German Word of the Day:
n., masc.; competition [sports]
I don’t usually go to sports games, but last week I somehow wound up at two – a soccer game and an ice hockey game. Turned out I was missing a pretty interesting part of German culture! (No surprise there, really.)
My first-ever German sports match was a soccer game between the Hannover 96 team (no clue what that means) and a little town called Bielefeld. (According to some Germans, the town of Bielefeld doesn’t exist – it’s all an illusion. You can read about the conspiracy theory here.) I was freezing cold, but the game kept me more interested than I expected. However, I’m pretty sure there was more action going on in the stands than on the field.
I’m not sure if you can see in this picture just how blue the entire half of the arena was. Team spirit was sky-high – flags, outfits, and a separate song/cheer for every kind of play. The craziest part for me? Each team brought a drum set and beat out a rhythm during the entire game. It felt more like we were marching into battle than watching a 2nd-tier sports match…but it certainly kept the cheering going!
The second game I saw was an ice hockey match by the Hannover Scorpions.
Yep, as you guessed, there’s no shortage of beer at German sports games. Pretzels, too.
I still have a pitiably small understanding of most sports, but I can now cross “German-soccer-game” off my bucket list. What should I tackle next?