1. FC Köln

Florida Cup 2015 . . . Guess who’s going!

First of all, happy new year to all of you. It has been a while since I’ve posted on here, so at least that and maybe a belated Happy Christmas/Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Diwali, and any I’ve forgotten need to be offered.

Second . . . OH MY GATOS I AM GOING TO FLORIDA AND WILL SEE THE EFFZEH LIVE AND IN PERSON!!!!

Okay . . . settling down now, but I have to tell you that I’m very excited for this.

I still recall the morning I awoke to notifications of Twitter mentions, all of which were telling me to start planning my travel, referencing the rumor that the 1. FC Köln would be coming to the United States during the winter break. (Yes, one of the first things I do in the morning is catch up on all the Effzeh chatter that happens nine time zones ahead of me while I sleep. Guilty.)

As a fan/member, it was certainly a thrill to think the team would be participating in football-related activities as close to me physically as they’d been since maybe my study-abroad year, but the fact of the matter was always going to be that taking such a trip would be too expensive/fiscally irresponsible for me and my family this year.

Hence, when the rumor transitioned into fact with dates and friendly matches to go with it, I was a little disappointed to know I wouldn’t be able to go, but was also somewhat contented with the fact that I don’t personally care for friendly matches enough to want them to be my first live experience with the club. I knew that it would seem a lot worse when the event were taking place, especially having already struggled through the big Fußball void that is the winter break, but I had made my peace with the idea.

Fast forward to Christmas morning . . .

My wife and I had agreed to scale our Christmas gifting this year, after last year’s orgy of present-giving to our boys ended up being more about “I WANT MORE!” than actual appreciation for any individual gift given. It felt like a huge rookie-parenting mistake, despite the fact our elder son was on Christmas number four. Instead of just buying loads of toys we thought the boys might like, we went with something The Missus had read about on a parenting blog somewhere, limiting purchases for each person to a quartet of “Something you want. Something you need. Something to wear. Something to read.” Not only did it simplify things and avoid excess cluttering, but certainly made purchasing a bit more simplistic.

The short report on how it panned out is that a family tradition was born. We’re never going back.

But, after we’d all opened our gifts and emptied the stockings (okay, those are exempt and free to be filled as you like, at least for now), we sat and enjoyed watching the boys play with their new gifts on the living room floor while we sat back and enjoyed a little Starbucks’ Christmas Blend with grins of not a little self-satisfaction on our faces.

“So . . . the reason there is no ‘something you want’ for you is . . .”

And my wife then goes into detail as to how she spent some time researching flights for me to go to Orlando to cover the event, proving that not only does she love me, big time, but also doesn’t 100% tune out all my constant updating on all things 1. FC Köln. Ultimately, though, she didn’t purchase travel, mostly because she wanted to make sure it was something I really wanted to do, knowing that I’d shelved the idea long ago.

“But if you want to go down there and will work to make it worthwhile from a writing standpoint, then I will get you to Florida.”

Despite the fact that I’m part of the editorial team for a great site that covers exactly the subject matter involved, as well as the fact that I was hired to write about the German national team at the World Cup last summer, it really didn’t occur to me that I might be the sort who’d be able to cover the Florida Cup as a real sports writer.

I need to do something about that awareness/confidence thing.

Anyhow, that’s a long story to get back to the original point, which is that I will fly to Florida Saturday and spend a full week working hard to find as many interesting stories to share with Bundesliga Fanatic readers as I can, while also capturing loads of media for sharing with my fellow Effzeh fans. Somewhere in there, I hope to even spend a few minutes as an unabashed fan of the club, league, and sport, just as long as it doesn’t impede the job, which is to help German football gain more of a foothold in the awareness of sports fans in the US.

You know . . . and maybe find myself a nice sweet spot in there somewhere to grow with it.

But, back to the matter at hand.

I’m going to Florida.

This is going to be awesome. I don’t imagine you’ll be remotely as excited about this as I am, but it’s a huge opportunity for me, as well as for the site.

Keep an eye on Bundesliga Fanatic for regular updates, but you can be sure I’ll put more of the Effzeh-oriented stuff here or on Facebook or on Twitter or probably on all of them. I’ll also be sending some stuff to the folks at Effzeh.com, so keep an eye on them, too.

And if you happen to also be headed to Florida, speak up! I am definitely hoping to meet some fellow FC Köln and/or Bundesliga fans, in addition to working to help create more of us!

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