February 19, 2011

Your Fans Suck

Boom. Boom. Boom.

Loud drums beating in sync.

Colorful flags waving wildly.

The cadence of organized chanting.

Intimidating yelling in a strange language.

Sounds like the front lines of a foreign battle, doesn't it?!

Nope, just pregame intros at a European hockey game. And it is awesome!

I had no idea what to expect at my first hockey game in Germany. I remember walking into the arena and being blown away. It was so loud and the people were so involved. It was great, and I really was left a bit speechless. The fans in that rink three years ago were wild. Multiple drums on different corners of the rink. Loud, yet organized cheering. You knew they had met up to practice all the chants they come up with. Mix that in with LOTS of beer drinking and an arena that was more metal barn than rink. And that wasn't even when their team scored a goal. Can you imagine the insanity then!? 

What an awesome mood to set for a game! *not the rink then, just an example (source)
Yeah, good luck to any team that was on the road there. You didn't stand a chance.

Back in North America, pro rinks are fairly quiet (I have heard college rinks are loud, but never having been to a college hockey game, I don't know). When we would go to the hockey games at home, it was usually a fairly mundane deal. You could look around and see that it was more of a social event rather than a chance to really get into the action. 

People sit on their hands, sip their beers and cheer for goals and boo at bad calls, but very little in between. I don't know if I could go back to watching hockey like that, it's just too eerily quiet.

Mimicking themselves after the crazy German soccer fans, the ice hockey fans go all out preparing for the games. They practice their chants, and there are a lot of them. In most cases, the announcer at the game only says the first name of the player, and the crowd chimes in with the rest. And they all know the names by heart. 

Get into the cool club with a scarf (source)
They have professional looking posters and flags made. You just aren't part of the group unless you have a scarf to represent your team. And everyone wears a jersey. Some even wear two; one on normally, and the other tied around the waist so that both names show. I guess it's just in case they couldn't decide who was their favorite that day. 

Can you imagine the money spent in these fan clubs?! (source)

Everyone knows when to say what, when to clap in rhythm. Heck, even the our arena plays this one German song when the other team gets a penalty. And everyone, I mean EVERYBODY (especially the kids), knows to yell "Arschloch" at the end of it. Have a guess at what that means, isn't too hard to figure out.

But of course, it can get out of hand. In the hubs' game just last night, a visiting fan was hit pretty badly in the eye with one of the flags. He was tended to and had to be taking out of the rink.

The hubs has gotten pelted with various things on the ice, usually a rain of empty plastic cups from those really trashy rinks. Fans have even tried to fight him and his teammates when they were coming off the ice. Not joking. Hey buds, maybe not the smartest idea to fight a guy with a helmet, full padding, sharp skates and a weapon. Stay sober!

(if for some reason it isn't working, check it out here. I thought it was still worth sharing!)

Here is a video of some angry fans I found from a years back. This video scares me! (BTW, whistling in Europe is booing). Why is the announcer yelling like that!? He is actually wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Lovely.

It is so crazy and loud in the rinks that I wince at the volume of it all. But I wouldn't have it any other way. And I don't think the hubs would either. Talk about motivation on the ice!

Jump around in the video below to get a bit of a feeling of the madness I am trying to describe. If you ever find yourself in Germany, hockey fan or not, you have to check out a game. This party is worth going to!

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  1. Cute cute cute blog design! Following now from The Kid Can Cook - thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. Fan fanatics....a tad scary but so much fun to watch! Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. When I was a kid I lived in Germany, and I remember how seriously they take their sports. Sounds like they haven't changed a bit!

    Following you back, and looking forward to reading more!

  4. Our fans are like that too.. its definitely a European thing :) ... and when we were in Russia last year.. they were rather intense too, but i had no idea what was even being said.. definitely "sore loser' fans.. THey would throw coins and shit on the rink and leave super early when they were losing.. i hated it. But I love the Cheering in Sweden.. although, sometimes i get to the point where i'm like... ok.. i've clapped enough, my hands hurt. lol :)

  5. "Metal barn"! Heh!

    I went to a hockey game in OKC. Fell asleep.

  6. Wow I must really add that to my list! This is definitely going on my list! Also, the second pic is ROFL-epic :P

    The only crazy cheering here is for the IPL Cricket Matches and that is SO loud at times, you cannot hear your own voice even if you scream!

  7. @Emme - thanks for stopping by!
    @Morgan - seriously! You have a great weekend too :)
    @Not Just - Yeah, they really do get into it. That is cool you lived over here! Thanks for stopping by
    @Laura - coins, yikes! Now that would be dangerous. I know, my hands start to hurt and I get tired of standing up and down, haha
    @Mollie - haha, I can only imagine how 'exciting' the game was in OKC.
    @Apfel - how crazy, I never knew they cheered that hard for cricket. I dont know if I could get into a game that lasted for 3 days :)

  8. Jeey European Fans!!! We are the world..we are the..ehh oh that was something else:) No but I totally agree with you, that kind of atmosphere makes me all excited at the game too!!

  9. WOw I guess the hockey fans over there are how the football fans are over here! You know fans at football games can get a little crazy! Lol. And whistling is booing?! I'd rather shout boooo! Seems more effective!

  10. How sad that the fans over here in America don't get into it as much. I have only been to one Coyotes game here in AZ and it definitely was not that exciting! Definitely doesn't seem boring!

  11. @Mrs K - it really does make it so much more exciting to go to :)
    @Jet-Setting - exactly, they are rowdy! haha. It is weird with the whistling/booing deal. To me whistling is good
    @Shalyn - Yeah, especially that rink there is known to be not too lively. Too bad, they are a fun team.

  12. reminds me of the first time I walked into a beer tent at the Oktoberfest...cool blog - following

  13. Hockey is one of more under-rated sports in America. IT's really exciting and tense, especially come playoff time. I'll take it over the NBA any day.

  14. Fascinating that there is that much of a difference. Glad you enjoyed it.

  15. @G - it does have a lot of Oktoberfest feel to it! Great point. Thanks for stopping by
    @Knucklehead - love your name by the way, I agree. It should be a bigger sport in the US. The hubs says it all the time. It doesn't have anything on the NBA...but I could be biased.
    @Debbie - I would have to, its crazy :) Glad you stopped by!

  16. If they sold beer after the 2nd period ended in the US it would probably take off. Really bad in the 7th period of a playoff game when that happens. I think that 2nd picture was from the WNBA, right?

  17. Oh the IPL only lasts for like 6 hours :) But yeah, the Test matches are long, really long, and the audience is usually just like the one in the second pic that you put up! :P

  18. OK Tex... now I need to come to a game in Germany! But wait... do they have suites? I'm not sure I want to sit down in the madness... without a helmet...

  19. "Hey buds, maybe not the smartest idea to fight a guy with a helmet, full padding, sharp skates and a weapon. Stay sober!" That is awesome. Our fans in Italy were ... average at best. There was a small group that got into them, followed the team on road trips. We never got to see what the fans in Germany were like but we heard that they were AMAZING. In that city, anyway.

  20. @Rusk - ouch, burn! haha, no you are probably right, lol. And yes, the beer flow helps tremendously
    @Apfel - well then that isn't so bad, I just know that some matches can last for days. I don't really know too much about cricket, maybe you'll have to post about it!
    @Yotes - you would LOVE it. So different from back at home :)
    @HW - haha, I HAVE to tell you that full story sometime. Some drunk ass fan attacked the team after the game, and needless to say, he got it pretty bad. They are all pretty good here, but then again they can turn on you in a second!

  21. HI! New follower here! I found you through "say hi sunday".
    My hubby grew up in Germany & we're going to visit there next year. Can't wait to read more :)

  22. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I was a web designer for years, so I'm kind of a Navigation Nazi. Please sign up to follow, if you're interested.

  23. Holy crapola, that's crazy (although oddly, i kinda like whistling!lol) I say we need to have a small town Canadian hockey fans vs small town Germany hockey fans competition! Could be interesting, no?! lol
    Happy weekend:)

  24. I never said my weekends were restful. If I'm not busy I'm bored! Even though I stayed home and slept a lot last night :)

    I'm glad you aren't a UT fan...I don't know that I could handle it. ha ha! Thanks for the well wishes! Have a great Sunday!

  25. @trisha - so cool! Glad you stopped by. Hope ya'll have fun on your visit here next year.
    @Gatekeeper - haha, still makes me nervous to hear that word here. Thanks for stopping by
    @Sherri - this whistling does make it exciting! I think it could be a good competition for sure.
    @Mallori - haha, no kidding, I am glad we can enjoy not liking UT together :)

  26. Since you are one of my followers on High Heels and Hot Flashes I thought I'd tag you in this writing meme/blog award called "7 Facts." If you choose to partake, go to http://highheelshotflashes.blogspot.com/2011/02/seven-facts-award.html to see the rules and copy the picture for your blog. Congratulations!

  27. Thanks for stopping by, I am your newest follower

  28. I love hockey! My husband and I try and go to Flyers games in Philly every chance we get. The last game was awesome - the entire arena was really into it and that's what I like. I hate it when the people around you just sit and chat not even following the game. What's the point? We'd love to move to Canada just for the sake of hockey!

  29. small children yelling obscenities....yup, you're in germany! ;) i still have not grown accustomed to my 5th graders at school saying things like, "how do you spell sheisse in english?"

  30. @Debra - Hey! You rock :) thank you so much for linking me up!
    @Ginger - no prob, glad you stopped by too.
    @Erika - Hey, my husband thinks that the Flyers have a great chance this year to go far. That is fun that ya'll go! Haha, ya'll are just the true fans :)
    @Jenni - haha, that really had me laughing. I bet that is fun teaching those kiddos. I only get adults, so I think they already know how the spell scheiße in English, lol

  31. LOVE your 3 little men - super cute ;)
    I was taken back quite a bit at my first Aussie Rules Footy game in AUS - 95,000 fans to a regular season game. Lots of beer, shouting and chanting. They had a special song they sung every time someone was getting arrested or kicked out of the stadium for drunk&disorderly! AND after that... I fell in love. hahaha.

    Following back!

  32. Love that you highlighted hockey today. Mr. Frugal plays hockey, and I'm a huge fan myself. :) Thanks for stopping by today!

    Frugal Invitation

  33. @Lady Estrogen - oh my gosh, I can't tell you how awesome I think Australian Rules Football is! It looks like such a party there, not to mention the game is so fast paced and fun to watch! Thanks for stopping by ;)
    @Frugal Invitation - Haha, well good for Mr. Frugal. I tend to feature hockey now and then :) Thanks for stopping by, hope you had a good weekend.

  34. IPL season starts next month! I am definitely going to post about it :) Will leave you a link :)


Whoomp, there it is!