also in the relegation zone don’t pick up more than five points in the remaining five games, and the team in 14th place, ie. safe from relegation, don’t pick up any more points in their remaining four games.

The game from our end of the stadium was decent in the first half. Tennis looked the better team until the 43rd minute when Frankfurt scored from a corner. The second half wasn’t so great. Tennis looked shitty. For most of the second half, it was a social event at our end of the ground. People chatting near a football game. It was nice, as it goes. The game ended 1-0, and it’s still mathematically possible for Frankfurt to avoid relegation. Six of Frankfurt’s eleven points have come from games against Tennis Borussia.

It was a slow saunter back to the train station. There was a brief pause at the Soviet Memorial for a group photo, a quick stop to buy some supplies for the journey, and hey ho, let’s go back to Berlin. Back at Ostkreuz, another beer in Annemirl-Bauer-Platz, a wee park near the station, then some goodbyes and see-you-on-Fridays for the next home game. I like these people. They are good.

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project:
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt, (25/2/17)
FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin v 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig (18/3/17)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v SV Lichtenberg 47, (19/3/17)
Berliner AK 07 v FC Schönberg 95, (22/3/17)
VSG Altglienicke v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/3/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v Hertha BSC II, (29/3/17)
Hertha BSC II v FSV Union Fürstenwalde, (1/4/17)
Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06 v 1. FC Frankfurt, (2/4/17)
1. FC Union Berlin v Erzgebirge Aue, (5/4/17)
SV Lichtenberg 47 v SV Victoria Seelow, (14/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Hansa Rostock II, (15/4/17)

The Three Extra Games Of The Extended-And-Renamed Accessible By S-Bahn Fourteen Team Project:
SV Babelsberg 03 v Berliner AK 07, (7/4/17)
FC Strausberg v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (23/4/17)
SV Germania 90 Schöneiche v SV Altlüdersdorf, (29/4/17)

The Supplementary Games:
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Hertha BSC II, (20/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06, (26/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v FC Energie Cottbus, (28/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Mecklenburg Schwerin, (30/4/17)
1. FC Frankfurt v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (7/5/17)

A wee bit of artwork
A couple of pixelly things done with the Pixaki app on iPad. A man with a fancy hairdo, and space.

Other business
If you also grew up in the UK in the 1980s, you may well have read the best magazine that ever existed: Smash Hits. On a recent Word podcast there was plenty to enjoy about former writers just chatting.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Making the Most of the Night by Carly Rae Jepsen

On this day
(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!), 8 May 2012

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Maya peoples

Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

May 8th, 2017 at 6:21 am

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