Fotoeins Fotografie

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Posts tagged ‘soccer’

1. FC Köln, Bahnhof Ehrenfeld, Cologne, Köln, Germany,

My Cologne: 1. FC Köln, Stadium, Anthem

Above/featured: “1. FC Köln” on the wall of Ehrenfeld station – 14 Jan 2013.

“Gute Laune, Laute Stimme”: the “EffZeh” (F-C) experience has me hooked.

I’m among men and women, young and old, swimming in a sea of red and white, and surrounded by full-volume chanting. Not only is it a big deal to procure a “Stehplatz” (standing spot) for under €20, but to be present in the stadium’s standing-only terraces is a big thrill. The terraces are present in German football stadia but banned in England (for historical reasons). I’m convinced I’m going to memorize their famous fan anthem as quickly as possible.

Founded on 13 February 1948, the football (soccer) team 1. FC Köln plays out of the Müngersdorfer Stadion, known also as the sponsored Rhein-Energie-Stadion (Rhine Energy Stadium) in Cologne. The stadium’s maximum capacity is about fifty-thousand, and the football side regularly sells out their home matches. The team’s mascot is a billy goat (Geissbock) for its steadfast stubborn perseverance; the team’s nickname is The Billy Goats. I’m also convinced there’s another “Kölle” verbal pun. “Geist-bock” is a compound noun consisting of “Geist” for (team-, fan-) spirit, and “Bock” for the people’s stubborn steadfast support. Various generations of “Hennes”, the mascot goat, have appeared on the sideline for home matches, and the mascot is prominent in the team badge’s and familiar red-and-white home kit (jersey).

The English version of the Bundesliga website highlights the team, reminding us they were the first ever champions of the newly established Bundesliga for the 1963-1964 season.

RheinEnergie-Stadion Südseite. Im Vordergrund Fußballspieler auf der Jahnwiese im Rahmen des „Come-Together-Cup“ 2011, photo by Raimond Spekking, on Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

RheinEnergie-Stadion (Müngersdorfer Stadion): photo by Raimond Spekking (Wiki CC BY-SA 4.0)

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The Sphere and Circle of Life

The sport called “soccer” (association football) in North America is known as “football” in the United Kingdom, “Fussball” in Germany, “fútbol” in Spanish-speaking countries, and 足球, literally “foot ball”, in China.

It may sound glib to some, but to many in Brazil, for example, “football is life, and life is football.” The game can be cruel when one side dominates the balance of play only to lose a match. But so too can life, when a turn of events can suddenly make a good-run into bad.

I played soccer when I was a lad; unfortunately, I played the game poorly. I remained a fan, remembering how the Vancouver Whitecaps won their championship in 1979 as their popularity peaked and stretched into the early 1980s.

I’ve always thought about how this relatively simple game is important to people around the world. Football in Africa and Latin America is a way of life, and football also offers a way to a better life. Moving to Germany in 2002 meant learning a lot about how significant the sport was to people within Germany and Europe, and about how integrated “Fussball” was in people’s lives. By comparison to season-dependent sports, the relatively low-cost to play and the versatility of playing in- and outdoors the entire year is attractive to many North Americans looking to pick up a game or sport.

The football pitch below is located at a former race-track in a neighbourhood park, not far from where I was raised in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood. In late-spring and summer, the pitch is used frequently for local league matches.

I found the same pitch empty at 630pm on a late-spring Saturday evening, and I liked how the goalposts lay long shadows on the grass below. In the setting sun, the shadows seem to reach out towards the centre-circle, and I felt the “pull” towards the centre of the field. Was this a buried memory, of what it was like to run up and down the pitch?

The shadows’ stretch struck a chord, and I thought next about the diurnal rising and setting of the sun. The daily cycle occurs without exception around the world. Soccer/football is one of the few games played universally around the world. Language might be an obvious hindrance, but put a ball down, and the boundaries come down in smiles and laughter.

Called by different names, a world game with a round ball seems to defy borders very well, judging by what I’ve seen on travel.

Strathcona Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Strathcona Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Strathcona Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Strathcona Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Strathcona Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Strathcona Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada

I made the photos above in East Vancouver, Canada on 22 June 2013. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at

CenturyLink Field, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders, Seattle, WA, USA

My Seattle: inside Lumen Field (IG)

Above: “Welcome to CenturyLink Field” – 18 Feb 2012.

19 Nov 2020: In time for the Seahawks’ home game against the Arizona Cardinals, the sports stadium where the NFL Seahawks (and the MLS Sounders) play was rebranded to Lumen Field.

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