1. FC Köln / Bundesliga / football / Germany / soccer / Sports

American Effzeh Christmas in Review and Happy New Year!

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Hey y’all. How are you doing without 1. FC Köln football to perk-up your weekends.

Me too.

We’ll just have to help one another get through these tough times.

We leveraged a bit of our household Effzeh love to make Christmas a bit brighter for my little American Geißbock. It was not easy to sit on those gifts for as long as we did, especially once we saw how our Owen reacted to getting his own jersey and seeing how excited he gets when he sees the team on the television, runs into his room, and changes into his “billy goats shirt” so he can play soccer with his soft soccer ball in the hallway, scoring goals seemingly at will.

This also tends to distract from my viewing of games a wee bit. I’m okay with that, especially as I have FC-TV.

"It's from Ujah?"

“It’s from Ujah?”

As many parents know, Christmas Eve is spent on last-minute preparations for the next morning. Fortunately, we purchased nothing that required assembly, allowing us to NOT stay up until 4 a.m. Christmas morning, as we did in 2012 (rookie mistake). But, we also did not manage to get several gifts wrapped before then. We’re still not great at that time-management thing.

With beer in my system and a general overall tiredness, I decided to write on the wrapped Hennes backpack that it was “From: Ujah.” It wasn’t until far too late that I realized explaining that it wasn’t actually from Anthony Ujah could be an easy pathway into realizing other gifts weren’t necessarily from Santa Claus, but…he’s not quite four. I think we’re safe.

Also, the photo quality Christmas morning was off due to my not realizing I had the flash on an oddball setting from the night prior. Not the first photography failure I’ve achieved on a holiday.

Oh well…

The excitement of a package from Ujah was quickly replaced by excitement of having a billy goats backpack. Owen has another, larger backpack, but he instantly preferred this one, as we knew he would.

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How cool do I look?

I doubt the backpack will quite top the jersey for overall attention from my son, but since the weather has turned cold, the backpack will probably get a bit more play outside the house. Whenever he tries to wear the jersey, he’s instructed to change before he can leave the house to do whatever it is we’re going to do.

Y’all know this is not MY doing, right?

Next on the list is the cult-ish must-have bath duck.

I’ve seen that people collect them, which made me realize that most clubs must sell them.

I’m pretty much all for that.

Owen has a number of bath ducks, so I wasn’t sure how much excitement an Effzeh bath duck would hold, especially after opening the backpack.

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By this point in the morning, I’d realize my camera settings were screwy. Can you tell? Coffee!

Once we’d finished the gift opening, I thought the duck had been a bit of a dud. It got put to the side like so many other gifts, while a chosen few took center stage for the day. We sort of overdid it this year, to be honest, with simply too many gifts. That will be our not-quite-rookies mistake to avoid in 2014.

However, as I laid next to Owen at bedtime last night, we talked about what he was going to tell his friends when he returned to ‘school’ Monday morning. Right after the “Jake (and the Neverland Pirates)” stuff came mention of the “duck billy goat.”

Another proud moment in sports brainwashing through parenting.

I have to admit, I gained another reason to be excited for promotion this spring when I saw this video:

Granted, what it would take to pull this off with Owen would be to get him as riled up about Mönchengladbach as this child is about Porto, but the payoff would be, of course, a terrific practical joke for Christmas!

The danger would be that my son can be a bit of a sensitive snowflake, so he might really get sad about it rather than the sassy pout this one displayed once he opened a gift of a soccer jersey and saw it was that of a team I’d taught him is the enemy.

Don’t think I can risk it. Besides, I’d also have to buy a Fohlen jersey. Not going to happen. Might be different if I could just return it the next day, so if we somehow move to Köln before Christmas 2014…

We put a sheet of tattoos in Owen’s stocking, but we’ve not yet put one on. I honestly think he forgets he had stuff in his stocking, as he spends most of his toy time with the musical pirate ship so far. When we (yes, we, because I’m going to wear one too) put them on, you know there will be a photo.

I want and need to thank my boyDoominik for bringing my fan-shop order with him on vacation to the states and shipping to me from Denver. He helped make my older son’s Christmas a bit extra exciting. We also got a “lovey” Schnuffeltuch for Hen(nes)ry, but somehow failed to get a photo of him holding it. Something else to fix later.

Actually, I owe Dominik thanks for more than being a pack mule for merchandise. Way back in the infancy of my Effzeh fanhood, I was tasked with writing a club season-preview for Bundesliga Fanatic. I floated on Twitter that I was going to be writing it, to which Dominik replied that I need only ask should I have questions or require information. I don’t remember whether I actually took him up on that, largely freewheeling the piece (as you can tell). What I do remember is that I was a bit apprehensive to be reporting on something that was really new to me, especially knowing the passion of fans, but Dominik instantly gave me my first taste of what I now know to be the big community family that is the vast majority of fans of 1. FC Köln.

And now I’m practically a psychopath about following the club.

It’s a good time of year to thank people for such things, so, thanks Dominik! For everything!

And thanks to all the members of Planet Effzeh with whom I’ve had contact over the last few years. You’ve definitely propelled my own interest in the club to unforeseeable levels. I look forward to celebrating more with you in the coming year and maybe meeting a good number of you somewhere down the road.

Have a Happy New Year!

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