It is three o’clock at night. I have just woken up, another nightmare about a horrific Werder Bremen match has given my body an uncomfortable feeling, and rendered me sleepless. Being a Werder Bremen fan this season has truly been frightening and horrific. The weekends I used to long for so much, have tormented me this season. (Yes, I am breaking my personal rule, and write something personal.)
Well, most football fans are like regular people. They can’t know if a car crash on the way to work will take their life at some point in the future, or even if they will be married in 2 years time to the woman they so dearly love. However, where we differ from a huge segment of the population is what we know about our football club of choice. We know that we love that club, and we know that we’ll love this club endlessly forever. Whatever may happen, championships, relegation, bitter defeats, nothing can change that. Football fans have a constant in their life that they can be sure about, many people do not have that.
For me the team of choice has been Werder Bremen from the age of 4. Born in Hannover my father never took me to the 96’ers matches, so I never got to see and support the local team(this was 20 years ago, and Hannover were a mediocre team in the 2. Bundesliga). However, my father watched the Bundesliga highlights every weekend. And there they were. The Green and Whites, playing the Otto Rehagel kind of football that took me as a little boy with a the power of a hurricane. Dieter Eilts, Mario Basler, Marco Bode, Rune Bratseth and Andreas Herzog, and posters of all the players had to be hung up on the wall of my room. For the first time in my life I loved something outside of my family so much that I never wanted to let go of it.
So my heart had to endure losing the championship on the last match day of the 95/96 season, I suffered every weekend when Felix Magath was the head coach and didn’t know what he was doing. But, I was so fortunate that I also could celebrate big victories like the first double in 2004, or the cup win of 2009. Over the years football has influenced my mood quite a bit, being grumpy after defeats, or being delirious with joy after big wins.
When Mesut Özil left the club at the beginning of the season I understood him. A young player who gets the chance to play for Real Madrid, good on him. However, Werder have certainly felt the loss of their best player, and started the season with a 4-1 defeat at Hoffenheim. From there on bad has gone to worse, and my optimism that things would turn around was slowly replaced with nightmares, sleepless hours during the night before matches. Hope has been replaced with anger and frustration. I breathe, and bleed football, you know.
Having said all that, you might ask, why should I care, and what would would you do? Well, I don’t expect you to care about my problems, and why should you? And what I would do if I was at charge at Bremen, well, I don’t know. I love Thomas Schaaf, he is Bremen through and through. Can you name one other coach besides him and Holger Stanislawski who identifies himself more with their club then those? I don’t think letting Schaaf or Allofs go would be the answer. The players at Bremen should be good enough to get the club to a finish in the top half of the table. I just do not know what has happened this season. So, I am looking at the calender, dreading the next game already, and simply hoping that things will turn around.
This post has been a long time coming. Writing all this has been amazingly cathartic(well, writing this an opening a bottle of Czech lager). I promise to keep my feeling, and personal stuff to myself for the next few weeks. If you have gotten this far down in this blog post, and read all of it: Thank you for indulging me.
What has the life as a football fan done to you? Leave a comment below.