Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Viktoria Köln v Rot Weiss Essen

Land Of My Viktoria

Viktoria Köln 2-2 Rot Weiss Essen
Sportpark Höhenberg, Köln
Regionalliga West
Saturday 25th January 2014
Attendance 2,017

The German winter break forces me to confront a bleak, footballless reality. Last year I tried to fill the aching void with a series of new hobbies such as basket weaving and making little boats made of matchsticks and putting them into empty wine bottles. All of which failed to compensate for the exhilarating thrill of watching a dull 0-0 in the German 6th division during ball shrinkingly cold weather. 

Nutty German fan. Tick.

This winter, I decided the tedious bullshit of five weeks without football was too much to bear. In late December I settled down inside a hay lined cardboard box, fitted with a complex air regeneration system (holes punched haphazardly in the side with a pencil), pulled my head inside my body and woke only on Saturday morning to find the UK’s official hibernation waker-uppers, ex Blue Peter presenters Mark Curry and Yvette Fielding (sadly no Konnie Huq, thankfully no John Leslie), looming over me to greet my triumphant awakening. 

Freeloaders. Oldschool. 

After emerging blinking into the sunlight, with my head wedged in amongst the rubble of my shattered collarbone, I consulted the tinpot websites, cross referenced them against train times, read a letter from my employers informing me I should seek alternative employment as, apparently, humans don’t officially hibernate and set off to the Sportpark Höhenberg, home of Cologne’s third biggest side Viktoria Cologne. 

After a unsuccesful day working on new song lyrics a badly aged Brian Harvey decided to throw his endeavours away and enjoy a cigarette.

Viktoria were formed via a series of mergers with clubs with vaguely amusing names, including, SV Kalk 04, Preußen Dellbrück and latterly, and possibly most semi-amusing, FC Junkersdorf in 2011. Viktoria are one of the favourites to win the league, have ambitions to reach the Bundesliga and are backed by Franz-Josef Wernze, a man with Scrooge McDuck levels of wealth secured from his ownership of one of Germany’s biggest tax consultancies. With his wodge’s of cash the club has signed players with Bundesliga experience and are about as popular as the unannounced arrival of a fastidious tax man at a shady lower league club. 
Rot Weiss Essen are AiT favourites. They have average attendances of over 8,000, have won the Bundesliga and have ambitions of playing their again but, like an over confident hare competing against a narcoleptic tortoise in a purely metaphorical sprint dual they never manage to achieve the expected success, due to their own staggering ability to scupper their own endeavours.

Now obligatory AiT shot of ultras.

Token match shot. 
Including huge tent, for sponsors and VIP’s and it’s a place ruffians like me, and to a greater extent – you, will never see inside of.  

The stadium has, unlike this blog, won awards and an award no less prestigious than the tepidly contested 1993 “IOC/ IAKS International Architecture Award for Sports and Leisure Facilities”. I also awarded it an AiT “One Thumb Up” Award and will no doubt see all publicity material updated to include this prestigious honour in due course. 

In a bizarre pre match twist Viktoria decide to play the RWE club song over the tannoy, “And now here at Old Trafford raise your scarves ladies and gentleman as we intimidate our despised Liverpudlian guests by having a singsong of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’”

MBS Logistics - Proud sponsors of Viktoria Köln and home of the frankly creepy skull less logo. 

The RWE song is a joyous, toe tapping ditty and internet research has revealed that a) I have far too much spare time and b) the song is called Adiole, it’s sung by Swedish singer Sim Malmkvist and it reached the toppermost place of number 25 (fünfundzwanzig) in ze German charts in 1960. More googlebased timewasting reveals that Malmkvist also recorded a cover of "Where TheWild Roses Grow" by Nick Cave & Kylie Minogue in SWEDISH. Seeing as we're talking Swedish music, and we really *should* do that more often, here's a link to "All That She Wants" by Ace of Base

Just as I'd planned it, two flags and a passing football.
Viktoria’s club anthem (anthem – not song) is the standard oompah, slap your things, wear a silly hat type cringe inducing number loved by ze locals. The song is notable for maintaining the approved German standards of musical shitness, whilst riding roughshod over existing song text legislation and rhyming Viktoria with Bundesliga, through the agonising incorporation of elongated vowels to form “Bundesleeeeeeegaaaaaaa”. 

Ha. Wiener. Ha. Steffie.

Viktoria lined up without striker Lucas Musculus, a player notable for having a surname similar to a budget 1980’s TV cartoon hero ("Save my Musculus! Save me from the clutches of evil tyrant Brutarus"), but did start with a player called Mike Wunderlich, a player notable for having surname that translates as “whimsical”. 

Whimso (as absolutely none of his friends call him) scores two goals while RWE stick to what they do best and make things hard for themselves by going two goals down, down to ten men, down, down deeper and down and, finally, down in the tube station at midnight. In the fifth minute of injury time a textbook goalmouth scramble sees Marks Heppke score an equaliser which leads to a pitch invasion, shouts of abuse against the home manager and oh my GOD I’ve missed you football. SCREW YOU WINTER, SCREW YOU!