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3,325: Fußball in Berlin, supplementary games Nos. 10 and 11

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Tennis Borussia Berlin v SV Grün-Weiss Brieselang on Friday evening was my fourth TeBe home game, sixth overall. I could get really used to this. I’m totally happy going to football or baseball games alone. I’m absolutely fine doing it. Indeed, in the Berlin Project, I went to all but two games alone. Less than a month ago I went to a Tennis Borussia game for the first time, and on Friday night, I spent a significant part of the game chatting to people I didn’t know back then. It sounds sentimental and mawkish maybe, and it’s spectacularly obvious, but it’s good to be reminded of these things sometimes, that football isn’t actually about watching Live And Exclusive Euro Mega Cup Semi Final On Expensive Cable Channel. That has its place, of course (especially during the World Cup) but going to see a few average games, then seeing a really enjoyable game, chatting to people who were strangers in April: that to me seems to be what this is all about. Tennis won 3-1, I had a couple of beers too many, the PA played True Colors by Cyndi Lauper at the end, and I nearly fell asleep standing up on the S-Bahn on the way home.


(see it a bit bigger here)

If you’re interested in the lower leagues in Germany, there’s an incredibly useful Web site called FuPa.net. It has detailed sections for every region of the country, and the Berlin section has been one of the most-visited pages in my browser for the past couple of months. It covers everything from the fourth tier Regionalliga Nordost down to the 14th tier Kreisklasse C.

All the levels, should you be interested: 1. Bundesliga, 2. Bundesliga, 3. Bundesliga (These top three levels are all national and fully professional). Then it gets regional, so the next two tiers – Regionalliga Nordost and Oberliga Nord cover Berlin and chunks of the former East Germany. Below that, everything is within the city of Berlin: the sixth tier Berlin-Liga, then two parallel divisions of the Landesliga, three parallel divisions of the Bezirkliga, four parallel divisions of the Kreisliga A, six parallel divisions of the Kreisliga B, four parallel divisions of the Kreisliga C, then the Kreisklasse A, two divs of the Kreisklasse B, and down at the 14th level, the Kreisklasse C. There are ten teams in that lowest level and with two games of the season remaining, it’s pretty close at the bottom to see who will be the worst team in Berlin. Currently in 9th place are FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf IV, with four points from 16 games. (One win, one draw, 23 goals scored, 86 goals against.) Just one point below them in the last place in the whole of Berlin is 1. FC Marzahn 1994 III. They have one win, fifteen defeats. Their goal difference is -91.

The last two paragraphs were a long intro to saying: I looked at the Web site to see what games are going on at the weekend, and saw that Empor Berlin, the team based just around the corner, had a home game against Tasmania Berlin on Saturday afternoon. It would be churlish not to go, right? And after having lived on the same street as Cruz Azul in Mexico City for three seasons, I liked seeing games that are super close. (That last sentence is ridiculous, isn’t it? Who wouldn’t like only having to walk five minutes to go and see something they were interested in?)

I was also quite interested to see Tasmania. Partly because of the name, partly because they are the successor club of SC Tasmania 1900 Berlin who were once a Bundesliga team. Wikipedia explains it well:

In 1965, Berlin’s only Bundesliga side, Hertha BSC, had its license revoked and was relegated for breaking the league’s player salary rules. The German Football Association wanted to keep a club in the city of Berlin for political reasons and this led to one of the strangest episodes in the Bundesliga’s history.

Both Karlsruher SC and FC Schalke 04 tried to avoid being demoted by laying claim to Hertha’s place. It was decided to suspend relegation for one season and increase the number of teams in the league from 16 to 18 to accommodate the two teams which would normally be promoted from the Regionalligen (the Regional Leagues being the leagues below the Bundesliga at the time). Cold War politics led to a space being held for a team from the former capital city to replace Hertha.

The winner of Regionalliga Berlin, Tennis Borussia Berlin, had failed to advance to the Bundesliga through the regular promotion round that saw Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach move up. After the Regionalliga second-place finisher, Spandauer SV, refused an offer of promotion, the way was clear for third-place club Tasmania 1900 to take up the opportunity to represent Berlin in the Bundesliga — just two weeks before the start of the 1965–66 season.

The successor club were as high as the third tier in the 1980s and first couple of seasons of the Nineties. They dropped as low as the eighth tier in 2009-10. But here we are, in the Gregorian calendar year 2017, and Tasmania Berlin are in the sixth tier, the Berlin-Liga.

Six euros for a ticket, two for a beer. And rather pleasantly, at the beer place, I bumped into a couple of Tennis fans that I’ve gotten to know. I hadn’t know this, but apparently the two teams’s fans have a decent relationship and some of them go and see both teams. It reenforced something that I have beginning to recognise: live football is an incredibly normal and intrinsic part of people’s lives. I’ve made an effort at recent games to, if I remember, ask people the same couple of questions so that I can have a bigger sample size: 1) do you watch the Champions League? and 2) do you follow the German national team? The answer to the former seems to depend on if they have a residual rooting interest in one of the country’s bigger teams, the answer to the latter seems to be a universal “no.”

Just like Friday’s game, for me it was closer to a social event. Bar tables replaced with a small terrace, flat screen TV replaced with 22 people on some grass on the other side of an athletics track. Empor took a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute. Tasmania equalised in the 38th. A local evangelical church was having a street market/fair thingy on the street that ran along the far side of the field. There were samba drums. They were a bit annoying. Tasmania scored a second. Then a third. Then a fourth. A Vahit Engin hattrick. Peep peep. Tasmania won, and high-fived their fans, who seemed to make up quite a decent proportion of the crowd which was, I dunno, 40 or 50-ish.

By the end of the game, I had found out an answer to the question I could’ve found out just by looking at the aforementioned Wikipedia page: the original club owners liked the idea of going to Tasmania, so named their club after that desire. Maybe, by that way of thinking, I should start a football team called Buenos Aires Berlin. Which, come to think of it, is an aesthetically pleasing few words to see next to each other, and it sounds good, as well. I enjoy the way German football club names work. I like the abbreviations SV and SpVgg (Sport-Verein and Spielvereinigung, which mean something like sport association and game association). I also like the foundation years being in the name. So maybe SpVgg Buenos Aires 17 Berlin. That’s a good name. Now I need a crest, though. Team colours, too.

If I were to invent this team, (and let’s not pretend I’m not totally excited about this fake team already, even though I’ve only been thinking about it for three or four minutes, and yes, I am indeed still 12 years old mentally), if I were to invent a team, it should have a combo of the colours of the teams I already like. Liverpool, Lincoln City, Cruz Azul, Tennis Borussia Berlin. That’s red, red and white stripes, light blue, and purple. Hmmm. Now it’s time to have a break in typing and open Photoshop. I’ll be back in a moment. Not that you, dear reader, will know that I’ve been away because the colour combo biznizz will be right below this sentence.

Just looking at those four colours together is a bit weird. It’s gonna be a bit of a mess, right? But let’s give it a go. I’ve always liked the idea of striped jerseys, so that’s what I want. I also like it when socks are a different colour completely to the jersey and shorts. Let’s try some colour combos.

So there you can see the work process. Purple/blue stripes and red-blue stripes are a bit off. The blue-white stripes are bit too obviously Argentinian. Purple and white stripes, though, looks pretty good. Feels like something that might’ve existed in the early days of football. The last one is good, I reckon. Light blue trim on the jersey. A nice detail, I think. I imagine in 120 years, someone seeing Buenos Aires 17 for the first time asking a fan about the colour scheme, and a future drunk person explaining, “aaah, well, the club was started by a fan of blah blah blah…”

Time to do a crest. I quite like a thing that is fairly common in Berlin: a flag with a bit of flag pole and rope twisting around it. Like these:

Let’s keep it simple, eh, cos I’ve just checked the time and I’ve got other things to be doing. So a quick bit of Photoshoppery: circle, text, big German word because big German words are cool, name of team, and a simple-but-colourful flag that would also look pretty good on a massive flag that some fans might make when the mighty SpVgg Buenos Aires 17 Berlin are on the verge of winning the Kreisklasse C…

But of course: do I actually want to run a team? Not really, no. It’s like when I would imagine a perfect little bar in Mexico City. Music that doesn’t dominate the atmosphere, no TVs constantly showing heads talking about things on ESPN, a nice long bar to sit at alone or with friends. A place to have a drink if you’re feeling happy, need to relax, or just feel miserable with a beer or mezcal. Fun in my head, because I wish somewhere like that had existed in my neighbourhood, but not really that much fun to do. I like to fantasize about it, not do it.

So yes, I’m a silly child that still wants to invent his own football team. Which, I suppose is progress towards normality after inventing a whole league of left-handed baseball teams or imagining what baseball would be like if it had five bases instead of four.

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)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v SV Grün-Weiss Brieselang, (12/5/17)
SV Empor Berlin v SV Tasmania Berlin, (13/5/17)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Perfect by One Direction

On this day
Some pictures, 15 May 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Fatu Hiva

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
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Written by Craig

May 15th, 2017 at 1:47 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

2 Responses to '3,325: Fußball in Berlin, supplementary games Nos. 10 and 11'

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  1. Did Tennis Borussia get its name because the owners fancied a bit of the grass-court volley?

    Callum Hughson

    15 May 17 at 12:12 pm

  2. Yep. It began as a tennis and ping pong club.
    English language history on their site: http://www.tebe.de/history.html

    Craig

    15 May 17 at 12:29 pm

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