Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tennis Borussia Berlin – VFL Wolfsburgh II (24-10-2009)

After the rather disappointing visit to Hertha BSC on Thursday, I was looking forward to the game of Tennis Borussia Berlin on Saturday. When I was young, and Germany was still divided, TeBe played a couple of seasons in the 2. Bundesliga (Second League). Nowadays they hang around in the lower ends of the Regionalliga Nord (Fourth Division North). More than enough reason to take the S-Bahn up to Mommsen Stadion.

My friend C. and I arrive well in time for kick-off, at 14.00, at the small homey Mommsen stadium. Built in 1930, it has undergone precious little upgrades since. Today it is home to both TeBe and SC Charlottenburg, which plays in the Verbandsliga Berlin (highest non-professional league in Berlin). We bought standing tickets for €8.00 and made our way to the sausages and drinks.

It was a nice sunny winter day in Berlin and officially 516 people had made the way to the Mommsen Stadion; the stadium holds 11,500. The home fans were roughly evenly spread over the one stand and the opposite side, where the good-tempered hardcore home fans stand. The crows is fairly diverse, though mostly alternative types who know each other and talk as much about football as about other things.

Despite the fact that TeBe is down 0-1 after 2 minutes, the fans around us remain good spirited, joking around and enjoying their beer and company. As is always the case with second teams of a club, very few supporters travel with the team. In this case, even with the first team of VFL Wolfsburg playing Hertha in Berlin the next day, I could count only six away fans.

We continued to enjoy the company as well as the play, which was pretty low quality, but entertaining. The guests were clearly superior, but didn’t really push. The home team did its best, but simply lacked the quality. Something the home fans seemed to accept without much disappointment.

The second half started fairly similar, with the visitors scoring the 0-2 in the 53rd minute. After that, the pace went slower and slower, while Wolfsburg seemed content with the now clear victory. TeBe kept struggling, more with itself than the opponent.

C. and I were amazed how good natured the fans remained. True, they increasingly talked about other things than football, but they seemed real fans. Maybe they just had learned to adapt to the level of the club they support. In any case, 0-2 was an acceptable final result for the hosts, who profited from increasing laziness of the visitors.

If you are in Berlin, you have many choices for groundhops: Hertha BSC, Union Berlin, BFC Dynamo, Türkiyemspor, etc. However, do not forget about TeBe in Charlottenburg. It is like a trip to football memory lane, but with modern Alternativos as fans.

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