The Moment I Became a Fan of Football
“It felt like I was celebrating with Germany. It’s one of the coolest feelings”
In 2008, my family had an opportunity to host Peter, who ended up teaching some German at our old Elementary school. Peter came from Dresden (Germany), and he was supposed to stay for 4 months. In the end, I think he spent closer to 7 months with us.
Anyway, Peter got me hooked on football. One day, I reluctantly joined him in watching a Euro 2008 group match between Germany and Poland. Within minutes of turning on the TV (we joined late), Podolski absolutely crushed the ball into the top right corner. You can skip ahead in the video to see the second goal (start around 8m in):
With the surround sound on it felt like we were part of the crowd. You could feel the energy as they cut to other cities in Germany that were hosting viewing parties. Millions of people were all elated. It felt like I was celebrating with Germany. It’s one of the coolest feelings.
That’s why I love German football, and that’s why Podolski was a favourite of mine for a long time. By the time I made it to Munich in 2009, he had already left Bayern Munich. I would end up settling for a Klose jersey…
If there is one club I can cheer for, it’s Bayern. When people ask how good they are, I just tell them Bayern are like the Yankees of the Bundesliga. I am banking on them having a game this fall that I can go to, where I can be surrounded by a crowd of close to 60,000 people and still not understand what any of them are saying (despite efforts to take German in school):
You can say what you want about football, because I would agree that games can get really stagnant. I always say that you could easily join the game by the 20′ or 25′ and most teams would just be starting their attack by then. BUT that is what beer is for! So next time you find yourself in Europe, I highly suggest attending a game. Compared to average hockey ticked prices, I feel like football can be really cheap and rewarding. So here are some of the stadiums I want to check off this fall:
1. Allianz Arena (home of Bayern):
2. San Siro – Milan (Inter Milan / A.C. Milan)
3. Estádio Municipal de Braga — Braga, Portugal
I picked these three because I will be in each of these places in the fall, so I hope I have a chance to see them all. If I don’t cross off at least one of these venues, consider this upcoming trip a fail in the sports category.