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Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

3,419: Día de los Muertos-themed Tennis Borussia drawing

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(This post is obviously early, but I just wanted to get it online.)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Don’t You Forget About Me by Robinson

On this day
Belize, day 10: Punta Gorda to Hopkins, 31 October 2014

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Nuclear holocaust

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October 31st, 2017 at 1:02 am

Posted in Artwork,Sports

3,411: Last night’s game

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Written by Craig

October 21st, 2017 at 9:01 am

Posted in Sports

3,391: La Bombonera

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Today: a drawing of Estadio Alberto J. Armando, more commonly known as La Bombonera, the home of Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires.

In 2008, I went to a Boca Juniors game. It was the best stadium experience of my life. I’ve been to better games, more important games, but in terms of atmosphere, nothing has come close to La Bombonera. Here’s a wee video clip from before the game:

I’m enjoying doing these stadium drawings in Illustrator. It’s good simple way for me to get a feeling for the program.

A couple of detail images:

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Paradise by Coldplay

On this day
Game over memorial, 8 July 2015

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Anchorage, Alaska

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July 8th, 2017 at 3:27 am

Posted in Artwork,Sports

3,389: [Name of fruit juice company] Field

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Another drawing of a domed stadium, this time it’s the Tampa Bay Rays’s stadium, Tropicana Field.

Previous drawings like this here.

Prints and tote bags, should you require them, here.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Last Friday Night by Katy Perry

On this day
King William No.2, 6 July 2007

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Tokyo Dome

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July 6th, 2017 at 12:54 am

Posted in Artwork,Baseball,Sports

3,388: [Name of insurance company] Field

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Fun fact: two-thirds of all Major League Baseball stadiums have corporate naming rights. I wonder if my generation will be the last one where this feels wrong. Like, we grew up with stadiums have real names like Highbury or Maine Road not the Emirates or Etihad. A few weeks ago, I was with a friend and I asked his teenage son if he knew what the mime I was doing meant. I was doing the circling fist gesture for winding down a car window. He had no idea. And why would he. He’s grown up in a time where you press a button to lower a car window. Maybe it’ll be the same with stadium names.

To me, though, it still jars. Especially when stadiums change names because of a contract ending. The Chicago White Sox’s stadium, for example, opened in 1991 as Comiskey Park, named after the team’s original stadium just across the street. In 2003, it became U.S. Cellular Field. And since 2016, it’s been called Guaranteed Rate Field. A truly ridiculous name for a stadium. But at least some White Sox fans still have the memory of an original name, can still call it Comiskey Park if they want to.

Not so for Seattle Mariners fans. Their park has been called Safeco Field ever since it opened in 1999. That will change after the 2018 season, though. That company won’t be renewing its contract with the Mariners.

Sports teams don’t want this to happen, but I think fans should collectively decide on a non-corporate name for stadiums like Safeco Field or the Emirates Stadium. Something for them to fall back on after naming rights contracts end. All of this is an entirely meandering way of saying, “I did a drawing of a section of the Mariners’s stadium the other day.” And here it is:

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Little Uneasy by Fazerdaze

On this day
The 4th, 5 July 2009

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Yomiuri Giants

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July 5th, 2017 at 12:29 am

3,387: Dennis Bergkamp

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Nineteen years ago today, my favourite ever goal happened: Dennis Bergkamp‘s winner vs. Argentina in the World Cup quarter-final. And the best commentary of a goal, too.

Happy birthday, United States of America

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Take it Slow by Fazerdaze

On this day
Feliz cumpleaños, EE. UU., 4 July 2016

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
List of Game Boy colors and styles

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July 4th, 2017 at 12:44 am

3,383: MLB standings

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With regard to the drawing in the last post

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June 30th, 2017 at 5:36 am

3,352: Fußball in Berlin, games 28 and 29

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On the train back from Wismar, I was chatting to a new pal about there being a SV Tasmania Berlin game at 11am on Monday. It was a rescheduled (brought forward) game, that now fell on a public holiday. We both mentally pencilled it in as a maybe. At 9.30am, I was very much erasing those pencil marks from my brain. Especially when I noticed that it was the women’s Berlin Cup final in a different part of town at 2pm, which a) would be fun because I’ve not been to a women’s game for yonks, and b) would give me more time to stare at a computer screen, pressing my mouse and keyboard shortcuts now and then in an attempt to do what I call “drawing.”

Sat at my desk at 10am, though, after a cup of coffee, I thought fuck it, I’ll go. I was cutting it a bit tight to get to the Tasmania stadium by decided to go with only an hour until kick off (if you know Berlin, the stadium is in Neukölln, I live in Prenzlauer Berg). So I quickly washed, deodorised, brushed my teeth, and added to the t-shirt and underpants that I was wearing at that moment.

A swift walk to the U-Bahn station, and… urgh, eight minutes until the next train. Eight minutes: an eternity on a subway platform. Down to Alexanderplatz, change to the U8 line, and… urgh, eight minutes until the next train. I finally arrived, a bit sweaty after fast walking to the stadium, five minutes after kick off. I got myself an apfelschorle (apple juice mixed with fizzy water). The pal I’d chatted with was there. And another Tennis guy. I like this. This is good. Like the pub in a soap opera, where the same characters are always there. And it’s a new feeling. As I’ve said before I am more than happy alone at sports events. I’ve done it way more often than not. But I’ve chatted to people at every game I’ve been to in the last month or so. It’s nice. Talking is good. I think it will catch on.

The visitors were TuS Makkabi Berlin. As you may well have already gathered from the name, the team has Jewish roots. (Wikipedia article about the Maccabi World Union here, Wikipedia list of Maccabi sports clubs and organisations here.)

Not a big crowd, less that one hundred I’d say, but a fairly entertaining game. A few crunching tackles here and there, (inc. one that forced a player to be subbed due to an injury), made it look like it might get nasty, but it didn’t. Tasmania took a 1-0 lead just as I was arriving. After half an hour or so, they doubled their lead. Makkabi got one back just before half time. I’m boring myself typing these words. Gosh knows what it must be like reading them. Tasmania missed a penalty, John Terry-style just after the break. The game ended 2-1.

As we were readying to leaving, one of the people I was with mentioned that they were thinking of going to the Women’s Cup Final. I “me too!”-ed. The third person succumbed to the desire for more football-watching and joined us. “Joined us,” though, is a slightly misleading phrase. They had their bicycles, I took the S- and U-Bahn. There I was thinking that those suckers would arrive way after me. Nope. Not at all. I walked to Hermannstraße S-Bahn station and… urgh, eight minutes until the next train. Got to Heidelberger Platz to change to the U3 and… urgh, eight minutes until the next train. (Actually it was a six minute wait, but I’ve decided that all waits longer than two minutes shall now be called “eight minutes.”)

By the time I got to the stadium, they were already supping on their beers. The stadium, by the way, was FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf’s stadium, a place where I’ve been a couple of times already. One of the nicer places in the city. And it was packed. Nearly 600 tickets sold, and quite a lot of other people around from the two other women’s finals that were played earlier in the day (the seven-a-side and reserve teams finals). The big final, though, was SV Blau-Gelb Berlin v. BSC Marzahn. Seeing as though Tennis Borussia doesn’t currently have a women’s team, I think Blau-Gelb (blue-yellow in English) could be the women’s team I will see most next season. They play quite locally, in the same sports complex where I played softball with the Prenzelberg Piranhas back in the day. SV Blau-Gelb Berlin won the fourth tier Berlin-Liga this season. They were the underdogs because BSC Marzahn came third in the Regionalliga Nordost, the third tier of German women’s football.

And I really enjoyed it. Way more than the alcohol free beer that I tried, anyway. Blau-Gelb took a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute, and into half time. Right from the second half kick off, though, a bit of a defensive howler got us back to 1-1, and after that, there really only was one team who were gonna win. Six minutes later, a Marzahn penalty made it 2-1. The game ended 4-1. It was nice at the end. The Blau-Gelb players seemed to be happy. They were applauded by the Marzahn players who lined up for like a guard of honour thingy when they went to get their runners-up medals, and Blau-Gelb took their place to do the same for Marzahn when they received their winner’s medals.

Pretty sure that’s it for the football season for me. There are a couple more Berlin-Liga games, I think. So maybe, maybe not. I guess there’ll be a moment when I look at FuPa, itching for a game to see. Sorry about this blog post. I wasn’t really into the idea of writing it, just the pressure of the list that follows this paragraph meant I felt the need to do it. Thanks for reading.

Fußball in Berlin:
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)
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)
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 Babelsberg 03 v Berliner AK 07, (7/4/17)
SV Lichtenberg 47 v SV Victoria Seelow, (14/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Hansa Rostock II, (15/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Hertha BSC II, (20/4/17)
FC Strausberg v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (23/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06, (26/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v FC Energie Cottbus, (28/4/17)
SV Germania 90 Schöneiche v SV Altlüdersdorf, (29/4/17)
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)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (19/5/17)
SV Tasmania Berlin v SC Staaken, (21/5/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/5/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v SV Altlüdersdorf, (28/5/17)
FC Anker Wismar v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (3/6/17)
SV Tasmania Berlin v TuS Makkabi Berlin, (5/6/17)
SV Blau-Gelb Berlin v. BSC Marzahn, (5/6/17)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Brian Eno by MGMT

On this day
The date, 6 June 2006

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

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June 6th, 2017 at 3:42 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

3,351: Fußball in Berlin, game 27

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This blog post’s title is inaccurate, it wasn’t in Berlin, or anywhere close. It was a proper away day in Wismar, up north on the Baltic Sea coast, about 250 kilometres from Berlin, about three-and-a-half hours on the train. The last day of the Oberliga Nord season, FC Anker Wismar v Tennis Borussia Berlin. A fairly nothing game in terms of things to play for: TeBe were fourth before the game, Wismar sixth. Those three places were up for grabs (Hertha 03 Zehlendorf were fifth).

I joined about eighty TeBe fans on the train. Lots of group tickets were purchased which allow five people to travel there and back for just €11 each. We were on one of those double decker trains which I’ve never seen in the UK (or anywhere other than Germany, but that speaks to my lack of European travel more than anything else). We kinda colonised a whole two level carriage. There were other people, non-TeBe people, there but while there was drinking and merriment, this is a club whose fans do not in anyway appear threatening. I made a choice last week to have a bit of a break from drinking. Something I tend to do every once in a while. Sometimes it’s related to a spurt of cluster headaches which make drinking impossible, sometimes just for a bit of a break. It was interesting to be amongst people who were knocking back the beers and schnapps for three hours before we even got to Wismar. The amount that some people were drinking would’ve floored me.

It was drizzly when we arrived. A bit muggy. A brief stop at the harbour for some fish and chips, and a fun walk through some allotments and fields taking a short cut to the stadium, the Kurt-Bürger-Stadion. And what a lovely wee stadium it was, too. Like a lot of stadiums at the level, there was one stand, a bit of terracing, and some trees on the far side of the ground. It was nice to stand there and appreciate the joy that bigger stadiums don’t give you: trees. Beautiful green trees as a backdrop to a game of football. Wismar looks like a city that keeps itself clean and tidy with tourist money, and the town’s money has also seemed to have kept the stadium looking good. The main stand looked like some sort of horse stable building from the outside. To enter the main stand, there were doors. Proper doors. Wooden doors.

A few minutes before the game, some news started spreading around the TeBe fans: we only have ten players. I don’t know if this is true, it was just rumours that were going around, but it seems like players that hadn’t had their contracts renewed for next season had decided en masse not to travel, leaving Tennis Borussia with just ten players. No substitutes, obviously, and one of the goalkeepers playing outfield. It was a little odd. But, somehow it added to the occasion for me: I was in a town 250 kilometres away from Berlin watching a ninth game in a row (home and away) of a fifth tier German team that I’ve somehow come to care about.

Wismar were the better team somewhat unsurprisingly given the situation. But good gosh, Tennis Borussia played hard and with a lot of heart. They kept it 0-0 until the 65th minute, and a good chance to equalise a few minutes before the end of the game, just before Wismar went straight back up the other end and made it 2-0. Which is how it ended. The whole game, from kick off the final whistle, the Tennis fans were singing and shouting. It was incredible fun to be in amongst that. When the PA played Zombie Nation after each Wismar goal, and a few of the home team fans celebrated looking over at the noisy visitors, what they saw was TeBe fans dancing to the music.

After the final whistle, the knackered players came over. We clapped them, they clapped us. And we all gathered ourselves together, and as one trudged back into the town centre. Some people got more beer, some had döners, I had a chocolate ice cream. Even more beers were bought on the way back to the train station. And somehow, people drank them and kept on partying. It was a long journey through fairly ordinary landscape, and I was happy, as one is on any journey back, when the train pulled into Alexanderplatz station, so I could jump on the U-Bahn to return home.

It was a splendid day. The bad result meant nothing to me, really. The day had been a victory. The nine Tennis Borussia games I’ve seen have been a victory (technically four wins, two draws, three defeats). I’m looking forward to the dates of the 2017-18 pre-season friendlies being announced.

Fußball in Berlin:
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)
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)
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 Babelsberg 03 v Berliner AK 07, (7/4/17)
SV Lichtenberg 47 v SV Victoria Seelow, (14/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Hansa Rostock II, (15/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Hertha BSC II, (20/4/17)
FC Strausberg v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (23/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06, (26/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v FC Energie Cottbus, (28/4/17)
SV Germania 90 Schöneiche v SV Altlüdersdorf, (29/4/17)
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)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (19/5/17)
SV Tasmania Berlin v SC Staaken, (21/5/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/5/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v SV Altlüdersdorf, (28/5/17)
FC Anker Wismar v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (3/6/17)

A wee bit of artwork

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
I Don’t Wanna Live Forever by Zayn and Taylor Swift

On this day
My beautiful La La, 5 June 2014

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
World War I

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June 5th, 2017 at 3:09 pm

3,349: LFC kits and other drawings

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Bad Liar by Selena Gomez. One of the best songs of the year so far

On this day
London teams, 3 June 2015

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Cape Arkona

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June 3rd, 2017 at 12:06 am

3,345: Fußball in Berlin, game 26

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Tennis Borussia Berlin v SV Altlüdersdorf at Mommsenstadion. Last home game of the season. Home team in purple jerseys, white shorts and stockings. Visitors in white jerseys, purple shorts and stockings. That would never fly in a World Cup, would it?

A quiet one for me. Not feeling so great, and blistering sunshine on the terrace. It was nice to see the rainbow flag flying again, which has apparently been a point of discussion between the club and fans. More details (in German) here. I spent a great deal of the second half stood in the shadow of a tree behind one of the goals. Just before the teams came out for the second half, the PA played Crucified by Army of Lovers which was a highlight.

TeBe won by three goals to one in front of a crowd of 347, a prime number.

Fußball in Berlin:
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)
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)
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 Babelsberg 03 v Berliner AK 07, (7/4/17)
SV Lichtenberg 47 v SV Victoria Seelow, (14/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Hansa Rostock II, (15/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Hertha BSC II, (20/4/17)
FC Strausberg v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (23/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06, (26/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v FC Energie Cottbus, (28/4/17)
SV Germania 90 Schöneiche v SV Altlüdersdorf, (29/4/17)
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)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (19/5/17)
SV Tasmania Berlin v SC Staaken, (21/5/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/5/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v SV Altlüdersdorf, (28/5/17)

A wee bit of artwork
Over the last couple of months, I’ve been playing around trying to see what I can do with the idea of amended pixels. Doing a drawing as I would ordinarily do it in pixels, but then when I re-size the image, each of those pixels is bigger than one pixel. Like a 20×20 square. And then playing with those 20×20 squares, adding curves and such. Here’s a drawing of some BFC Dynamo fans in their original Minipop style, and then re-sized and played with. This, I feel, is one step in a process, not a finished “new” style.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Cake by the Ocean by DNCE

On this day
Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca, 30 May 2016

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
List of islands of Denmark

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Written by Craig

May 30th, 2017 at 2:04 am

Posted in Artwork,Minipops,Sports

3,344: Relegation (update)

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In 2013, I looked at the teams that had been relegated out of the Football League (the fourth tier of English football) since automatic relegation was introduced for the 1986-87 season. I’ve updated that chart. While it must be a sad time for Hertlepool United and Leyton Orient fans, there’s hope. A significant proportion of teams who went down to the fifth tier have returned to the Football League at some point.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Argentina by Petite Meller

On this day
Island life, 29 May 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Denmark

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May 29th, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Infographics,Sports

3,340: Fußball in Berlin, game 25

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Yesterday was Father’s Day in Germany. A day when some men like to get drunk and behave badly. It was also a public holiday because of something Christian. Easter II (The Director’s Cut), maybe..? Obama was in town, reminding everyone of what a president should look like.

And for me and the 6,689 other people inside the stadium, it was the final of the Beriner Landespokal, the Berlin Cup: Berliner FC Dynamo v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin.

The Berliner Landespokal is a competition for loads of Berlin teams. Only the two biggest teams in the city (Hertha BSC and 1. FC Union Berlin) didn’t compete. And the cup is part of a bigger national event organised by the Deutscher Fußball-Bund (German Football Association) where every state has its similar amateur cup final game on the same day. They call it Finaltag der Amateure (Amateur Final Day). It seems to me that this is quite a good idea. The games from all around Germany are televised nationally, so lots of people who wouldn’t normally go to or watch amateur football can do so.

This is something I’d been looking forward to ever since I thought about the project to see all eleven Berlin teams in the top five tiers of German football. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the idea of going to this cup final held a special place in my brain, like a crowning moment of my personal project. Absurd, of course, but it was actually really nice to look forward to a cup final between two teams I don’t care about in the same way that I would look forward to the FA Cup Final being on telly when I was a youngster.

My flatmate and I, though, had sat on the balcony the night before, happily drinking and listening to songs on YouTube. Both of us were a bit raw come Cup Final Day. Thankfully, the game was taking place at the local stadium. When the stadium ticket office opened a couple of hours before kick off, we nipped to get tickets for the Haupttribüne, the main stand. The stadium is also the home stadium of Dynamo. Their fans would be in the other side of the ground. Viktoria, a team with less fans, had a couple of sections next to the main stand, and the main stand itself was a mix of neutral fans and Viktoria fans, with a few Dynamo fans scattered around, too. But I am getting ahead of myself.

We got the tickets and went to a local bar, Cafe Meta, where I’d arranged to meet another pal. Sometimes, I’m shocked at my own brain’s inability to think things through. When we organised to meet there, I didn’t even consider that it would be busy. In my head, I thought: this place is close to the stadium, it’s nice, so we can sit down have a quiet drink and a chat. My brain had, for whatever reason, totally failed to connect the cup final happening a couple of hundred metres away in the home stadium of one of the teams: of course it would be full of their fans. And Dynamo fans have a reputation. At this point I will say that the only Dynamo fan I have ever known was a good guy. Not a hooligan, and not right wing. But Dynamo fans have that reputation.

This was the second Dynamo game I’ve been to, and I don’t feel entirely comfortable around them. This is quite likely all in my imagination, of course. Stood outside the bar with beers, the sunglasses of a guy near me fell off his head, onto the pavement, near my feet. I picked them up and passed them to him. He snatched them out of my hand and did not say thank you. I did not lodge an official complaint with the British Embassy about this blatant rudeness, but it didn’t help my perception that we were drinking in a bar where our presence wasn’t welcome.

Inside the stadium we got some beers, found a spot at the railing along the walkway above the lower section of seats in the Haupttribüne, and settled in. The stranger next to us asked if the beer was alcohol free. We said no. He said that he thought all the beer at the stadium was alcohol free today. We kinda assumed he was joking or didn’t know what he was on about: the Berliner Landespokal is, for sponsorship reasons, currently called the Berliner Pilsner Pokal, after the local beer Berliner Pilsner. There’s no way that these two facts could sit together. Makes no sense. And I’m still not entirely sure if we were drinking real beer or fake beer. For a while, it felt like we were drinking alcohol. Maybe it was a combo of a couple of beers before the game and the placebo effect of thinking we were drinking beer. I started to have my doubts, though, when I burped. The burpy taste was distinctly different to a Berliner Pilsner burp. I know this, because that is my go-to beer for the fridge at home. I’ve burped their burps many times. I’m not sure I want to do any more research on whether it was or wasn’t beer. I’m quite happy with the mystery.

The game started okay. Viktoria had a good first half with a couple of decent chances. Dynamo were in it a bit more in the second half, but aside from the last five minutes or so of the game, it was pretty dull. 0-0 at full time. Extra time on its way. My friend and I were both hungry. Neither of us eat meat. There were no meat-free snacks available, not even chips (fries) or chips (crisps). We had the tentative “well, what do you want to do?” chat and fairly swiftly decided: fuck it, let’s go and get some food. We weren’t the only ones leaving. Most people stayed of course, but there were about 50 other people (fans of both teams) heading to the gates. As we turned onto a side street, we heard a big cheer. Dynamo had score. Too big a cheer to be a Viktoria goal. But we were focussed on our empty bellies, and went to Beirut Restaurant, our local and entirely excellent Lebanese place for some makali.

While our bellies were thanking us, Viktoria equalised. While our bellies continued to thank us, Dynamo scored a second and a third goal. But we were makali-ed up. Life was good. The final hadn’t lived up to my pre-game excitement, but as tedious commentators will often say, “that’s football.”

Fußball in Berlin:
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)
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)
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 Babelsberg 03 v Berliner AK 07, (7/4/17)
SV Lichtenberg 47 v SV Victoria Seelow, (14/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Hansa Rostock II, (15/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Hertha BSC II, (20/4/17)
FC Strausberg v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (23/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06, (26/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v FC Energie Cottbus, (28/4/17)
SV Germania 90 Schöneiche v SV Altlüdersdorf, (29/4/17)
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)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (19/5/17)
SV Tasmania Berlin v SC Staaken, (21/5/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/5/17)

Other business
There are obviously reasons why we don’t immediately know the names of victims of things like the horrible thing in Manchester, and rightly so. But, y’know, unless a perpetrator is still at large, I don’t need to know the name or see a photo of the terrorists who do such heinous things. The inverted pyramid of journalism could use an update:

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits

On this day
Stuck Tic Tacs, 26 May 2009

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Instrumental

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

Written by Craig

May 26th, 2017 at 3:09 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

3,332: Fußball in Berlin, games 23 and 24

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Friday night was another local derby for Tennis Borussia, the last of their eight Berlin derby games of the season, away at FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf. I went to see Hertha 03 in March. Nice little stadium. It was grim and rainy and cold that day, Friday was a lovely warm evening. The weather and the visiting team made a big difference to the attendance, too. I’d been told that a lot of Tennis fans went to this game last season, and it was no different the other night. Hertha 03’s average attendance this season has been 183. Their previous highest attendance of the season was 275. On Friday, it was 407.

They had laid on extra staff, too, compared to the last time I was there. Someone grilling sausages, a couple of lads sorting out the beers, and someone else selling cakes, the proceeds of which were, if I remember correctly, going to the girls team.

It was a monumentally fun atmosphere. Chatting, singing, balloons. The deeper one gets into being a fan of Tennis Borussia, the more rewarding it is. I like that when I walk to get a beer, I can now say hello to someone I’ve spoken to at another game along the way. It’s not the football quality, of course, it’s a feeling of being part of a group. This is obvious. But I have struggled with the idea of fandom over the past few years. I had issues with the New York Yankees to the point where I just stopped supporting them, I’ve not felt comfortable with some of the things the Cruz Azul ownership has done, and the Diablos Rojos del México’s new policy of only hiring Mexican players makes me very angry indeed. But here, with the Tennis fans… it sounds sentimental, a bit mawkish maybe, but it’s so nice to feel at home even though I’ve only been to seven of their games. And that’s entirely down to their fans.

Tennis took a 1-0 lead into half time. And made it 2-0 just after the break. They lost 4-2.

On Sunday, I went down to Neukölln. A part of the city I never really went to when I initially lived in Berlin. But since I’ve been away, it’s become the cool part of town, because of the cheaper rents. A friend and I went to see SV Tasmania Berlin v SC Staaken. This is the Berlin Liga, the sixth tier of football, one tier below Tennis Borussia’s division. Before the game, Staaken were top of the league with four games remaining. A victory over third place Tasmania combined with a loss from second place Eintracht Mahlsdorf would give Staaken the title. Staaken won 1-0, but Mahlsdorf won their game, too. Champagne on ice for another week when the title is purely in their own hands: win one game, and they are champs.

In a way, Tasmania’s ground Werner-Seelenbinder-Sportpark is kinda perfect. It’s small, has some seats in the middle, and terraces either side of those seats on both sides of the field. One end of the field, where several balls were hoofed, there’s some trees. The other end, some benches and tables were a bunch of people sat, drank, and watched the game. I went to this game with a friend. It was her first live football game since seeing Arsenal at the [Name of Airline] Stadium. Thankfully, she enjoyed it. As always: live football is fun. Be it a shit game or a good game, there’s usually something to enjoy.

While we were there, I met Ben, a British photographer living in Berlin. He takes great photos of football in the lower leagues. If you like photos and football, he’s worth a follow: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Web site. His photos are very much better than mine.

My next game (Thursday) should be an exciting one: it’s the Berlin Cup Final between FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin and Berliner FC Dynamo at my local stadium, Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark.

And, finally, the old style naming of the Berlin Fußball Project now seem a little pointless. What started out as an inside-of-my-brain school project to see the eleven Berlin teams in the top five tiers of German football was completed in the middle of April. I am, though, still writing about football in Berlin. So I will continue to link to the posts until the end of the season.

Fußball in Berlin:
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)
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)
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 Babelsberg 03 v Berliner AK 07, (7/4/17)
SV Lichtenberg 47 v SV Victoria Seelow, (14/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Hansa Rostock II, (15/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Hertha BSC II, (20/4/17)
FC Strausberg v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (23/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06, (26/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v FC Energie Cottbus, (28/4/17)
SV Germania 90 Schöneiche v SV Altlüdersdorf, (29/4/17)
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)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (19/5/17)
SV Tasmania Berlin v SC Staaken, (21/5/17)

A wee bit of artwork
Minipop Nos. 1,312 and 1,313: The Horrors and Reggie Watts


The song in my head when I woke up this morning
What Do You Mean? by Justin Bieber

On this day
Animated GIFs for IBMblr, 22 May 2014

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Happy Birthday (Altered Images song)

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

Written by Craig

May 22nd, 2017 at 9:11 am

3,328: Horses

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On Sunday, I went with some friends to see some horse racing. First time outside of Mexico, where I’ve been to the Hipódromo de las Américas in Mexico City a couple of times. This one, though, was at a place called Galopprennbahn Hoppegarten, just outside of the eastern edge of Berlin. A few people looked like they thought they were at Ascot with the hats and stuff. Most people, though, were like us: in normal clothes. It was Irish Day, which seemed to just mean some people playing Irish music on a stage outside of the racetrack area, and far far away from the rest of the booze and food, you could buy a Guinness. There was a stand from the Irish Embassy, too. Maybe I should’ve tried to stay there. Claimed political asylum, escaping from the evil Brexit regime.

Like being at a zoo, I have mixed feelings watching a horse race. Am I mentally silencing objections simply because I quite enjoy being there? In one race, a horse was way behind all the others. He pulled up in front of where we were. Something was wrong. A couple of cars and a horsebox came out. They put up a screen so the people couldn’t see the horse. And they shot it.

They didn’t really shoot it. When they removed the screen, the horse had gone into the horsebox, and they all drove off to the stables. Where they shot the horse. I don’t know if that happened, but why let the truth get in the way of what I feel might be the case. It worked for those fucking awful Brexit voters, so maybe I should start living like that.

I bet on three races. In the first one, I bet a whole euro on Amigo. The rider has an orange shirt with black arms. It came second. It was in the lead for quite a while, though. Not sure that counts as winning, though. Then I chucked another whole euro on Bebe Cherie. That one came 14th out of 16. In the last race we bet on, I went hell for leather, betting two euros on Ostana. And whaddayaknow! It won! €16.80. Victory! Quit while you’re ahead, son. We celebrated with a plastic bowl of pea soup. And it was good pea soup.

What else? Hmmm. Oh yeh, “Horses” by Patti Smith. It’s one of those albums that I just can’t get my head around. Like “London Calling” and “Astral Weeks.” Good gosh, I’ve tried to like it, or even just appreciate it. But, nah, it’s not happening. I do like “Careful” by Horse, though. That’s a good song.

This is a Minecraft horse:

When it gets hit by lightning it turns into a skellington:

I think that’s the end of this horsey post. It’s good, though, that Wikipedia has THREE SOURCES for this sentence on its Pony page:

Okay, one more thing: I always think of two players when I think of Pony sportswear. Tony Cottee and Matt Le Tissier.

(And yes, sorry, I amused myself quite greatly by not having any photos of horses from Sunday. Dumb, I know.)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Dreadlock Holiday by 10cc

On this day
Three football stadiums, 18 May 2015

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Papua New Guinea (song)

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

Written by Craig

May 18th, 2017 at 1:17 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

3,326: Sportslounge Berlin

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Quite near to my apartment, there’s a bar. A sports bar. They have a kinda funny silhouette painting of a football player doing a dramatic aerial kick on the metal window shutters. I walk by this place quite a lot. And it never fails to make me smile a little. So yesterday, I took as straight and flat a photo as I could, then when I got home imported it into the iPad app Procreate, and painted over the silhouette to see what he might look like if it weren’t a silhouette.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Steal My Girl by One Direction

On this day
Consecutive items on my Tumblr dashboard, 16 May 2011

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
French Polynesia

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

Written by Craig

May 16th, 2017 at 1:18 am

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
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

May 15th, 2017 at 1:47 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

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

Self-promotion
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

3,312: Fußball in Berlin, supplementary game No. 8

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Sunday, I had a bit of football fatigue after three games in the previous four days. Throw in a lovely dinner party with friends on Saturday night. Just tired, really. A bit too much alcohol, a bit too much eating badly (skipping breakfast or lunch and relying on pretzels), going to bed too late but not turning off my 7am alarm. Candles. Both ends.

But, while a relaxing afternoon doing nothing would have been thoroughly enjoyable, the whole time I would’ve been thinking, should’ve gone to the Tennis game. So I went. And rightly so. This is a nice enjoyable team with nice enjoyable fans. It would be silly to not see as many of their games before the end of the season as possible.

Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Mecklenburg Schwerin. A sunny day. The sort of day that would look great over the top of the old Wembley Stadium on FA Cup Final day. And it was a good crowd, too. 400-odd people, most of whom stood on the terrace. Even the 20-odd visiting fans. They had their drums, made some noise, stood off just a bit to the left of the Tennis fans. No problems.

(Something I always enjoyed about going to see Cruz Azul games is that the opposing teams’ fans are often sat amongst the Azul fans. Naturally, travelling away support tends to want to congregate in the end of the ground for visiting supporters, but there are often fans of the other team nearby, and aside from the odd dude who has had a few too many here and there, I’ve never seen any proper trouble. Even with fans of the local rivals.)

Mecklenburg Schwerin were 1-0 up within three minutes. A few minutes later, a good shout for a Tennis penalty was turned down. Continuing to attack, a way more tenuous penalty was given.

A post shared by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Another beer, some chatting, halftime, another goal for Tennis in the 48th, another for Mecklenburg in the 54th, another beer, some more chitter chatter. Peep peep! Final whistle.

Both teams came over to the terraces at the end. It was nice. Nice nice nice. Everything is nice.

Having a drink after the game, had a brief chat with a Polish guy who is a fan of AKS Zły, a team formed by fans of two Warsaw teams who were a bit sick of the right wing fans. Nice to talk to a couple of local British people, as well. A Brentford fan, an FC United of Manchester fan. Also a German fan of Mexico City team Pumas.

There have been times in my life where I’ve not really took a moment to appreciate the goodness, but I’m trying to do it more these days. And stood there after a fairly meaningless football game in the fifth tier of German football with fans of loads of different teams, all getting along cos we have way more in common than we have differences: it was lovely.

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)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay

On this day
The drunkenest blog post in my life, 2 May 2007. This was after Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties in the Champions League semi-final. Watched it in a bar in Berlin with a Swedish friend. I had a little weep when the reality kicked in: a second Champions League final in three seasons.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Jackal

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

Written by Craig

May 2nd, 2017 at 12:46 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

3,311: Fußball in Berlin, supplementary game No. 7

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It felt a bit too soon for another game. Saturday’s game started just 14 hours after Friday’s ended. And after that game, it felt like I might be going to see a mate’s band in a pub the afternoon after seeing James Brown at the Apollo.

Nonetheless, I was quite excited. The expanded 14 team project (including the 11 Berlin teams, and the 3 teams in Brandenburg state accessible on the local rapid transit S-Bahn) would be completed with a trip to Schöneiche to see SV Germania 90 Schöneiche v SV Altlüdersdorf.

Here’s another asterisk in the plan: you can get close but not actually to Schöneiche on the S-Bahn. But even though the local tram doesn’t seem to be a part of the Berlin tram network, it still accepts my ticket as valid. (There’s something enjoyably ridiculous for me about the rules and caveats I apply to this project/my life.)

S-Bahn trains S9 and S3, get off at Friedrichshagen to get that tram. I needed tram 88, which I assume is just a tram number, not a Nazi reference. The entrance area of the S-Bahn had two signs for where a tram would be, but in both directions. I had four minutes. I chose to go right. I saw some tram lines and and stop over the street. Waiting for, like, evah, I nipped as nimbly as I could between other pedestrians. The stop didn’t say 88. I jogged across the street to a different stop. No 88 there either. I asked a couple of people. Neither knew. So I guessed that it must’ve been left out of the station. Should’ve stuck with my leftist principles all along eh? There was tram 88. A wee old thingy. I dashed over, “just in time!” said my brain. After sitting on the tram with no sign of movement, I realised that nope, I’d just missed the previous one, and this was the next one. The tram goes every 30 minutes.

Sensible people knew the tram time and arrived a few minutes before it was ready to leave. For the most of that half-hour wait, it was just me and bunch of older women having a good old natter and a laugh together. The driver got in his little driver area thingy, gave some people change for the ticket machine, and we were off off off on what felt like one of those wee trains you get at zoos and funfairs. Only one track for use in both directions the whole way. A bit of the journey it was actually going through an actual forest.

Here’s a slightly rubbish picture of the tram:

Judging by the frequency of the graffiti nearby, this is FC 1. Union Berlin territory:

Couldn’t see a street sign, but I had drawn a little map on a Post-It note of the route from the tram to the stadium. As I walked along the street a guy in his front garden said hello. Aw, villages.

The guy selling tickets (€6) at the Jahn-Sportplatz was incredibly friendly, reenforcing the village-ness of it all. There are three football fields at the sportplatz: one with a running track, one without, and one with artificial turf. Germania 90 played on the second of those. The sportplatz has a bar. I got a beer and stood outside before the game started. The PA from the field was playing A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay and then Rhythm is a Dancer by Snap!, and then there was the click clack of football boots. Both of the teams stood outside the changing rooms next to the bar. Time, it would seem, to get over to the field to watch the game.

It was pretty basic. A wooden shed where the announcer hung out. A truck that sold bratwurst, soup, and chips. And another wooden hut that sold €1.80 beers.

Along one side of the fence around the pitch were some spectators. 43 of them, including me. Among them, though, were a couple of teenagers with a drum, another woman with another drum, and a further woman with a megaphone who would shout encouragement. She was friendly. One time, I went to get a beer. She was in front of me in the queue having a chat, and when it was her turn, she told me I could go first because I was their “guest.” I spoke to her and the drum woman again later, and she they had assumed I was there as a fan of the visiting team. I told her I was British, apologised for Brexit, and had a chat about their team and the Oberliga in general. Good people.

It was fun being so close to the field. The physicality of the game is a lot more real that close. And I don’t think I’ve ever heard a goalkeeper burp before. The visitors won 2-1. I said goodbye to Ms. Megaphone and Ms. Drum, had another quick beer at the sportplatz’s bar while some players chatted outside the changing room, and that was it. Extended Project complete.

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 Extended Fourteen Team S-Bahn 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 Eleven Berlin Teams Project 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)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Boy Problems by Carly Rae Jepsen

On this day
The real Paraguay, 1 May 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Honey badger

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

Written by Craig

May 1st, 2017 at 8:19 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports