If you’re with me on social media at all, you’re aware my fandom of this football club has done some sincere altering of my day-to-day life.
But one thing that seems weirdly common among the Effzeh faithful that I’ve not yet adapted is what I see as a bit of an overreaction to smaller-picture events.
That’s not to say I’m not disturbed and/or annoyed about the back-to-back shutout losses, because I am.
I’m referring more to the concern paid to other teams and how they fare over the weekend vis-a-vis how it plays into where the team will end the matchday in the table…in late November.
Simply, I don’t care where the club is in the table until matchday 34, as long as it’s not so far down that a promotion spot can’t be reached.
I suppose a championship would be nice, too, but winning the second-league would be a bit dubious an achievement for a club that simply belongs in the top flight, if based solely on club size and support rather than on-field performance.
Hence, even though the ideal outcome of the Kaiserslautern-v-Union match Saturday, as far as positioning goes, would have been a draw, I was pulling for Union.
For one, I don’t really like Kaiserslautern to begin with, but with Mo Idrissou’s public homophobia making him a giant hairy dirty butthole in my opinion, they can’t lose enough as long as he’s in their employ.
On the other side, Union and their fans…well…
Same thing with the 1860-v-Greuther Fürth match from today, which did go the way most Effzeh fans wanted, with München taking all three points, hence keeping 1. FC Köln from dropping all the way to third in the table.
It must be noted that, until I started following this club, league/s, and sport more closely, I’d never actually been a fan of a team for which the regular season was actually the primary competition. The regular season for American sports are simply money-making time wastes until the playoffs arrive.
Check the New England Patriots from 2007. They went undefeated in 16 games, a feat that had never been accomplished. Realistically, it’s a more-impressive feat than that of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, which won all 14 of its regular-season matches.
Yet, as was stated by at least one member of that Dolphins team, the Pats accomplishment was not considered yet to even be the equal of that of the Fins because Miami followed their perfect regular season with a championship by winning three more games in the playoffs, ending with a hoisting of a Super Bowl trophy.
Without even getting into the varied reasons why winning so many games consecutively in 2007 is necessarily more difficult than it would have been 30 years prior, the Patriots did win two playoff games before falling in the Super Bowl, meaning they’d won 18 games consecutively before dropping the final.
And I’ve heard absolutely nobody argue the merits of winning those 18 compared to the 17 that ended in a title. What people remember of the Patriots “perfect” season is that it was not.
What part does all this play in my perception of how important it is to be first or second or third not quite halfway through the season? I’m not sure. I’m willing to accept there might be some nuance I’m missing.
And I am missing something, because I cannot bring myself to care.
I care greatly that the goals don’t come more easily on some days, considering what seems a pretty good advantage in talent during matches, but that’s completely focused on the side in entirety. It would be neither dampened nor amplified were results elsewhere to have played out so that our beloved remained at the top of the table or dropped them into third place.
Not today. Not in late November with 19 matches yet to play. Not yet.
Yes, I’d rather be in first place at any given time. So much is a given.
But, if the only day on which 1. FC Köln is in the top spot is at the end of matchday 34, I can live with that.
And, let’s face it, you’d take that! Certainly over the opposite scenario, where the club rides atop the league all season, only to plunge out of a promotion spot on the last day of the season.
Ask Fortuna fans how their last-day plummet from safety into direct relegation after not having been there since being promoted to the top flight!
Okay, that out of the way, I’m a bit annoyed with a pair of losses sandwiched around an international break. By the time the ball is kicked in Hamburg on Friday, it’ll have been 24 days since we saw a goal scored by the Effzeh?