Goals, joy, pain, heartache and passion… We all miss those feelings that football can bring.
So when we heard that the resumption of the Bundesliga would come before all else, the GameDay Podcast team decided to embark on Project die Verabschiedung!
That roughly translates to, ‘we wanted to adopt a team’. When the football starts flowing, we want skin in the game. Not just a parting interest, an allegiance.
We consulted German fans, narrowed the options to four, and put it to the Bundesliga who helped us tweet out a vote.
The winner? Hertha Berliner Sport Club.
From the moment the result of the poll came in, my co-host Alex Crook and I have thrown ourselves head first into Hertha.
Well… we haven’t got much else to do!
Hertha are a club named after a steamboat who won the Bundesliga in 1930 and 1931, and they just about survived the Third Reich, World War II, and being an outpost for West German football during the Cold War when West Berlin was surrounded by East Germany and East Berlin.
Their biggest rivals now are Union Berlin, but this is a relatively new thing.
Historically, Tennis Borussia Berlin would have been considered rivals, but in the German capital there are so many little clubs that different communities identify with; this means more of a family feel between institutions.
Union’s promotion to the Bundesliga and the first top-flight derby this year has intensified and complicated the relationship, with the younger fans desperate for a bit of a grudge.
This weekend's Bundesliga fixtures
- Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke (Saturday, 2:30pm)
- Augsburg vs Wolfsburg (Saturday, 2:30pm)
- Fortuna Dusseldorf vs Paderborn (Saturday, 2:30pm)
- Hoffenheim vs Hertha Berlin (Saturday, 2:30pm)
- RB Leipzig vs Freiburg (Saturday, 2:30pm)
- Eintracht Frankfurt vs Borussia Monchengladbach (Saturday, 5:30pm)
- Koln vs Mainz (Sunday, 2:30pm)
- Union Berlin vs Bayern Munich (Sunday, 5pm)
The older generations still see Union and Hertha as siblings, though.
The derby at the Olympiastadion is next weekend – but it’s probably not the outstanding fixture of that particular match week!
Nonetheless, we’ll be watching.
At least it won’t be beset by the firecrackers, flares and protests which postponed the first game several times before Christmas.
Hertha are more attractive to us because they are historically unreliable, unsuccessful and a bit of a basket case. They are also based in one of the best cities in the world!
Yes, we are also fuelled by hopes of a post-socially distant future, in which we can jaunt to a Berlin bierkeller with fellow members of the Ostkurve.
This club have had four head coaches this season – including a brief three-month spell for Jurgen Klinsmann. Nothing like consistency hey?
Hertha also hit the headlines recently due to Salomon Kalou’s ridiculous Facebook Live video, in which he gatecrashed a teammate’s COVID-19 test. It isn’t the first time they’ve got themselves in trouble on that platform either.
Maybe some social media distancing should be new coach Bruno Labbadia’s first act.
The club are six points clear of relegation, and despite splashing out on Kristof Piatek from Milan in January (he has ONE Bundesliga goal), they are almost definitely going to keep us on the edge of our seat until the end of the season.
You might say, after all that, there are more reasons not to pick Hertha BSC than decide to devote yourself to them, but we’ve spoken to the fans, we’ve got the mugs and the shirts, and we are already dreaming of our first trip to the iconic Olympiastadion. Rain or Shine. Beer or wine.
Hahohe Hertha BSC!