I cannot tell a lie here, folks. Unlike my boy Martijn, I was not among you all in body. Though, I never leave you in spirit.
While I loved having my mother visit from Michigan so we could spend time together and with my boys, being largely out of the loop of all things Effzeh for the better part of two weeks was a bit tough.
Don’t get me wrong, though. We did spend some part of last Saturday watching the match with FSV Frankfurt and managed to see live the Friday morning PST Rückrunde opener against Dynamo Dresden, celebrating both results accordingly.
Beyond that, however, time for reading and writing was virtually non-existent over that time.
But now I’m back.
Still nine time zones to the west, so “back” as “back” as I can get, anyhow.
I will say that my Mom, who arrived in Seattle a few weeks with pretty much zero knowledge of the world’s game, left knowing that her oldest grandson LOVES the Billy Goats, as Owen ran around the house kicking his soft soccer ball wearing his jersey and claiming to be playing for “eff see kerrrn” in between bouts of matches between the “Spidermans and the Ironmans.”
But it was mostly Billy Goats.
I did peek enough on Twitter to be somewhat concerned at just how little attention seemed to be given Dresden between celebrating the fall championship and looking ahead to the trip up the road/river to deal with Fortuna, but the worst to have come from that seems to have been the surrender of just the fourth goal at Müngersdorf so far this season, so, clearly, things were all in perspective where they needed to be.
Even so, I was a bit nervous.
I’m less nervous about this weekend’s match, even while also acknowledging it will be a much tougher assignment. Though Düsseldoof is hardly a frighteningly strong home side, the nature of a derby, the rivalry, and it being the last match of the year and just before Christmas is likely to have the hosts putting on their best look for the holiday snapshots, especially as they have the opportunity to string together three victories in a row for the first time since making the drop from the Bundesliga.
My lack of concern for the weekend comes largely from my distance from the rivalry. Even a pronounced Fortuna victory will do little to deter me from thinking the Effzeh is long-since established as the class of the league. Hence, a win would definitely give something over which the Düsseldoofers can bark all winter long, but when the real prize hits the table, I’m pretty sure the 1. FC Köln will be sitting at the head. I don’t think any Fortuna fans would be able to honestly claim the same, regardless of what happens this weekend.
It’d be annoying to watch, and moreso to watch to the flood of anti-effzeh tweets on the #Effzeh hashtag, but easy enough to find comfort in the promotion prospects and knowing that, at season’s end, we may be holding a much larger club to wield over all the F95’ers foolish enough to think the real battle happens Saturday.
I’m now realizing some of this seems a bit pessimistic, so I’m going to say right now that I don’t think for a second that Düsseldorf will actually defeat Köln by any measure this weekend. I expect victory for the visitor.
But, in the case of a let-down not unlike the one we had in matchdays one and two with disappointing draws, my eyes will immediately be on the bigger prize.
All I wanted to say today was, I’ve missed my obsessive reading and writing about my favorite team.
And to thank Martijn for sending photos from his trip to the Dresden match last weekend and making me crazy jealous.
It’s good to be back!