1. FC Köln

Farewell, Biggi! We hardly knew ye!

So, I read this morning that the contract of Sascha Bigalke was dissolved with immediate effect, making the towheaded fella of short stature a man, at least temporarily, without a club.

What little we saw of “Biggi” in an Effzeh uniform is just enough to know he’ll land somewhere and, if he stays healthy, will work his way into a team to become a beloved contributor.

At least, that’s what I hope for him. I suppose lower-tier sides are already mostly set, which wouldn’t leave too much open for him, and I can’t imagine a Bundesliga side is the right place for him just yet. I’ll just hope he finds the right spot for himself.

And I really, really do hope. Despite his questionable taste in baseball caps, Bigalke was one of my early favorite players, which might seem absurd considering he made just 19 appearances over two seasons.

But I can defend it.

I remember distinctly the day when the transfer of Bigalke (and the loan of Anthony Ujah) was announced, because it was my birthday, meaning that I would stay home in my pajamas watching the match rather go to work. I had the stream up before I’d read anything, but remember that the commentator mentioned it before the match kicked off. I didn’t know a thing about Ujah, to be honest, but Bigalke had made an impression on me during the DFB Pokal match between the Effzeh and Bigalke’s former club, SpVgg Unterhaching.

And, let’s face it, if a guy was making an impression on a football newphyte like me, he must have been doing something.

If you combine the fact it was announced on my birthday with my limited football expertise having already been impressed with him as an opposition player, then you get an ideal combination of factors that immediately raised Bigalke to a place of esteem in my football world, especially once he was seen actually wearing the red and white on the pitch.

Okay, and I must admit that in my FIFA 13 battles, Biggi became a key cog in my offensive attack. Between Biggi and Ujah, it was a quick trip to the Bundesliga and then to Europa League (and then I crashed out and was relegated because, frankly, I’m not very good at the game.)

Beyond that, I have more memories of Biggi wearing ugly baseball caps while interviewing teammates on FC-TV after matches, which really did become one of my favorite things about FC-TV. Wherever he lands, I hope his new club realizes they also have a potential media star on their hands.

But the one thing we’ll always have is the game-winning goal deep in extra time 0ver Jahn Regensburg to complete the six-minute comeback goal flurry to lift the Effzeh to a 2:3 after being down 2:0 entering the 87th minute. It would have been enough to had it been a stumbling effort that trickled into goal, just because the early part of the 2012-13 season had started incredibly poorly and the two-goal deficit seemed like it was going to be a huge setback for the club which had finally started some positive momentum.

But it was NOT fluke-y, lucky, ugly, or anything else like that. I mean, just look at it.

So, thank you Bigalke. I don’t imagine you’re going to read this or even care about some dude on the other side of the planet being grateful for your two years in Köln, but I’m putting my gratitude into the ether anyway because that’s largely what I do here for my limited audience, and because I was so moved.

Wherever you go, you’ll have at least one fan here in the USA, wishing you’d lose that red LA Dodgers hat, but otherwise hoping you do well.

Okay, naturally not against the Effzeh, nor in service to a select few clubs with whom I’ve grown to have an antagonistic relationship. . . some things can’t be overcome. I am sure you’ll understand.

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