Don’t worry, I haven’t had a penis transplant. No, ‘Mannschaft’ is the (rather hilarious) German word for ‘team’. And, in my quest to become a fully-fledged German, supporting a football Mannschaft is an important step. Plus, I’m a big fan of any hobby that you can do with a beer or a whiskey in your hand.
Choosing a team was relatively easy – coming from a country that loses at virtually everything, this time round, I was going to pick a winner, and that meant Bayern Munich.
This would prove to be an unpopular choice at the Offside Bar a few weeks ago. Bayern were playing Dortmund and it was standing room only, with everyone in the bar supporting Dortmund. Oh well, now I’d get to combine being annoying with beer, whiskey and football – perfect.
When one (bad) German stood up to leave, I shot into his seat and found myself at a table with several jovial German men. Dortmund were winning 1-0 for most of the match so I decided to spice things up a little.
Me: I bet you a whiskey that Munich win 2-1.
Knut: No way!
Me: Yes way.
Knut: Ha, OK, I’ll take that bet.
And then Munich scored twice and I got a very nice whiskey out of it. Football is fun.
A few days later I was chatting to my English friend.
Me: I really want to go to a football match.
Nigel: I have a season ticket for Union Berlin.
Me: Cool! Maybe I’ll come along some time.
Nigel: I’m going to a match on Saturday – Union are playing 1860 Munich.
Me: Count me in!
So, I bought a ticket and we hopped on the train to Köpenick. As you have to walk through a forest to get to the stadium, we decided to get a beer for the journey. My first street beer – how German am I?
We joined the queue at the security area, which is where I made the unfortunate discovery that they don’t let men frisk women. Helga Hammer-Hands gave me a rather brutal seeing to – she touched places my most intimate man friends have seldom gone. But then we were in.
The atmosphere was electric and the fans were über friendly. We got chatting to loads of people, including two Japanese guys who didn’t really seem to know what was going on most of the time. Luckily, the Union chant is written on the stands, so I was able to join in immediately. ‘Unsere Liebe. Unsere Mannschaft…’ It sounded great roared in an Irish accent.
Me: I bet you a whiskey that Union don’t score before half-time.
Nigel: I’ll take that bet.
One more whiskey for me. Clearly I am excellent at this football stuff. In the end, we lost 4-1 but it was a fantastic day out. I think I’ll stick with Munich Mannschaften in future though – there’s less chance of being schafted.