End of the Line: Schalke 04

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How can a professional soccer team go from being in the top 20 of the richest in the world to the one that is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy- all within one year’s time?  This is the question that the soccer team Schalke 04 is trying to answer.  Yet with each answer comes more questions, some of which include the roles of Covid-19, management, the main sponsor GasProm, the hangover after many seasons playing in the UEFA Champions League and lastly, the decline in the number of fans.

All of this came to a head on Tuesday, as the team lost to Arminia Bielefeld 1-0, thus securing their first exit out of the top tier of the German soccer Bundesliga for the first time in three decades. Thanks to FC Cologne’s 2-1 upset of RB Leipzig that same evening, Schalke, with only 13 points in the standings, will spend the remaining four games of the 2020-21 season in last place.  This was enough for fans to attack the players after the game, but that was just the tip of the iceberg.

The team, located in Gelsenkirchen, accross the River Rhine from Cologne, will definitely be in the top ten of the worst teams in the history of German professional soccer. It will definitely not top Tasmania Berlin, whose disasterous 1965/66 season and the all-time records are well out of reach (see the bottom ten compiled by NDR here), but it is right in range to overtake Wuppertal SV for its poorest showing in 1974/75 on all accounts, which would make them the second worst team in a season on record! . Given their performance this season, that is almost a sure lock.

What will be interesting is the future of Schalke 04 once this season is over. They will have half the revenue for the second league, yet their finances as a whole, especially in light of Covid-19 combined with substantial debt, could make them vulnerable to bankruptcy, which could ultimatively doom them from professional play. And the trend is not on their side, when looking at the Bottom 10 teams and their records, plus the current trends.  The average amount of time needed to return to the top tier has been five years if the finances and sponsors are available, and the team can recover.  Others, like Dynamo Dresden, TeBe Berlin and even though it has avoided any of these records, Hamburger SV, have yet to return to premier play.  There is the danger that if Schalke goes into receivership, it could end up reorganizing and starting from the very bottom of the German soccer chain or in the case of VfL Leipzig, dissolve and reincarnate as other teams. Should this happen, then the soccer team with its 117-year tradition would be the oldest to fall from grace and into Dante’s inferno, this shaking the soccer world beyond Germany’s borders.

Schalke 04’s fall from grace should force the soccer federation DFB and all its members in the top 3 leagues, plus the women’s division to take stock in their liquidity, their players and staff and lastly the fans and consider reforming the system from the bottom up to ensure that what Schalke 04 is facing will not be repeated by the other teams. How this is done should be discussed once the last second of the last game of the season is ticked. With German soccer on the decline, even when looking at the German national team under Joachim Löw, reforms are well past due to ensure that soccer remains part of the country’s culture.

The Last of the Dinosaurs is Dead: Hamburg SV Demoted After 55 Years in German Soccer Bundesliga- Quiz

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54 years, 261 days, zero hours and 15 minutes. That was how long the German soccer team Hamburg SV lasted in the German Soccer League in the Top Tier. The team was one of the 16 founding fathers that created the Bundesliga in 1963. Its last Bundesliga title came in 1983. Now, the clock that had been keeping track of the time in the Bundesliga has stopped. Despite a 2-1 victory in the last game of the 2017/18 season against Mönchengladbach, Wolfsburg sealed HSV’s fate by running over FC Cologne 4-1. Wolfsburg needed to lose in order for HSV to play in the relegation playoffs with third place finisher in the second league Holstein Kiel. As it stands, HSV finished in second to last place in the standings and will play in the second league of the Bundesliga for the first time ever this fall. It will be accompanied by another founding Bundesliga team, last-place Cologne and if Kiel wins playoff series and enters the top league, Wolfsburg.

And while the last dinosaur officially became extinct after many years of being beset by misfortunes in management and sports and barely escaping the relegation series at least twice, it makes a person wonder how many times did the founding fathers have success in winning titles in comparison to being demoted down one league- that is until Bayern Munich’s current run of winning its fifth Bundesliga title in a row, and in cakewalk fashion. But before presenting the facts, why not try out a Guessing Quiz that looks at the founding fathers of the Bundesliga?

There were 18 teams that started play in the 1963/64 season. Since HSV’s official demotion into the second league, there are no more dinosaurs left, who played every season in the top league.

Guessing Quiz:

1. Who were the founding fathers of the Bundesliga in 1963? There were 18 of them.

 

 

2. Bayern Munich entered the top league later on and has been in the Bundesliga ever since. It now holds the title for being in the top league the longest without ever being demoted.

When did the team enter? _____________ When did the team win its first title?

 

 

3. Another team entered the Bundesliga and has yet to also play in the second league after being demoted. It holds the second longest record of its kind. Which team was it and when did it enter the first league for the first time ever?

 

 

4. One of the founding fathers actually had to play in the second league only once. After four years it returned to the top league and has been there ever since. It currently holds the title as the second longest tenured team even after it had been demoted before. Which team was that and how many years has it been in the league since its last demotion?

 

 

5. Prior to HSV’s demotion to the second league, there were two other founding teams that had been in the top league for at least three decades before being demoted for the first time. Which teams were they and when did they get demoted for the first time?

 

 

6. Which (current) founding team in the Bundesliga has never won any titles since the league’s creation?

 

 

7. Which two founding members of the Bundesliga has been in the top league the shortest time (and has still yet to return)?

 

 

8. Which German cities used to host two Bundesliga teams, one of which was a founding member of the team? Which teams are they?

 

 

9. Which German cities used to have two professional teams in the second league competing with each other before one of the two was promoted to the top league?

 

 

10. Which team would have competed with HSV as the longest tenured Bundesliga team had it not been for the one-year exile in the second league? Hint: This team has been in the second and third tiers since 2006.

 

11. Which seven teams have won doubles at least once (meaning the national cup and the Bundesliga title)? Hint: Four were from the former western half and three from the eastern half of Germany.

 

12. Of the three in the former East German Bundesliga (which dissolved after German reunification in 1990), which of them was the longest tenured team in the Bundesliga?

 

13. Of the three above-mentioned teams, which ones defeated FC Bayern Munich once before 1990 and at least once since then?

 

14. Since when has FC Bayern Munich finished no worse than third place? Fifth place?

 

15. The following teams had mascots. What were they?

Eintract Brunswick

MSV Duisburg

FC Kaiserslautern

Hertha BSC Berlin

Eintract Frankfurt

Hamburg SV

FC Cologne

 

Bonus: Holstein Kiel, whose mascot is a ___________ has not been in the Bundesliga since _________.

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In School in Germany: The SWOT Analysis, Nostalgia and Football

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You don’t know how old you really are unless you look at your birthday card and see the hits from the 70s, the time you were born! 😉

Youtube has become the hub when it comes to finding some interesting videos for you to see. There are millions of music videos, episodes of TV series, amateurs performing experiments, and even tour guides that people can find and watch to their amusement. This also includes documentaries on historic events, and even sporting events of the past that we rarely see on TV unless you subscribe to Netflix, Uber, Hulu, or cable channels provided by networks charging people high monthly rates.

A couple weeks ago, as events in the United States with Donald Trump as President was beginning to unfold (which has to do with my silence from writing columns), I stumbled across full-length American football games dating back to the 1970s, featuring commercials, commentary by sportscasters and the like. It just so happened that I spent my Sunday evening, absent from watching real football games and Tatort on TV, watching a 1977 playoffs game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Los Angeles Rams, in what was dubbed the Mud Bowl. That game was televised in full length, which included the pre-game, the commercials and the play-by-play. The Vikings won 14-7 in what was one of the sloppiest game in the history of the National Football League and would advance to the NFC Championship game, losing to the Dallas Cowboys in the end. This Vikings’ victory was revenge for an earlier loss in the season.

Here’s the entire game in full length:

 

When watching this game, I came up with a grand idea that might be useful in any classroom setting. Both in America as well as in Europe, we have a sense of nostalgia, where pieces of our past are kept and cherished, while others that disappeared for a long time are recovered for rememberance purposes. Be it an antique cup, a historic building or place of interest, a lost recording of a film, old 70s style clothing or even music, we all have a sense of nostalgia, which we sometimes go back to look at what was then in comparison with what is today- right now. And this media-laden exercise takes us back to the past so we can talk about certain events, what we used to have and should have back at any cost, and what which ones were better off being a fad of the past and not of the future. 😉

SWOT:

Created by Alfred Humphrey in the 1960s, the SWOT Analysis is based on a strategy used by companies and institutions to determine their health and better plan for the future. The letters stand for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat, each one looking at the capabilities that a person and/or institution have so that they can see them as assets and not as liabilities. 

This activity has a sense of SWOT in there but shaped somewhat differently than what was developed by Humphrey because it focuses on the past-present comparison instead of the present-future scenario.  For S, we would have the assets of the past that were of great value and wish we should have kept; For W, we would have the aspects that were only good for the past and cannot be compatible for the present or future. For the O, we would have the question of whether some aspects of the past could still be instilled in the present or future. And lastly, for the T, we would have anything either from the past that could pose a threat to the future or from the future that would have altered the past had it happened. 

So, use this SWOT analysis and watch this game from start to finish, including the pre- and postgame shows AND ESPECIALLY the commercials. If you use it for a class, you can divide the segments up and give one to a group to analyse.

When watching the game, keep the following aspects in mind:

  1. What were the surroundings? Most football games were played outdoors in the 1970s, and having an indoor stadium (or dome) was considered a luxury compared to today’s games.
  2. How did the people dress and how did they act, behave and communicate with each other and indirectly during those days?
  3. How was the game structured then in comparison to now? Here, some research may be needed to help you answer the question.
  4. How were the commercials marketed? The products featured? The product facts? Would they still be useful in the present?
  5. How were the products and TV show previews presented? 
  6. How was the graphics of the game, the TV shows, the commercials and previews shown?
  7. What controversies in the sportsworld existed during the time of the game. Again, some research may be needed to help support your arguments?
  8. What was the overall environment of the game in the past, compared to the present? 

You can use any full-length game to conduct this SWOT analysis and talk about what was good and should’ve been kept and what still exists today but in altered form. This focuses on not just American football, but soccer, boxing, basketball and even Wide World of Sports.  Most of the games can be found on youtube, just by typing in the key words plus full length. Keep in mind that some leagues, like the NFL, may have their own copyright laws and have pulled full-length classics from these platforms. But not to worry, there are enough full length games to watch and conduct this exercise.

It will take some research but in the end, you will have a chance to enhance your knowledge of English, while learning about the aspects of history, culture, business, media and technology, entertainment and marketing and even the sport itself.  😉

So sit back, have some popcorn and a good Löwenbrau in your hand and enjoy this classic, while using the SWOT to look at the what ifs and what nots. Enjoy!

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Moving On Up in the East in German Soccer

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RB Leipzig, Dynamo Dresden and Erzgebirge Aue, all in Saxony, are going up one league in the coming soccer season.

The German state of Saxony is celebrating this week, for despite having a week left in the regular soccer season, three teams are being promoted to the national level, one of which will make its debut in the German Premere League (1st Bundesliga). The automatic promotion only applies to the top two teams in each flight of the soccer league, with a relegation playoff match taking place between the third place finisher in the lower league and the third to last place finisher in the upper league. Dresden and Aue finished in the top two respectively in the third league, thus automatically qualifying for the second league or what Germans call the Unterhaus der Bundesliga. Würzburg can join them if the team defeats the third place finisher in the playoff match once the regular season concludes. Despite its placing in second behind SC Freiburg, RB Leipzig will enter the top tier of the German soccer league next season after its victory today. How they got there? Here is a brief summary:

SG Dynamo Dresden-  The team carrying the colors of Germany will make its debut in the second tier of the German league for the first time since 2014. After finishing sixth in the standings in the third league last season, the team under head coach Uwe Neuhaus and assistant coach Peter Nemeth started the season strong and on top and never looked back for despite having 20 wins, 15 ties and two losses, the team advanced to the second league two weeks ago after tying Magdeburg 2-2. The team set the mark for being the earliest promoter with four games left in the season. Another reason to celebrate is the team being debt free for the first time since 1995. Acquiring players and coaches, combined with the construction of a new soccer stadium in 2009 contributed to the team’s financial woes. However, despite this, the team utilized a variety of players from many parts of Germany and eastern Europe to pull it off. The question is how to advance in the next stage, for the team had struggled mightily in the second league before being demoted to third league play in 2014. But with a clean slate and high quality players, it is possible that the team might achieve its next goal: the return to the Oberhaus for the first time since 1995. Whether it is in the next season or the 2017/18 season depends on the team’s developments but things are looking really good for Dresden at this point…..

Erzgebirge Aue- Located in the Ore Mountain region in southern Saxony, the 72-year old club is no stranger to the second league as it had been competing in that league for 10 out of the last 13 seasons since 2003. After being relegated in the third league last season, the team and its head coach, Pavel Dotchev made it clear that it wanted to go back. The team’s wish came true yesterday, after Aue defeated Fortuna Cologne 2-0, solidifying its second place finish and forcing third place finisher Würzburg to play in the relegation playoff game at the end of the season. This with one game left in the regular season.

RasenBallsport Leipzig- People in the city of Leipzig are celebrating its return to the big times for the first time since 1994. That was the last time a soccer team had competed with the likes of Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Berlin. VfB Leipzig was the last team to compete in the Unterhaus before being demoted after the 1993/4 season and subsequentially beginning its gradual demise, which ended in the team being dissolved through bankruptcy in 2004. Other teams in Leipzig have made attempts to climb back to the national stage, such as the (now defunct) Saxony Leipzig and Loc Leipzig but with no success. However Leipzig is returning to its glory days this fall with RB Leipzig making it to the first league! After defeating Karlsruhe 2-0 today, the team under Ralf Ranick has placed the city back on the map again. The team, which is owned by Red Bull Beverages in Austria, has been the darling of German soccer, as it has marched its way through the ranks since its inception in the fifth league (Oberliga) in 2009, having advanced every season except last year, where it finished sixth in the second league. However this season, the team upgraded its talent and finished in second place with 20 wins, six losses and seven ties, two wins less than SC Freiburg but two more than FC Nurnemberg, which awaits its opponent from the 16th place finisher in the Oberhaus. Leipzig will receive new faces come this fall as Ralph Hasenhuttl will take over as head coach of RB Leipzig, while Ranick, whose storied career included creating a winner in Premere league team 1899 Hoffenheim, will continue operations as manager. In either case, after being the first of 90 German soccer teams that formed the Bundesliga in 1900 but being absent from the top league for 22 years, Leipzig is back, and with that, tens of thousands of fans will storm the stadium this fall to watch them annoy the well-established Bundesliga teams! 🙂

 

With these three teams already going up, we may have another one after this month if FSV Zwickau in the Oberliga North East Division maintains its course. With three games left, the team in first place has more or less locked up its regular season championship. It must participate in the relegation playoff game with the first place finisher in the western division of the Oberliga after the regular season ends. The team with the highest goal ratio in their favor after two games will advance. The team failed to achieve this last season with Magdeburg advancing to the third league. However, this team has a greater chance of achieving this goal this time around. If so, there will be four teams from Saxony moving on up, thus making the eastern German state an attractive place for people to go for soccer. More on this development to follow.

In the meantime, the Flensburg Files would like to congratulate Dresden, Leipzig and Aue for making it to the big times. Best of luck in the coming season! 😀

 

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Soccer Team in Saxony Anhalt Banned from League Play

Stadium woes

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MAGDEBURG- It is rare in Germany that a soccer club is forced to disband by a league for violating regulations and/or unlawful conduct. The FC Ostelbein Dornburg soccer team, located in Jerichow District near Stendal in Saxony-Anhalt, became the first team in a decade to be suspended by a soccer league. According to information by German public radio station MDR, the State Soccer League of Saxony-Anhalt voted unanimously to remove the team from league play, effective immediately. The reason behind that is the team’s history of violence again other teams and the soccer officials. In addition, the majority of the team consists of right-wing extremists.  In addition to its suspension, the team has also been evicted from their soccer field in Leitzkau. The town council voted unanimously to terminate the lease effective immediately.  The last attempt to save the team will come with an appeal to the State Sports Association of Saxony-Anhalt. The committee will decide in November whether the suspension of the team is justified for the above-mentioned reasons. If the ruling is upheld, then the team will become the first to be disbanded by order of law but the second in three years to be disbanded in general. In 2012, FC Saxony Leipzig was disbanded due to liquidation for not having enough financial support to keep the team operating.  It is hoped that the possible forced disbanding of FC Ostelbein Dornburg will serve as a signal that, especially during the time of the refugee crisis in Germany, that extremism is not to be tolerated anywhere, even on the soccer field.

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Soccer Update: Leipzig Advances via Disqualification

German Football Federation rules in favor of RB Leipzig after Lighter Incident. VfL Osnabrück disqualified from German Cup- Further Sanctions Pending

FRANKFURT(MAIN)/LEIPZIG/OSNABRÜCK- Four days after the infamous lighter incident during the first round of the German Cup (DFB Pokal) and three days after both teams requested that the game be replayed, the German Football Federation made its decision on Friday. Despite the growing demand for the game to be repeated after a fan from Osnabrück threw a lighter at the referee in the 71st minute of the game, effectively taking him to the hospital and cancelling the rest of the game, played in Leipzig with Osnabrück in the lead 1-0, the Federation ruled against the notion and awarded the game to Leipzig. Reason for the decision was according to the handbook, the teams are responsible for controlling the fans and their actions, which the Federation claimed that Osnabrück did not do. The end result was Osnabrück being disqualified from the Cup with further sanctions pending. The team already has a 5000 Euro reward available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who instigated the crime. Leipzig, which won 2-0 via ruling, advances to the second round, where they face Regionalliga team Unterhaching in October. A list of other teams advancing to the second round and their opponents can be found here. Among the opponents include a galactic battle between FC Bayern Munich (2015 Bundesliga champion) and VFL Wolfsburg (2015 German Cup champions), but also another David-vs-Goliath match-up between Regionalliga team FC Carl Zeiss Jena and Premere League team VFB Stuttgart. Jena, which knocked Hamburg SV out of the first round 3-2, last played Stuttgart in the 2008 German Cup, which the team won 5-4 in overtime, advancing to the Final Four Round, where they lost to Borussa Dortmund 3-0. Stuttgart has struggled to avoid being demoted to the Second League, finishing between 14th and 15th place the past 4 seasons. Also included in the match-ups are (L denotes league): Bayer Leverkusen (1L) vs Viktoria Cologne (4L), SSV Reutlingen (5L) vs. Brunswick (2L), and another Premere League match-up between FC Cologne and SV Werder Bremen.

Glamorous German Cup Highlights?

Stadium woes

 

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The 2015/16 soccer season in Germany is not more than a couple weeks in its infancy, yet there has been a lot of action going on off the field, which has kept the German Soccer Federation really busy, and the fans slapping their hands across their foreheads in disbelief. Despite some tougher sanctions put in place to control the rowdiness after four soccer matches in the German Bundesliga resulted in the use of brute force by the police, even tougher measures are being considered after some cheap shots from fans that are making soccer a not so fun game to watch. It also leads to some questions of what measures that exist, had such unsportsmanship by fans existed in other sports, such as American football, basketball, baseball, etc. Naturally, it is clear that thou shall not forget the infamous NBA basketball brawl from 2004 and the consequences that happened to both players and fans in the form of fines, lifetime bans and other sanctions.

So I came up with some highlights from three soccer events with some questions for you to discuss, in hopes that some solutions are found in these cases. As for one of the cases, the idea of earning an important necessity through a victory went to extremes but as one person pointed in a discussion recently, the women’s professional soccer team could do better than the men’s team. So here are the highlights:

RB Leipzig vs. VFL Osnabrück: Game called because of official getting hit by a lighter.

The first controversial event in this Newsflyer article comes from Leipzig during the first round of the German Cup (D: DFB Pokal). Second League team and host RB Leipzig was trailing third League visiting team VfL Osnabrück (in Lower Saxony) 1-0 in the second half of the game. In the 71st minute, the game had to be called off because of this incident (note the main official or referee of the game is dressed in red):

 

After getting hit with a lighter from one of the fans, the game had to be called off, and the official had to leave to be treated for head injuries. While sanctions and fines in the tens of thousands of Euros are pending, both teams are filing a petition to the German Soccer Federation, calling for the score to be nullified and the game to be repeated, this despite a possible consideration of having the game be forfeited in favor of Leipzig. They both have apologized for this unfortunate incident that was beyond their control.

Here’s the question for discussion:  Should the game be repeated and if not, what other alternatives would you consider to show that this incident is not to be tolerated?  If caught, should the fan be banned from attending soccer games for life?

 

Latest reports revealed that a fan from Osnabrück, living in Bielefeld is being investigated for the incident. But as of now, unless there is a full confession, it is unknown who stopped the game, let alone ruined it for the other fans and players…..

 

 

 

Local Soccer Team to be Expelled from League for being a Nazi-group?

Here’s a question for you soccer fans: Imagine you coach a local soccer team and you face a team like the one in the film clip below, that is notorious for cheap brutal hits on the soccer field, Hitler greetings (which are banned by German law), racial slurs and having right-wing extremists as soccer players. Would you take the field against this team, or would you forfeit the game out of protest, risking a fine for the incident?

In the Jerichow Land district, located in northern Saxony-Anhalt near Stendal, the FC Ostelbien Dornburg is the target of a possible expulsion from the state soccer league for the above-mentioned reasons. A notion has been filed to the league office in Magdeburg with the decision to be made before the start of the season on 31 August. Already the opponent teams are protesting against taking the field against this team, and 59 out of 65 referees are refusing the officiate any games that deal with this troubled club. Furthermore, civil action and other legal measures for violating civil rights laws are pending. If in favor, the team will be shut down and not be allowed to participate in the league during the season. The team plans to appeal if it comes to that.

 

Lights for Stadium are earned, not given?  How FC Carl Zeiss Jena earned its lights after a lights-out party against Hamburg SV

What does it take to have a new stadium with a new set of lighting? How about a David versus Goliath victory, as seen in this game between the Regionalliga (fourth league) host FC Carl Zeiss Jena and Premere League visitor Hamburg SV, when the host lit up the Ernst Abbe Football Stadium and Sports Complex by upending the dinosaur, 3-2 in overtime.  Hamburg, which saved itself from being demoted to the Second League for three seasons in the row, appeared to be no match against a young, feisty team that is hungry to return to the national level after a three season absence, as seen on the highlights below:

Jena, which has been fighting for a new stadium for eight years, lost its beloved stadium lights to flooding in 2013 and almost had to build a new stadium in the souther suburb of Lobeda near the motorway. Yet support for a centrally-located stadium is extremely high, which has kept the city busy. More so, the city has been hemming and hawing about the stadium lights as they should be integrated into the new stadium itself. But with a low number of fans in the last three seasons, there was no rush, with even some people commenting about its team becoming a memory, like FC Saxony Leipzig (which folded in 2012). This victory, the first in the history of the German Cup, not only takes Jena to the second round, where they will play at the end of October, but it has prompted the city to scramble for new lighting and a new stadium.  This has led to the question of the difference between a necessity and a luxury and some exercises for the readers below:

1. What constitutes a necessity for a football stadium and which ones are a luxury? Choose the words below and put them into the two categories:

bleachers      scoreboard     hotel       conference center       stadium lighting      heating for soccer field   food court     beer stand     ticket building      VIP box     press box

 

2. Should the city of Jena have pursued the stadium lighting right away or was it justified to wait until either the money was available or  the Regionalliga threatened to demote the team to the Oberliga (fifth league) and why?

 

3. Jena advanced to the Final Four of the German Cup during the 2007/08 season, when it was in the Second League. Do you think they will advance that far again?

 

4. Is the embarassing knock-out of Hamburg SV from the German Cup the beginning of the end of its tenure in the Premere League in this season, or will it rebound once the regular season begins?

 

Think about these questions and place your comments for one, two or all of the themes in the Comment section below. You can also post your comments on the Files’ facebook page and/or group page. The Files will keep you posted on the latest regarding these stories and perhaps some more interesting items coming out of this seasons soccer season in the Bundesliga.

 

Jürgen Klopp Calls It Quits

Head Coach of German Soccer Team Borussia Dortmund to step down after the end of the season

FlFiNewsflyer logoDORTMUND- The 2014/15 soccer team in the German Bundesliga has, so far, been a season full of surprises- both in terms of Cinderella teams as well as major disappointments. Of these extremes, there is one major surprise that will be talked about in the coming months. Jürgen Klopp, the man with the hairdo and the colorful personality as head coach of the Bundesliga team Borussia Dortmund will step down from his post effective on 30th June, the official end of the 2014/15 season. Klopp came to Dortmund in 2008 after coaching for seven years in Mainz, the same team where he spent his career playing soccer. After taking the team to the top level of soccer, Klopp took over the black and gold team, leading them to the Seasonal Championships in 2011 and 2012, the German Cup in 2012 and the Super Cup in 2008, 2013 and 2014. He was named Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2012. However, despite his successes, his popularity waned and conflicts between him and the management escalated after finishing second in the Champions League last year, for Dortmund has spent all of this season in the bottom half of the standings, at times being in last place. While the team is no longer in danger of being relegated to the second tier of the Bundesliga, Klopp felt in the press conference today that it was time to call it quits and step aside.  While there is speculation that he will join an English Premier League Team in the future, his plan after the season is taking a hiatus to spend time with his family before making the next move in his career.

Klopp will be remembered for bringing Dortmund to greatest, especially after winning the championships in 2011 and 12 on the German level, as well as taking the team to the Champions League Finals against Bayern Munich, which won the trophy 2-0. But even more so, he will be remembered for his fiery personality on the field, bringing the fans to their feet and putting the referees on their toes if they make a controversial call. The most famous blow-up came in the Champions League game against Napoli (as seen in the video) which became famous among social networks. What will make Klopp bolt for England is his usage of English during his press conferences, with many expressions producing some humor among the audience, even if his comment of “the result was so s**t,” after the loss in the Champions League Finals was deemed inappropriate among American media standards.  While many coaches in American sports are known for their emotional behavior both on the field as well as off (please see the example in a previous post), on the international level, Klopp will most likely end up in the Top 10 of the most emotional but dedicated coach both in soccer as well as in sports in general. And there is enough evidence to prove it, as you will see in the example videos below.

And while Klopp prepares his exit from the stadium stage right, and ride off in the sunset, he will leave a legacy behind in Dortmund, something that the next coach will have to match. To close the article, here’s a question for the forum: What will you miss from Klopp as head coach of Dortmund?

Leave your comments below as well as in the Files’ facebook page.

Here are the videos of Jürgen Klopp’s Greatest Hits during his days in Dortmund for you to enjoy:

 

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Welcome Back! New features to be aware of

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To start off this entry, I would like to provide a useful quote for you to ponder: The only way to succeed is going up. All other directions are pointless.  For almost five years, the Flensburg Files has provided readers with some interesting topics from the writer’s point of view, ranging from German-American issues, to cultural differences, to celebrities being honored (or dishonored), to providing some interesting places for people to visit. All of the entries have been on the blog level, operated by areavoices, a subsidiary of Forum Communications based in Fargo, North Dakota

That is until today, that is.

For the first time ever, the Files now has its own website, powered by WordPress. The address is similar to the areavoices web address but only shorter.

However, even though some finishing touches are being made at the time of this entry, some new features and changes that are found here include the following:

1. There will be more opportunities to interact with other readers, responding to articles and questions posted by the author. This includes having a questionnaire available in an article posted where necessary as well as more platform space for people to post their opinions about the topic.

2. No more bureaucracy regarding contacting the author. You can use the contact form provided in the website to contact the author directly, without dealing with typing errors, rejections, etc.

3. More opportunities to access news stories in both languages: Apart from the articles on themes posted by the author, the Files is available on facebook and twitter, where you can like and follow respectively. Yet the difference is the Twitter page will have mainly articles from German (-speaking) newspapers on a regional and national level. The facebook pages features a wide array of articles dealing with German-American, cultural issues and other interesting facts, much of which are useful for expatriates living in Germany and Europe. All of them are in the English language.

4. Wider array of topics to be covered here: Apart from the usual contents featured in the Files- touring places of interest, German-American Multicultural topics, and other news projects (including the current one focusing on Germany’s 25 years), the Files will include some topics pertaining to the German-English language, looking at the not-so-easy-to-explain facts and many creative ways of garnering interest in the language.  A couple more categories are in the works and will be presented later in the year.

5. More photos: Thanks to more storage space, more photos will be posted in the Files, pending on the topic presented. This despite finding additional ones on the Files’ facebook and flickr pages, which the readers will be directed to in case it is necessary.

6. Better access to other online blogs and websites. The Files will have a page of links available for people get more direct access to the websites they are going. Like in the blog, the links have to do with German news in English, foreign language and culture.

7. More ways to follow. Apart from facebook and twitter, you can also follow the Files via wordpress, RSS feedburner, and other social newtwork pages, as well as subscribe via e-mail, and you can get better access on your Smartphone. This way you can get access to the Files at any time.

These are only a few of the many new features the Files’ new website has, some of the which was not seen in the blog. Although the areavoices blog page will be kept as readers have been accessing it through the Forum newspapers, plus the articles written solely for that blog will remain as is, they will be directed to the website as the blog will feature an abbreviated version of the article that will be available in this website. This will apply for long articles but not those that have questions for the audience.

Keeping this in mind, there is a list of themes to cover in the coming days and weeks; so without further ado, it is time to start writing and for the readers to start following. Happy reading and looking forward to your comments.

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Germany wins fourth World Cup Title

Mario Goetze’s goal in overtime, plus Manuel Neuer’s staunch defense, secures a 1-0 victory against Argentina and Germany’s first title since 1990

Fireworks usually go off on at the stroke of midnight, ringing in the new year, here in Germany. Yet tonight is the exception, as every town in Germany is setting them off, blowing their horns using vuvuzelas, and celebrating Germany’s fourth World Cup Title.  After pasting the Brazilians in a goal-festival at Belo Horizonte, six days earlier, by a score of 7-1, the German soccer team needed overtime, a staunch defense, led by goalie Manuel Neuer, and defensive players Jerome Boateng, Sebastian Schweinsteiger and Philip Lahm, and pure luck by Mario Goetze in the 113th minute, to edge the Argentinans by a score of 1-0. The game was marked by several fouls and total of four yellow cards, resulting in several injuries on both sides. Yet, in the end, Germany prevailed in front of a crowd of almost 90,000 people in Rio de Janeiro, and won its fourth title since defeating Argentina in the 1990 Cup by the same score, yet under the name of West Germany. The country was reunified in October 1990, four months after winning the title. The team had won the World Cup titles before that in 1954 and 1974. As a unified country (consisting of the former East and West Germanys), this victory is their first, after several mishaps in the last 24 years, including two third place finishes in 2006 and 2010 and a second place finish in 2002, losing to Brazil in the Finals 2-0.  Thanks to a string offensive showing by Thomas Mueller, André Schuerrle, Mesmuz Özil and Miroslav Klose (who broke Renaldo’s record for the most goals scored on the international stage in his final World Cup Appearance), Germany finished the World Cup Title with six wins and a tie, outscoring the opponents 18-3, including tonight’s victory.This includes a 1-0 victory against the US in pool play 18 days ago.

With Germany’s victory and its fourth title, the next question will be when the team will win the European Title in 2016. That we will see, once the party is over and we know who will stay and who will go. It is known though that Joachim Loewe will most likely stay on as the coach of the national team beyond 2014. And it serves him well after this trip and this title. The Flensburg Files would like to congratulate the German soccer team on its fourth World Cup title.