Turks Bring Chaos to Streets Again

One of the drawbacks of living in a tangy multi-ethnic neighborhood is those damned soccer championships.  Every night, some flyblown Country #1 you’ve never heard of plays against some other flyblown Country #2 you’ve never heard of, and one of them usually wins. 

This means that all the people in your neighborhood who come from Country #1 will pour out into the streets honking their horns, waving their flags, and stopping in the middle of the street to unleash mayhem.  Last night Country #1 was ‘Turkey’, a rather large nation located between Bulgaria and Yemen:


The kiosks run by people from both countries are often closed the next day, either out of post-victory celebration hangovers, or out of post-defeat mourning (hangovers).

While we’re on the subject, can anyone recommend me a good book about soccer?  I know the basic rules and can follow the game, but I’d like a good general historical introduction, either in English or German, so I can really follow the sport and put everything into context.  (Yes, I’m serious).

14 thoughts on “Turks Bring Chaos to Streets Again

  1. Certainly: Handke’s Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter. Sorry, cheap shot, but I cannot bear football and am ecstatic that I will be able to spend tonight in a TV-less flat. It’s me, probably, I know, but every time people start chanting Olé Olé, I hear “Die Fahnen hoch…” Bugger me, I am screwed up, but bloody Fackelzüge (or Fanmeilen or Autocorsi as they are known nowadays) every time eleven people that I do not know beat another eleven people that I do not know either just get on my nerves. Sorry, rant over, non-neurotic behaviour to resume shortly.
    Andrew, if you allow me: get into cricket – a sport that allows you to have a funky Victorian beard, drink a lot of tea and murder your coach after losing a match (I know it was natural causes, but what’s the fun in that?)


  2. As to your request, Andrew, there is no book close to “Lexikon der Fußballmythen” by Christian Eichler (Eichborn Verlag) to put you in the know about soccer’s lore.


  3. I´m not a big soccer-fan either, but a book which helped me to understand the people who are, was Nick Hornbys Fever Pitch. I think understanding the fans is one of the best ways of understanding the sport.

    And: is it just me or are the fans particularly annoying this year. At the last public viewing, i went to, were some normal-looking Guys, who started shouting “und ihr wollt Deutsche sein” in our general direction, because we didn´t stand up for the national anthem. After the game there were others who insulted the croatian fans and threw beer-cans at them.
    There was nothing like this during the World-Championship.


  4. Gonzo already mentioned it, but Fever Pitch is the one you wanna read if your really want to understand the Fussballfan’s mind. Especially the chapter about the perfect match, I think it’s a brilliant portrait of what Fussball (I know it’s spelled with a eszett, but can typepad handle that?)is all about. There are two films based on the novel, one beeing a more original English version about Arsenal with Colin Firth and another one that came out maybe two years ago, which was about some American Sport, Baseball if I remember correctly. So maybe the books not about Fussball, but about the passion in sports in general.
    And Andrew, I’m really sorry to break the news, but like with any kind of game in the history of mankind reading books will probably not really help you “get it” more. You might understand what happened in Cordoba 1978 or Wembley 1996, but you’ll never understand what it meant. I don’t mean to be negative, but those were the kind of moments where every German will be able to tell you where they were and what they felt. And if not they might be traitors.
    However we still apreciate your effort! Keep going, as we all know it only takes a lifetime and an ancestry of about three generations to be taken seriosly by the “real” fans.


  5. Maybe you should look for some videos instead. As an American I never saw a soccer game on TV until I was 16 or so, but I caught up a lot on the history of it through some British highlight videos that show you what the people are getting so passionate about, plus giving you some of the historical background.

    Your local library surely has some German soccer videos collecting dust you could check out.

    One memorable one for me was called 500 greatest goals, but was really a just a run down of the last 4 or 5 world cups, which is really what matters most in understanding soccer history. People never forget what happens there, and the European Championships are pretty important, too, but there are just too many different leagues and championships for much of anything else to really take hold in the collective international memory.

    The USA just beat Barbados 8-0 Sunday in a World Cup qualifier which was pretty well ignored by everyone here, but it reminded me of Germany playing San Marino for a Euro qualifier, which was prime time TV in Germany worthy of spending GEZ money on. My neighbor always starting drumming whenever Germany scored a goal, but after goal 13, even he seemed to lose interest in the drubbing of a country with about the same population as Wolfratshausen.


  6. Well, you didn’t need to know a lot about the history of soccer to understand why Sunday’s game got our fellow citizens with a migratorial background so excited. It was a last-quarter-hour turnaround that will be talked about in years to come. If there was an age-old football rivalry between Turkey and the Czech Republic, this would have been the stuff that gets passed down from father to son, but this is not the case. However, there is hope: Matches such as this are the delicate little seedlings from which full-blown friendship between the peoples, as exists in the case of Germany and Holland for example, eventually grows.

    By the way, if you’re reading up on the history of German football, you will most likely come across my last name, but there is no relation, to my knowledge.


  7. On “flyblown Country #1” playing “flyblown Country #2”, a conversation during the current soccer championship may sound like …

    “Say, who is playing tonight?”
    “Yes, but against whom …?”


  8. > the kiosks run by people from both countriesYay!! Seems like immigrants are getting all the right career opportunities in that country of yours over there.


  9. > This means that all the people in your neighborhood who come
    > from Country #1 will pour out into the streets honking their
    > horns, waving their flags, and stopping in the middle of the
    > street to unleash mayhem.

    Yes? Did all those D’dorf Yemenites, Bulgarians, Bhutanis, Kiwis, Aussies and Japanese unleash mayhem? Really? Or was it just those Turks, plus the Turks, and, of course, the Turks? With some Teutons occasionally, when the Turks were busy otherwise? The hysteric shrieking being just that bit, uh, unsettling, giving diversity to come a certain apprehensive je ne sais quoi?


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