TeBe Party Army

E- Block International - A Weblog for "Away Fans" of Tennis Borussia Berlin.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Greatest Fans In The World

So after the team's unbelievable win in the cup (match report to follow soon I promise)it was the turn of the fans, at the Academic Fan Song Competition away in the East at the Kulturbrauerei. If we were going to win this then it was going to be an "Away Match" but being near the JSP the mood was hopeful.

Even before the match we were getting a bit of press attention. It seems everything to do with football has a high media profile at the minute.

"So who are going to win the World Cup?"

"TeBe of course, we won in May."

"No, the World Cup"

"Oh that little pot... Ireland"

"But Ireland aren't playing!"

"Thats what I like about them - and the music and the beers"

The Jury! Well its worth noting here that the "referee" is some English guy (and in the same breath for later worth noting that there was free beer for him!) and in the jury there was Hagen, TeBe's press spokesman. A Union fan was in the jury to even things up and there was also a Bremen fan and a Torgelow/ Barcelona fan. I dont quite remember the exact life story that they all had to explain as I was bloody nervous at the time.

So these are quite obviously the Hertha fans - The haircuts, drunken appearance and general blue and white style give that away. But the biggest group, a lot of highly motivated younger ones there and a generally nice bunch. Bad luck for them to start first me thinks and they also had the disadvantage that their songs are generally quite well known already. Strange thing is, the last time I had visitors in Berlin who insisted on seeing Hertha, the Hetha fans were singing different songs - namely "Hoeness Raus!" - but here on the stage they were going on about winning the Champions League! Jim Hancot has made up a little ditty for them:

In 31, and this is true
A trophy was won by a team in blue
Its been a long time, since that date
So we sing em a song that they fucking hate!
75 years F-all!
75 years F-all!

etc, etc. Well there's nothing like keeping up a record like that: After seeing the Hertha fan, I knew that however bad this might go for us, we couldnt be worse than them. Last place was in the bag, a very blue and white bag.

Next up was Togo, that famous German football team. Perhaps for a bit of variety, (certainly to add a bit of musical talent) the Togo supporters group were entered into the competition. What can you say? They were bloody amazing but not really anything to do with football. So from then on I knew that they were either going to win and this was just some hospitable Germany rubbish that I had been invited to, or they were just there to get a bit of media interest - something they certainly managed. Togo were impossible to predict but very professional.

Next up were Union. This was the older fraction of fans who have been going there for over 20 years. Imagine what that must do to the brain and that may certainly explain some of the haircuts. The young lady in the middle is only 19 but had apparently been a fan since she was 4. They were good, but a bit too good really with choir-like performances. Hertha still certain last place but this could go either way. Our only hope now is that the jury really are looking for nutcase fans to give this prize too because that we could pull off - otherwise its Togo or Union.

Oh Shit. We are on the bloody stage. The same stage I saw some top acts play on and little me. Its so high up and despite being half empty it looks packed with everyone staring at you. How the hell can we pull this off?

Come on Andy, get yourself together. Think of the prize..... mmmmmm beer. Think of the enjoyment of beating Hertha and Union in one night rather than 1 cup run. Lets get this show on the road.

Oh that free beer is starting to take its effect on the English referee guy and he is getting a bit chatty. Alex is giving him some speech on the TeBe fan scene, no-go areas, cheap council housing for everyone, pensions, keeping nurses in the NHS, a dentist for everyone, the importance of unions and something or other haunting Europe. Dont give either of these two a mic - I need to start now or I am going to faint. Lets go!

The referee has finally remembered that its a singing competition and not an interview with Tony Benn so we can start.

Singing out the classics.... Hard to say how we did really as I didnt see myself. I thought our songs were the funniest, the jokes the best, the covers very original and the performance pure class. After about the third song we all sort of realised what Ultras71 seemed to have grasped from the start - If you are going to make a fool of yourselves on camera then you might as well do it 100%. I dont think we will win this though.

More rubbish football fan classics put on while the jury make their decision so the veterans decide to get down and shake their stuff with the Togo fans. Apparently emails have been swapped and we have been invited to pop along and watch some games with them in a pub, trying to spot Denis Borussia in the crowd. A fan friendship with a national team is quite a strange idea for a small team in the German lower leagues.

The jury take ages....

... finally a decision. Now I dont want to do the man an injustice but the English referee showmaster seems a bit drunk, well very drunk. Its terribly hot on the stage and he is sweating a bit and his shorts are itching. At one point with his back to the audience he seemed to be scratching his bum in front of national TV cameras. This terrible sight was luckily edited out of the film clip.

The decison really drew out for ages, each of the jury giving their views on all 4 teams and then a points collecting part and a reading out the scores bit. Jim Hancot who doesnt even remember how he got home that night amazingly remembers the scoring perfectly, so I will quote him:

We got off stage, got our free beer with our token things, and the wait began. There was a jury of 4 who voted on the whole thing, and they took time to deliberate. Then the comments about each team, which were mostly always complimentary and non-commital, and the results, in order of performance. Iirc, Hertha got 91 (out of 120), Togo 96, Union a bit less, then came our results. The first fu cking judge gave us 11/30, that was it, I thought. Then the others. 29, 29, 30!!! There was a load of celebration, but I was a bit pissed and not too good at the maths, so I stayed seated on the floor and didn't even realise we'd won till I saw all the others storming onto the stage.

A real pitch invasion it was too. Shame that the referee and most of the jury forgot to metion that we werent all boys but there was also female participation in our team, constantly refering to us as the lads from TeBe. Thanks Tanya for taking part.

Bring it on! We Always Win The Cup On Wednesdays!

What won it for us was really the way we managed to get the opposing fans up for singing back at us - and the way we didnt let it put us off, rather singing back at them. There were only a few of us too, which made our half drunken performance quite neat and helped keep us together. On the original invitation there was only meant to be 5 fans per team but this was apparently changed. We didnt find out until the day before. I wasnt even going to take part but was badgered into it by Red devil a few hours before when it was realised that we were too few. 3 hours later I am on the stage in a winning team with a silly hat, a beer cooler and pump and 4 little barrels of Becks to put into it.

Our pitch invasion seemed to have kipped the show a bit too. I think there was to be a captain invited up, probably thanks to sponsors and the jury and then we might have been asked to sing a song for the cameras. We were just suddenly on the stage and singing, getting an incredibly reaction from the other fans. The Togo fans were cheering, the other two groups singing back at us. "Purple White - West Berlin Shite" was sung by them and sung back by us after a round of applause. All very friendly apart from one Union fan who accused our running list of being song words - i.e. accused us of cheating and then wanted a fight with Ultras71 afterwards. This wouldnt have been a good idea because he certainly would have lost against the big man and would have been very scared if he knew the implications of beating up that one certain person. Perhaps he should watch the TV on Friday night to find out how close he was to the silliest decision of his life. The Hertha fans were great, the other Union fans took it well despite the fact that they felt they should have won and the Togo fans didnt really seem to care about the in fighting of Berlin football clubs - and why should they.

We were then asked if we would sing a song for the German national team with the other fans - this was then changed to a simple singing of "We are going to the final" so as to show the wishes of the Togo and German fans to see their team win the world cup. Not my team was Jim Hancot's answer. Others offered to sing a new rendition of "Group Stage Exit" for the German team and most were willing to sing "3 Lions". I was pleased that nobody sang "10 German Bombers" as I would have been the first "England Fan" to cause a scandal in the World Cup media madness.

A quick pose for the TV and radio and a few silly interviews. Most of the fans deciding to go for cheesy lines for the cameras:

Interviewer: How are you going to celebrate?
Jim Hancot: Well I am going to drink up every drop of this beer!

And the Ultras71 classic:

We had the dream of winning the cup and we went and made it reality!

Well done everyone and thanks to all those who took part in such good spirit. Special thanks to Ultras71 for keeping it together and not being nervous in front of the cameras.

Here the video from ZDF that was on TV today. We are famous! Well some of us were famous before anyway.

Ultras71 can be found here, Jim Hancot here, Jan here and Lila Kanal here and here.


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