It is one of the beautiful things of the German language that a single word can be created by combining two. Instead of just having the two words together to communicate an idea, German will go ahead and just cram the words together to help strengthen that the two separate ideas behind those two separate words somehow have melded into a single unit. There is no space between the two to allow for hesitation or thought, rather a single entity.
Yeah, it’s “derby winner,” but for me, removing the gap between the two words takes away the notion that “derby” is helping qualify “winner” and instead gives you a singular concept that is so much greater than the sum of the parts.
That it’s the first time effzeh fans have been able to exclaim “Derbysieger!” when the final whistle blew in a match against Borussia Mönchengladbach in seven years, makes it all the more sweet.
Personally, it’s my first-ever Derbysieg. By the time I’d realized I was effzeh a few years ago, the club was already on its way toward the second division. Hence, this was only the third time I watched the Rhine Derby, much less with an emotional investment.
I also currently work at home, which means that I don’t get to walk into an office where I can make sure to walk by the desk of a Fohlen-supporting co-worker so they can see my gear. In fact, my 1. FC Köln merchandise-wearing goes largely under-appreciated here in Seattle.
Even so, I continue to be delighted about the win over Gladbach so much, that I’m not that annoyed by the continuation of in-fighting among effzeh fans over the ultras and a perception that the club is stiff-arming “tradition” in favor of commercialization.
Even the fact that my long-term American sports-team associations all had sour weekends has had little impact on my good post-derby mood. The Detroit Lions once again laid an egg in Minnesota yesterday to start the season in a very Gladbach-like winless fashion; the Detroit Tigers have anchored themselves to the bottom of their division; my alma mater, Central Michigan University, failed to beat a team down to their fourth-string quarterback . . . and yet I smile.
That’s the power of being Derbysieger!
Live RabbleTV Broadcast Tuesday with Axel Goldmann
Tuesday’s midweek match in Berlin and the magic of the internet are combining to provide interested parties with what might be one of the most-unique game-experience opportunities for Effzeh fans.
In conjunction with RabbleTV, I will be hosting a live simulcast of the 1. FC Köln match against Hertha BSC with Axel Goldmann of Der Vierte Offizielle, which is also home to the excellent German-language effzeh podcast “Bockcast” (on which I’ve guested both in English and auf Deutsch).
Axel has graciously agreed to not only join me in providing live commentary during our English Week match Tuesday, but also to do so in English, even though we both realize that odds favor a large segment of whatever audience we draw will be German. Though my co-host is somewhat unsure of his English abilities holding up for nearly two hours of football, I assure you that you’ll immediately hear that his concerns are unwarranted. Additionally, he’s a knowledgeable and passionate 1. FC Köln fan, which should provide for more fun in your game soundtrack than the professionals would be able to give.
Not only are we giving a fan-slanted commentary, but it’ll be through the points-of-view of an American newcomer to the club and a Köln native born into Planet Effzeh.
Or you can stick to the dispassionate and cliche-ridden, if much more professional, stuff Fox and/or Sky produces.
We are both excited to be trying this new idea Tuesday and hope you’ll join us, either just by listening or by interacting with us during the Rabble-cast by commenting in the comments area of the event page.
Talk at you on Tuesday, 11 a.m. PST, 2 p.m. EST, and 20 CET!
FC Fan Shop Now Taking Online Orders to Ship to the USA
At some point on Saturday, I received an email from the official 1. FC Köln fan shop touting free shipping for three days through the use of promo code “Derbysieger”, celebrating the three points earned in the Saturday victory.
I often go to the online fan shop and dream of wasting piles of money compiling a nice collection of effzeh merchandise, outfitting my children and their bedroom with loads of Hennes-decorated stuff, as well as getting some stuff for myself, of course. When I did so after seeing this promotion, I received a bit of a surprise.
Early in my time as a fan, I lamented the absence of shipping options to the United States. One of my Effzeh heroes, Dominik, took the time and effort to find out for me that the shop would be happy to ship to the US, but it would take communication through email or telephone, rather than completing an online order.
To illustrate just how much a hero Dominik is, he actually brought the stuff I eventually ordered with him to the US on vacation so he could ship to me domestically, getting around the 40-Euro price of shipping from Köln.
Anyhow, when I clicked through the ad to the fan shop and signed into my account, I went to my “shopping cart,” which always has a few items in it from my aspirational shopping visits and somehow noticed a box in my account information, which was populated with something explaining the information that was meant to illustrate which bit of information was meant to be in it, namely “NY for New York.”
That is, “to which state do you want your order shipped”?
Wait, shipping to the US from online orders? Finally! Thank Hennes!
Because that was new information to me, I continued with the processing of the order, which led to another great discovery for US-based fans, namely that the fan shop also accepts PayPal as a method of payment.
Essentially, the club has somewhat recently removed some of the obstacles for fans outside Germany by making the merchandise more readily available. Speaking from an American point-of-view, merchandise is important. Representing your team with gear is a big part of sports fandom here. Unfortunately, it’s traditionally been virtually impossible to get much Bundesliga stuff here, much less 1. FC Köln items. If you see German clubs represented here, it’s almost always FC Bayern. When it’s not, it’s the BVB.
This is not to say that there will suddenly be boatloads of red-and-white Effzeh gear making the trip over the Atlantic to allow Köln immediately compete with the Bayerns and Dortmunds for a larger share of hearts and minds of a budding US fan base for the Bundesliga (especially with it costing about $40 per shipment), but it will help and is certainly part of a bigger, long-term strategy that is simply necessary going forward.
Sadly, it appears the free shipping offer does not include packages to the US, but we can hope that the club will eventually be moved to offer such a thing on occasion. I know Borussia Dortmund once did that for orders over a certain Euro amount, so the precedent is there. Perhaps as we grow a bigger and bigger fan base here, it’ll be a worthwhile investment for the club to subsidize those orders.
For now, we should just be glad that this is being made available and shows the club is being mindful of its wider international audience.
As always . . . COME ON EFFZEH!