Bundesliga 101: An Introduction

With the Bundesliga arriving to Fox this season comes the opportunity to bring the 1. FC Köln, and the Bundesliga, to a bigger US audience than ever before.

From personal experience, I know that there is a lot to learn for an American-raised sports fan wanting to follow European football leagues. Because sports in the United States are structures so differently from those found elsewhere, people without prior exposure to foreign sports leagues can experience a bit of culture shock when confronted with the way things are done pretty much everywhere else.

Because I once was one of those stereotypical Americans who simply had no taste for “soccer,” I’d like to think I have some good ideas as to how to present the Bundesliga to US audiences who have always maintained an anti-soccer stance. There was a time when nobody who knew me would have guessed I’d ever be interested in the sport, much less have it become an all-encompassing obsession, so I figure that if it can happen to me, it can happen to just about anyone.

Hence, I will admittedly (and necessarily?) be writing these from the aspect of someone who is arriving to the Bundesliga completely unfamiliar with traditional football structures, just as I was when a friend decided that I was going to go to a Bundesliga game with him one Saturday afternoon, even as I protested that I couldn’t imagine anything more dull than watching grown men play soccer.

Thanks, Halid, for NOT listening to my whining.

By all means, you should skip the bits you already know, but this is starting from as base a level as possible to be as inclusive as possible. Essentially, I’m writing this as if I’m explaining it to a 24-year-old me, who could not have been more clueless about the world’s most-popular game.

So now, I am proud to bring you. . . Bundesliga 101!


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