Days Like These: 1. FC Köln Close 2013 with Derby Win

“On days like these, you wish for eternity.

On days like these, we still have forever.

On this night of nights, which promises us so much

we experience the best, no end is in sight”

 That is my rough translation of the chorus of “Tage wie diesen” by big-time Düsseldorf rock band Die Toten Hosen.  Fans of 1. FC Köln often invoke the song’s title “Days Like These” when the favorite club of the band and their hometown are having a bit of a sad moment.

That’s the sort of elbow you throw into the ribs of a rival in a sporting relationship. It’s essentially harmless, but it does sting a wee bit.

Sunday, of course, was one of those days for Düsseldorfers, getting a  bit of a double gut-punch: falling behind 0:2 in the first half in their own stadium to a team they pretty much despise and then, after fighting back and scoring two goals to pull even, ultimately losing the match anyhow.

I can’t imagine it possible to know how many times “Tage wie diesen” was either uttered, shouted, or sung by Kölners Sunday, but I’d wager it hit six digits, all told. Hell, I was singing it in my head for most of the day.

Then again, I’m not a Kölner, so I suppose that wouldn’t count.

Sidebar: When I studied in Germany, Die Toten Hosen was easily the German band I liked the most of the few I actually heard. I loved me some “Hier kommt Alex.”

The rest of my Sunday did not go as well as it might otherwise have, to be honest, making it more of an “Ugh…no more days like these.”My beloved American football team, the Detroit Lions, did what the Detroit Lions traditionally do, which is find a way to make every single one of their most-loyal fans want to scream/cry/punch, losing a must-win game in their own building against a poor opponent playing for little other than pride, dropping their third game in a row in which they held a fourth-quarter lead, turning a “control your own playoff destiny” situation into a “I can’t believe how badly you fucked that up again, except I can because you’re the Lions” situation.

No matter what I say to you people, if you ever decide to follow NFL from over there and are shopping for a team, do NOT come the  way of Detroit. Nothing but sorrow that way lies.

Then again, as I’ve said before, there are some similarities in recent history between the Lions and the Billy Goats, so…no, just pick New England; you’ll be happier.

So, the Lions put a damper on my personal sports day. I pay far more attention these days to 1. FC Köln than any sporting entity, but we’re dealing with many, many years of building frustration that had a chance to be temporarily relieved, so it was a wet blanket to my morning of victory.

Then we had some personal issues I’m not going to air that resulted in no sleep for anyone over the age of three in this house.

So Tage wie Diese can take a hike, at least everything after noon. The morning was brilliant! I did not have the derby result spoiled for me through forgetting to avoid social media (for the most part) and I had my Billy Goats-obsessed son wander into the living room upon awakening just in time to see his favorite player connect for the match’s first goal.

THIS guy made for a happy Sunday morning on the west coast.

While I was watching the Lions game with a buddy of mine, my son Owen put on his shin guards and soccer socks so he could kick his plush soccer ball up and down the hallways of the house, pretending to be the Billy Goats playing against “Doof-uhl-DORF.”

Since most of you won’t have seen Owen’s match, I am happy to report his Billy Goats scored five goals “but the Doofledorf didn’t score any. They worked hard, but the Billy Goats worked harder.”

Also, he told my friend about how he was tackled by the Doofledorf keeper and it tore his sock. (For those of you who will not have seen the match, Anthony Ujah collided with Fortuna keeper Fabian Giefer and came up with a big hole in his sock and a pretty good gash from his shin, from what I saw later in pictures on Ujah’s Facebook page. (It’s a tad graphic, but if you wish to see it, here you go!)

I’d guess most kids do this, but my son often will take something he saw or heard and later turn it into something that happened to him in a story he tells someone else. Hence, should you meet him while he’s still young and doing this, and he tells you he scored a goal against Doofledorf…well, it’s largely not true, not  wanting to discount the fantasy matches he plays in the hallway. But he IS telling you about an actual event and putting himself in the center of it, so technically he’s a bit off, not unlike these two characters.

Now the 2013 portion of the 2013-14 campaign is finished, and the Effzeh has delivered in the run-up to Christmas: a fall championship, assurance of first place through the winter break with a four-point cushion on second place and eight points ahead of the playoff spot, and, before heading off to spend the holidays with family, an exciting Derby victory.

And here, we’re already remembering that we’re well-trained to deal with NFL disappointments and making final preparations for our own break from work, though it won’t be quite as long as the wait for the players to return to action.

We will have one bit more Effzeh-related excitement in the house, as Owen will finally get his Hennes backpack ordered from the FC-Fanshop and lovingly hauled to the United States by all-around great dude DooMiniK2k.

And no shortage of videos like these to keep us warm until the ball is again rolling.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my fellow Effzeh fans (as well as those who follow other clubs but stumbled onto this). Can’t wait to see what 2014 holds for us! My guess: more singing!

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